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The latest project of Thea Stanton DANCE, a six movement work for small female ensemble, based on the six mottos of the wives on Henry VIII, accompanied by the madrigals of renaissance composer, Carlo Gesualdo. 


Humble and Loyal      The Most Happy      Bound to Obey and Serve  


God Send Me Well To Keep      No Other Wish But His   To Be Useful In All That I Do

The Concept. The 16th Century was a fascinating period of drama and change, and I find the stories of the Tudor Women particularly inspirational and intriguing. Despite differences between their social, moral codes and our modern sensibilities, I identify with their struggles; maintaining power, being ‘feminine’, becoming vulnerable in a male dominated society. When I discovered that each of Henry VIII's wives created their own motto when they married the King, and that these mottos were a blend of personal and political experiences for each woman, I felt that there was a narrative here that needed to be told. 


The final work will be a small ensemble of four female dancers depicting one motto per movement, with a live madrigals accompanying. It will be a full-length dramatic work that seeks to embody the essence of each woman and her story in relation to the life of one all-powerful man.

Development for the piece has only just begun. We have had a week long residency of workshopping ideas at Space@ClarenceMews with dancers Verena Schnieder and Jessica Haener, Creative Advisor Rosie Thomsan and musical advice from Rosha Fitzhowle and William Blake. 


This part of history appeals to so many people. I feel strongly that the work should be performed in public spaces for everyone. With both a passion for site-specific work, I would like to present the work in the Rose Gardens of historic sites. Weaving in and out of the flowers that symbolised the Tudor Reign, and accompanied surrounded by four male voices, ‘No Other Wish’ will delve into otherwise unseen images of a16th century woman’s perspective, that has been sidelined throughout history.

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