The theme for LIVE ARTS FEST 2017 is “Think about it. Dance about it.” We figured there was no better way to open the festival on April 12th than with an evening of dance that will get you thinking about women! Local choreographers Erica Buechner and Lara Segura have teamed up to create SHE which aims to do just that. Erica shared some thoughts with us about their inspiration for the work:
The idea for SHE was partially inspired by Monica Bill Barnes! I was doing lighting at the White Box for her show the last time she was in town, and I was inspired by the way that she and Anna Bass worked together. There was so much comfort, joy, hard work, trust, risk, and friendship. I thought to myself, “Wow! I’d like to experience that in the creative process and on stage.” I knew I could find that relationship with Lara Segura. Having performed with her for so many years, being close friends, respecting her creative process, and feeling as though we can mind-meld, it was a natural fit. The idea for the piece itself came about because I am always so fascinated by the complex relationship between “woman” and “society”; “woman” and “representation”; “woman” and “work”; “woman” and “costume”; “woman” and “woman”. We decided it was important to use music that had been created by women, especially women that were pushing the envelope. Ethel Smyth was a member of the women’s suffrage movement. Evelyn Glennie is a world famous deaf percussionist. Ani DiFranco is a feminist icon. We also wanted to incorporate iconic, fictional women that inspire us, such as Rosie the Riveter and Thelma and Louise. It has been great fun defining this work; following a process of discovery as we have been creating it. I don’t think we fully understand it, but that is where I prefer to be as an artist. I don’t want to give answers, but provide questions.
At first, when Jean Isaacs asked me to be a part of LIVE ARTS FEST and specifically mentioned that she liked the evening-length format of my previous work, The Dying Swan: Revisited and Re-envisioned, I thought, “I’m not sure I have another evening-length idea in me!” But as Lara and I began working, we came up with so many ideas that were potential sections of the work. As music was found and ideas were explored, we quickly realized that we had plenty of material to work with. The process of creating this piece has been amazing. There is so much ease because we trust each other. There is so much laughter because we are willing to take risks and try ridiculous ideas. There is so much dedication because we believe in what we are doing.
LIVE ARTS FEST 2017 kicks off on April 12th. Get your tickets now!