b. 1964, São Miguel, Portugal
Espirito Santo’s work spans modern dance, ballet, contact improvisation, butoh and yoga, and she has trained, performed and instructed others across Europe and the US, and in Canada where she resides. In September 2013 she brought her Unity project to Hurst Castle.
Unity takes the established participatory artform of community dance and experiments with the new levels of intimacy offered by contact dance improvisation. Working with non-professional dancers invited from the nearby village of Milford on Sea, the project sought to bring people together through the meditative quality of improvised dance, music and voice. The unique location, in particular the spacious rooms of the castle and the ocean air in the space surrounding it, created a free and open environment for movement, and the history of the area encouraged a sense of wonder, permitting those involved to find new ways to know the castle. By exploring the space through physical self-expression, participants mentioned that they discovered heightened sensation and intuition which allowed them to gain a renewed sense of creativity and community.