This installation was constructed at the Arise Festival 2014 in Colorado. Behind the open picture frames were mirrors. Passerby glanced in, expecting to see an image of themselves reflected back. I was delighted by the unexpected disorientation that ensued. Performers used a menu of cues in combination with choreography that rotated every 20 minutes (when the Hourglass had emptied). We explored themes provoked by contemplation of the pain of dying, longing, desire and unrequited love and the subject of boundaries/border crossing (...hostility? merging?) .
Meditation for dancers. Dance for Meditators. A form developed by contemplative movement pioneer Barbara Dilley. Her memoir and handbook, This Very Moment : Teaching, Thinking, Dancing was released May 2015 and is available at http://www.barbaradilley.com/. The Red Square Form pictured here delineates a visually striking boundary for the exploration of compositional choice and awareness using physical cues and specifically chosen objects or allies. In this way, a strangely apropos story unfolds, made richer by an abstract soundscape.
This installation at Prism Glassworks in Denver engaged the 'Feeding Demons' practice once again. The tension of time limits was our focus as we circumnambulated a small, enclosed room to the sound of a metronome, our pathway marked by the salt spilling from our leader's sack. Suspended above our heads were more bags of salt, the bottoms of which had been gently pierced and threaded with red rope, (a reference to the matrix of blood vessels connecting the physical body as well as the invisible cords of intent that connect us with each other). Our movements, dictated by cue cards drawn by spectators, catalyzed acts of aggression, retreat and stillness/neutrality/ignorance. The joker card, if drawn, meant a headlong rush into a cluster beneath one of the suspended sacks, at which point the thread was torn away, spilling salt upon us; stinging our eyes and blinding us with tears.
It takes a long time to build a box. Box of hope and fear. Four walls of canvas — 10′ square. 8 hours. The maze of ropes and stones that threaten to bury us are our inner demons. This project is named for the practice that it grew from. Using improvisational protocols and set scores, we endeavored to invite our demons into this room - a macrocosm of mind - and into the light. The specificity of the physical instructions, which included repetition, stillness, invitation to panic and the attempt to communicate across distances and without speech were .... really annoying. and provocative. and frightening.
and shamefully embarrassing. and opened moments of utter quietude and beauty.
Thank you David Ortolano and John Cutaia for your photographic skills.