Known as the daughter of Sappho, Cleis was the name that we chose to give our central character. Cleis was our youngest, boldest, most contemporary character, with real strength and an air of controlled creative excitement. We wanted her to be the choreographer of a dance troupe, attempting to dramatise the history of the burial of the Scottish Soldiers through modern dance. She is clear, but not abrasive, assertive but with a softness, and draws on her creative spirit to connect with people around her. She feels most at home working with the female performers around her. She champions the female voice over the male, only showing her sharper side if her efforts are derailed by a male voice. Interested in female social history, she uses this to inform the subject matter of her work. Ultimately, she is deeply philosophical in her approach, deeply self-critical, but able to celebrate her own successes and the successes of those around her. She is careful about what she says and who she says it to.
I like to think that the character of Cleis is loosely based on the strong, young female students of Castle, both today, and when they first entered the building to study in 1987 as self-proclaimed 'First Ladies.'
To view work see video below, scroll down for stills.
A Treatment of Women: Cleis, 2019