Thorsen’s“Higher Ground” takes a penetrating look at mental illness in contemporary society. This work is a butoh performance for 5 dancers. the dance explores the struggle to maintain control in the face of madness, and the humanness and vulnerability of a soul coming to grips with their own unraveling. The inspiration for the work comes from the documentary “The Library of Dust” based on photographer David Masiel’s photos of the Oregon State Mental Hospital. Masiel’s photos document the decay of the hospital and the 3500 copper canisters which hold the remains of residents of the mental hospital who were unwanted in life and in death. The dance honors the journey for wholeness, and explores the interior life of our most vulnerable, the people on our streets, the resilience of our human spirit, and the courage to go on in the face of adversity.