Home Solo: up close to intimacy

Home Solo

Up close to intimacy

An intimate, powerful female solo performance by Hayley Matthews that weaves contemporary dance and spoken word with the slick, authentic and original live music of multi-instrumentalist Hej Jones, on recovery from trauma and it’s isolation. 

Photo credit: Al Simmons

Photo credit: Al Simmons

A show for anyone who has ever wanted to get home... 

Particularly at this moment in our social history, we need artists of this calibre making work as engaging and insightful as this.” Pasco-Q Kelvin, Director of the Norwich Arts Centre

Photo credit: Pulp & Pith/Sonia Sanchez Lopez

Photo credit: Pulp & Pith/Sonia Sanchez Lopez

Beautiful, moving.” Audience member

Matthews maps the journey back to feeling at home in her skin after a bike accident left her unable to dance for some time. It led her to start writing poems, which form part of the soundscape and structure of the show.

The performance brings to life the different aspects of being at home in your own skin: allowing yourself to be vulnerable, building resilience, searching for safety, being able to be with others, resting, expressing yourself, making space for both suffering and beauty, and allowing the light of hope to shine in.

Home Solo also reflects contributions from the local and international community about what it means to be at home with who you are and where you are, and integrates their voices and ideas into the performance.

The music is performed on the enchanting butone, acoustic guitar and with recorded voice forming the basis of a powerful synthesised drum solo, as well as opening up a beautiful full length song written together by Matthews and Jones. 

The audience is seated close to the performers in this 50-minute show and can see the grace and the beauty as well as the stumbles and hard work of being performers – and of being human. And we hope have space and time to journey with what home is, and to be in their own skin, bathed in movement and sound. 

Co-commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre, funded and supported by Arts Council England, Dance East and Norfolk County Council

Photo credit: Al Simmons

Photo credit: Al Simmons

I started making Home Solo at a time and in a place where I didn’t feel at home at all. I think perhaps it was about coming back not striving on; back to myself and to my life as a dancer.

Having needed to find a way back I ended up wading right back to myself, and having to scrub all the pots and pans of what had become messy on the way. Opening to others from there, in all the research we’ve done with students, musicians, people come to the UK from elsewhere, has been both challenging and powerful.

I’m not saying I found the answers, or that I’m now mess free! For me it’s been about finding a space where I can rest on the inside and then relate to others, and about making dance on my own terms, from how very personal patterns and experiences unfold in my body. About feeling at home as a dancer, as a woman, and as Hayley.

The show is also bigger than just my experience; I think it unveils an experience we can all relate to – the journey home, not to a place but to a way of being, which is difficult to put your finger on, which is why dancing it has been important.

The show also feels to me like a re-imagining of boundaries, poignant now, in the context of today’s politically charged debates on our borders and boundaries in the UK. For me, the re-imagining, the way through the turmoil, has to start with the individual. We have to learn to sit with ourselves, the suffering, the hurt, the anger, the beauty and to develop good boundaries and to be comfortable in our own skin (our own border line), before we can even think of beginning to relate to others, or our political border lines. To do this we need to develop independence, interdependence, resilience and be ok with utter vulnerability, with only our skin, no fort, no wall, no political boundary to protect us.”
— Hayley Matthews


Duration: 50 minutes
Choreography: Hayley Matthews
Performers: Hayley Matthews (dancer) Hej Jones (live musician)


For tour pack and inquiries email Ensemble manager Roxanne Griffiths