The Shiver

The flinch the shudder the shake the quiver
The Shiver The Shiver The Shiver The shiver

Lemm Sissay

The Shiver represents a sensation between delight and anxiety, between dance and spoken word – a performance waiting for a spine to tingle. The piece combines dance, music, image and spoken word in an interdisciplinary performance in which three dancers explore the scientific and emotional reasoning behind why we shiver…. and why it can be through pleasure or pain.

The Shiver, an event that is thought provoking and timely, has been created around ideas and insights from the Oxford University neuroscientist Professor Morten Kringelbach. Professor Kringelbach says: “Scientifically, a shiver is a fascinating topic which is not currently well understood. While there is clearly a physiological link between the body, thermoregulation and shivering, shivering is also involved in other contexts, such as in social interactions or when listening to music. The dual nature of shivering, which can be both pleasurable and painful, could help elucidate the very nature of pleasure and hedonic experience. Pleasures come in many forms but it is clear that the very survival of every large-brained creature as an individual, and the evolutionary survival of each species has depended on the pleasures afforded by its hedonic neural systems. We have thus been interested in further exploring the shiver beyond its thermoregulatory, physiological role to include its role in emotional processing and pleasure; to further explore with dance the role of the shiver in social interactions and in subjective experience.”

The Shiver is the first production from new dance company Sadhana. Set up by Suba, Sadhana derives from the Sanskrit word for the pursuit of a spiritual goal, combining perfection of execution with study and reflection, and represents Suba’s vision for the company’s role in 21st century British dance – the “purpose for which we have come to this place”. Suba’s choreography which draws from the rich vocabulary of Bharata Natyam, a South Indian classical dance form, aims to be thought-provoking, visually charming and entertaining.
Based on an original idea by Lemn Sissay.
Co-commissioned by Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal & Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe

Artistic Direction Subathra Subramaniam
Choreography Subathra Subramaniam
Additional creative input
and movement material Kamala Devam, Elena Jacinta, Anusha Kedhar
Dancers Kamala Devam, Elena Jacinta, Anusha Kedhar, Johanna Devi
Original Text by Lemn Sissay
Additional Text by Morten L. Kringelbach
Music and Projections Kathy Hinde & Matthew Olden
Musicians Tabla – Adrian Sykes, Cello – Simon McCorry,
Violin – Joanne Harvey, Dulcimer – Liz Purnell
(all other instruments played by
Kathy Hinde & Matthew Olden and music mastered by Laura B)
Dramaturgy Chris Fogg
Rehearsal Director Gwyn Emberton
Costumes Kate Rigby
Lighting Design Aideen Malone
Production Manager Estelle Rickleton
Technical Stage Manager Nathan Johnson
Photography Mark Pepperall
Café Scientifique Quentin Cooper
Scientific Advice Morten L Kringelbach
Graphic Design

For South East Dance:
Creative Producer Chris Fogg
Administrator Louise Hennessy
Marketing & Communications Sharon Duggal, Rowena Price
The South East Dance Associate Artist Programme is a two year pilot project, which aims to support four artists whose work reflects the creative and cultural diversity of dance in the south-east. The scheme is supported by the Arts Council England South East and Brighton & Hove City Council.

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