Selkie-Breed (2006)

(a duet from “Dance Macabre II”)

Orkney has many folk stories concerning the magical race of creatures called the selkies. Most depictions show them as gentle shape shifters with the ability to transform from seals into beautiful human women.

The common element in all these selkie-folk tales, and perhaps the most important element is the fact that

when selkies assume human form, they cast off their sealskins. Within these magical skins lay the power to return to seal form, and therefore return to the sea.

If one of the selkies lost their sealskin, they were doomed to remain in human form until the skin was recovered. Because of this, if disturbed during one of their midnight shore dances, the selkie-folk would hastily snatch up their skins and rush back to the safety of the sea.

This dance piece explores the concept of a selkie-like creature who is not the gentle, doe-like creature depicted in the folk tales of Orkney, although the lonely fisherman who finds her deceives himself into thinking that she is….