I Am Not A Small Woman
Catapult Dance will present a full evening performance of three of their most recent works, I AM the Bully (2014), Resistance (2016), and premier a new piece, Skin. Additionally Catapult will be sharing the work of Amii LeGendre in the resetting of her piece "The Lottery". The performances will take place at the Erickson Theater in Capitol Hill, June 29 & 30, and July 6 & 7, 2018 at 8pm. The company of eight performers/collaborators consists of dancers Rebecca Barney, Rebecca Blackwell, Danica Bito, Kaitlyn Jane Dye, Kim Holloway, Emma Hreljanovic, Jana Kincl, and musician Nico Tower who plays live in the studio and on stage. They are joined for this performance by Gia Falzone, Philippa Myler, Naphtali Beyleveld and Maya Soto.
This program is an exploration of power; power of the individual, community, and humanity as a whole. It walks us through the effects of the both the abuse and justified use of power among communities, between people and internally within ourselves. While it holds a particularly political tone it is also very personal, creating an interesting juxtaposition. In a single evening, we take on the topics of bullying, gender, and the radical political actions of common people. Celebrating the indominitable strength of the human spirit is at the core of each of these pieces. As a company, Catapult is committed to using dance as a vehicle to stimulate conversation about pertinent issues of our day. Creating a community space to allow for this conversation, after each performance we will invite the audience to participate in a community café, asking questions and sharing their experiences, providing an immediate opportunity to unpack what they saw, heard and felt.
The evening begins with Guest Choreographer Amii LeGendres piece, The Lottery (2003). The Lottery was created at the beginning of the Iraq War. I remember hearing a report on NPR about an Iraqi woman who was my exact age at the time; she was describing the conditions of her life. It reminded me of the famous Shirley Jackson short story The Lottery, in which a community has a yearly fest and names are drawn in a lottery for a mysterious surprise. One community member's name is chosen; all are gathered to hear the name spoken. Only at the very end of the story is it revealed that the lottery is a population control mechanism and the winner of the lottery is chosen in order to be stoned to death by their community. It pre-dated The Hunger Games by about 50 years.
The next work I AM the Bully (2014), investigates the psychology behind bullying. Displaying simultaneous strength and vulnerability, the movement delves deep into the psychology of the bully, revealing their insecurity and need for self-preservation beneath the dancers aggressive, erratic behavior. The physically demanding, almost brutal choreography suddenly becomes extremely evocative within the context of bullying, triggering in the viewer an intense kinesthetic understanding of ancient, deeply imbedded human nature. Ending inconclusively, the piece implies no particular answers. Parent Coach Sara Cole advised the company on the psychology of bullies during the rehearsal process, sharing information about the creation of bullies sociologically and their shift away from this behavior, allowing for a dance that is physically powerful and visually stimulating, while making a relevant social comment on a pressing issue of our day.
We return from intermission moving full force into Resistance (2016). Based on The Umbrella Movement, a pro-democracy political movement that was born spontaneously during the Hong Kong protests of 2014 by high school students, Catapult moves beyond the constraints of this literal resistance movement, exploring our own experience and understanding of oppression. The resulting montage examines the ways humans interface with restrictions to their personal freedom. We examined and explored the potency of restricted freedom in intimate relationships as well as the pull of the group, challenging our own ability to make a true personal choice for fear of rejection. Relevant in todays political climate, Resistance moves between the freedom some people feel with solid, clear boundaries in their lives and the way this makes them feel more capable of feats otherwise unimaginable to them, in comparison to the restrictive, strangling feeling of imprisonment and helplessness others feel in similar circumstances.
The evening closes with the gentle, sensual piece Skin (2018), Catapult takes the audience down a notch, inviting them into the world of gender stereotypes and their effects on women in our culture today. A longing for a deeper understanding and conversation around traditional, gender-based expectations of behavior brought about this piece. We began with months of role-play, examining the farthest ends of the gender spectrum: hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity. Looking for new vocabulary from which to draw movement material, we invited Tango instructor Juliet McMains to teach basic tango movements and discuss the lead/follow roles. We examined Facebook photos and selfies of both men and women, and listened and discussed many TED talks on gender. The result is a playful, sensual examination of the impact of gender-based perceptions and restrictions on women in todays evolving society.
Michele Miller/Catapult Dance is powered by ShunPike. This project has been supported by the Office of Arts and Culture through a smART Ventures grant. Photos and video by Joseph Lambert of Jazzy Photo. Design work by Kristine Johnson and Dave Ehlert of Cognition Studios.
Erickson Theater (View)
1524 Harvard Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|