Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Works | On The Boards | I celebrate, I mock

I have the pleasure of designing costumes for two beautiful female dancers who are debuting a contemporary dance piece at the On The Boards New Works Festival next month. Shaneeka Harrell and Catherine Cabeen, principle dancers with the Bill T. Jones Company , have been a blessing and joy to work with; I'm truly honored to have a chance to design for such wonderful, skilled people.

This photograph from a past project shows the sort of beauty I'm talking about.
I'm rarely excited about the notion of designing for women, but when Catherine approached me about this project, I immediately said yes. I've been steadily inspired by their spirit and encouraged by the intellectual and aesthetic rigor they've brought to the table.

In these final days of preparation, ideas are solidifying and parts are falling into place.

Come join us for the unveiling!


Eden Between the Lines: Chapter 1 is a dance/theater duet in which the performers struggle to understand their nontraditional relationship within the narrow context of societal expectation. By problematizing the fundamental roles we are assigned due to gender, race and class, Eden Between the Lines: Chapter 1 reveals the emotional damage and prejudice caused by our unconscious consumption of cultural representations. The original inspiration for this piece came from Martin Luther King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail in which he states, “One has not only a legal but moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Eden… explores this moral obligation in relation to both the political and religious laws that dictate American culture. These laws have created a “separate but equal” position in American culture for women, racial minorities, and gays and lesbians. Separate however, is not equal, and this fact is exposed in Eden… through excerpts of MLK’s writing and a speech made by Angela Davis in 1999. These activists provide language that is as applicable today as it was when it was originally uttered. They offer inspiration and license to transcend the pain of stepping out on our own, and courage to stand up for what we know is right; disobeying unjust laws until they are changed.
Eden… will be performed to a sonic tapestry of both live and recorded music and text. Stunning costumes by Michael Cepress will both celebrate and mock the relationship between power, gender and suits as they are deconstructed throughout the piece.
This provocative dance/theater duet, to be performed by Catherine Cabeen and Shaneeka Harrell, exposes the space between independent intuitions and socially conditioned paradigms. In doing so, Eden… affirms every individual’s right to read between the lines of the laws that govern her.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

a few years ago i took an amazing master class with the bill t. jones dancers. they really are incredible artists...lucky you!


5:50 AM  
Blogger ~ysa said...

I'm bummed! I'll be out of town. Sounds marvelous though; Congratulations!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Mindy Sue Meyers said...

Sounds divine!

12:16 PM  

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