Extract from The Site (1983)
One of Butcher’s most original, complex and profound works, it was inspired by a trip to an Iron Age fort on the Castle Drogo estate in Devon. Working within the area defined by the pressed papier maché U-shaped floor installation (Pietsch later used peat in a similar form in a revival at the retrospective some thirteen years later), with tubes of white light brightening and dimming, the dancers moved and placed themselves compositionally through the most pared down of movement. The work itself was developed in the studio using the terminology of archaeological digs as instructions to improvisation of the dancers. Malcolm Clarke’s bleak electronic sound, responding to the concept and the movement, contributed a profound sense of time and space to the work.
Riverside Studios, London, UK
Atlantis Gallery, London, UK
Visual artist: Heinz Deiter Pietsch
Composer: Malcolm Clarke
Performers: Gaby Agis, Dennis Greenwood, Sue MacLennan