The Mission of HerPic Performances is:
To create and present thought-provoking choreographic works that reflect on the human condition, dig deeply into the dilemmas of our social, psychological, physical and spiritual lives, and unveil unexpected connections.
To engage with, educate, and learn from new audiences for dance/theatre performance.
To collaborate with artists in all fields, so as to break down borders between disciplines and create multi-media/multi-sensory experiences for audiences and performers alike.
Creating dance is my way of making sense of the world and the people who inhabit it. As a consequence, I choose my subject matter based on what intrigues, puzzles, or confuses me. Conceptually, I usually begin with distinctively dramatic content: mother-daughter tensions, mental health and social taboos, ordinary obsessiveness, experiences of cancer survivors, and physical and psychological walls, as in the Middle East. In lofty terms, my vision is to create transformative performances that explore real-world themes arising from our private and public lives. But I'm selfishly trying to find that elusive 'truth' with a capital T, and hoping that along the way I succeed in challenging both the performers and the audience to grapple in fresh ways with our individual and communal ghosts.
I prepare for the creative process through research into both primary and secondary sources; the final productions integrate diverse visual and aural materials. In an evening-length work about women's mental health (A Temporary Nervous Depression), I incorporated images and text from "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman (published 1890); a medical abstract from the 1950's about differences in treatment of men vs. women with mental health disorders; photos and text from "Let's Take Back Our Space" by Marianne Wex (1970's); and drawings from a 1920's surrealist magazine depicting stages of a so-called 'hysteria attack.' The score included voices from a focus group of four women of diverse ages and ethnicity talking about their own and family members' experiences with mental health/illness. In one section, I asked dancers to mimic the bizarre postures shown in the drawings, but also to improvise and to vocalize text from the focus group discussion.
My choreography melds dance, theatre, and performance art, with additional collaborations involving sculptors, mask-makers, video artists, musicians and composers. Some works use voice motivated by physicality, based on a technique developed by theatre directors in London and France. I personally spend considerable time at art exhibitions; by observing how visual artists work with images in their media (oils, acrylic, textiles, bronze, whatever), I find choreographic inspiration for movement ideas, for staging, and for unexpected connections.
HerPic Performances is fiscally sponsored by Dancers' Group
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©2006 HerPic Performances.
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