The Saturated Moment

Sap Dance


Nigel Stewart


Dominique Bulgin


Lisa Whistlecroft

Lighting Design

Mat Hale and Steph Sims

Programme notes

The Saturated Moment is an exploration of Virginia Woolf's novel The Waves (1931). In Woolf's novel each character is construed by images and turns of phrase that register particular impressions of the natural world. This dance piece reveals the physical basis for those impressions, creating patterns of live action and recorded sound that distinguish between the six characters but also, in the manner of the novel, dissolve those characters into each other as a single event is seen cubistically from a number of different perspectives. Altogether, the piece suggests an understanding of time in which each person's present moment is 'saturated' by impressions of the wider world that others have experienced in the past and future. Nigel Stewart.


The Saturated Moment was created during an intensive research residency through the Artists' Programme of Chisenhale Dance during August 2006, and subsequent work in Lancaster. Thanks to Nigel Stewart and Dominique Bulgin, without whom there would be no piece, and to Steve Benner for massive technical support and several crucial gestures.


  • Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia, at the Laban for the 21st Century Conference at the 2006 Bratislava in Movement Festival, 8 October 2006
  • Chisenhale Dance Space, London, England, a sharing in the Artists' Programme, 26 November 2006
  • Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University, England, as part of Ludus Dance: Dance Cuts 2006, 2 December 2006
  • Workshop Theatre, Leeds University, England, as part of the Performing Literatures conference, 30 June 2007
  • Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, in Firsts, Linbury Studio, 20 and 21 November 2007


  • Accepted for The 17th Annual Virginia Woolf Conference, Art Education and Internationalism, at Miami university of Oxford, Ohio, USA, 7-10 June 2007, but not presented due to clashing commitments
  • Accepted for The 1st Annual Symposium in Systems Research in the Arts and Humanities: "On Choreographies in Music, Visual and Performing Arts, and Environmental Design" In conjunction with the 19th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, Baden-Baden, Germany, 30 July - 4 August 2007, but not presented due to lack of funding to travel.

Sound Design Exhibitions

A sequence of 'sound signatures' and still photographs for each character from The Saturated Moment was created for Theatre Sound Design exhibitions. This has its own web page.

Source Acknowledgements

Thanks to Milton Garces of the Infrasound Laboratory of the University of Hawaii (ISLA) for generously allowing me to make use of his infrasound recordings; acknowledgement to SoundDogs for their online sound effects library, to the nature sound recordists whose work has been fragmented and buried deep in this piece, and to the makers of those artefacts whose sounds have similarly been taken far from their sources.