Definitions - Spiritual Ground, Spiritual Matrix, Performance-Ritual
Spiritual Ground is a term I have coined to encompass the deity(s) that all religions and spiritual belief systems and cultures have named to express their experience and understanding of the mystery of, and behind, life.
Spiritual Matrix encompasses the many different ways in which humans have expressed their experience of ‘other’ – written texts, songs, music, images, dance and ritual.
I began using the term ‘performance-ritual’ in 1994 to describe a series of performances created for Newtown Festival, with the overall title of ‘Dark Fire’. Dark Fire was more than just a performance. It functioned symbolically and in reality as a rite of passage; marking a time of significant personal change. Dark Fire was in three sections and at three different outdoor venues: ‘Descent’ which explored the element of water, ‘Initiation’ which emerged from the element of Earth, and ‘Dark Fire’ which celebrated Fire.
Since then I have continued to use the term and I realised that, in retrospect, this is what my performances actually encapsulated as early as 1992.
For me, performance-rituals are performances which consciously open up a sacred space and time in which other energies – god/dess, life force, chi, ‘?’, or whatever one wishes to name this understanding - are addressed and invited to take part...and they do, as synchronous events which interact with and became part of the performance.