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This International Women’s Day, we’re reflecting on the project we’re developing with Krystal S. Lowe.

Interwoven is a one-woman dance theatre show where Black hair culture is woven into an analogy for the human experience while celebrating Black care and intimacy.

Krystal recently shared her work to date at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. Here are a few images and thoughts from her:

Over the past eight months, I've been exploring an immersive dance theatre work called Interwoven. My research began with simply talking to people about their hair, and as this research has continued, I've found that our hair is an intricate mirror of our lives. So much of what is good for our hair: rest, water, to be handled gently - is also good for us as people. Recently, I've felt my research leading me to explore connections between female sexuality and hair. Societal policing and controlling of female sexuality and Black hair converge in Black women. As I embody both identities, it feels extremely empowering to break free from societal expectations of female sexuality and Black hair simultaneously; and through Interwoven I aim to empower others to do the same.

During this research and development project, I have learned that rest is essential to the artistic process. I’ve also been challenging myself to write and create without altering my identity, my artistic voice, to become more ‘mainstream’. This isn’t a separate message from Interwoven but the very message of the work itself. Fully embodying our individual identities and embracing rest and pleasure through our lives and our art.

An Unlimited UK Partner Award 2023-2024 commission with National Theatre Wales made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council Wales.