On the shortest day of the year- the winter Solstice in a 5000-year-old prehistoric chamber in Ireland a soul is hanging on a from the ceiling on a thin silver cord, beneath buried in the ground is a beating heart. 13,000 years ago, in Mexico lay the bones of 16-year-old girl who died lost in a deep cave looking for water. The rising sun on the Winter Solstice enters to the back of the Irish chamber and the Mexican cave and the light in the darkness bringing the possibility of two spirits finding their way. These are images from a new Brittle Sisters dance. A dance that began in the new year from my work in a workshop by Marissa Niederhauser called Dance Spell.
A Celebration of Life
If I Die–Pablo Neruda
IfI die, survive me with such sheer force
that you awaken the furies of the pallid and the cold,
from south to south lift your indelible eyes,
from sun to sun dream through your singing mouth,
I don’t want your laughter or your steps to waver,
I don’t want y heritage of joy to die.
Don’t call upmy person. I am absent.
Live in my absence as if in a house.
Absence is a house so vast
that inside you will pass through it’s walls
and hang pictures on the air
Absence is a house so transparent
that I, lifeless, will see you, living,
and if you suffer, my love,I will die again.
…”the answer to every question was ultimately the same answer. It is the answer that each of us has to come to for ourselves, the answer that each one of us needs to discover through our own process of self-inquiry. That answer is simply, “I am.” What is surrender? “I am surrender.” Surrender isn’t something I do, surrender isn’t an act that I perform. Surrender is an expression of my own truest being. No matter what question, I found that by the very end of it, I got to the same place- not to answer in the mind, but to a living sense that it all ended in “I am.” Adyashanti
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.