Sarah Hopfinger


I will be exploring my initial ideas for a new project about chronic pain. I first experienced back pain 17 years ago as a teenager, and it has got progressively worse and become chronic over the past 10 years, and I have been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower spine. I have mostly understood and related to my pain up until recently as something that stops me dancing and performing, as something that is a hindrance and barrier to my practice. I now want to turn towards my pain and work creatively with it. I want to explore new ways of moving and dancing within the bodily limits and potentials of my pain, to understand my pain as a potential creative collaborator. I have also decided to explore my chronic pain because I have a hunch that exploring human pain might be a catalyst to explore and connect with wider environmental pain (such as pollution, eco-system loss, climate change). My main questions during my Work Room residency are - How can I move and dance with my chronic pain? What can creatively connecting to my chronic pain teach me about connecting and responding to wider environmental pain?