It is She Who I See is an immersive multimedia performance that celebrates the original woman who is in all of us, and launches a long term exploration of gender imbalance that permeates societies all over the world.
The balance of female and male energy in the universe determines the evolutionary path that we traverse, and it doesn’t take a great deal of observation to note that today’s state of imbalance requires attention. As I consider this condition I find that I have more questions than answers, and more concern than relief. When I talk about this with others, though, I am buoyed to know that many people are also wondering, acting on it in many ways, and seeking a community with whom they might collaborate to make change in the world.
It is She Who I See emanates from two sources: a digital illustration created by artist Candy Kuehn that provides the show title, and a poem by renowned poet Rita Dove – “The Hill has Something to Say”. Candy says that this picture is how she perceives the original woman whose DNA carries forward into all of us through time. The poem expresses the depth and meaning of all that has unfolded through time on the hill, and reinforces the thread that holds all time together in us. This is the foundation upon which we build.
I am honored to work with a tremendous group of creative, probing and passionate people from many backgrounds and orientations, serving many different roles in the process. The project officially launched during a 3-day workshop, video and audio recording session, and special event on September 16-18, 2013. We developed the show, we worked on the technological aspects of the production, and we recorded material to incorporate into the show in November. At the special event we asked the audience to don wearable art works by local artists and designers, and invited them onto the stage to experience the immersive environment. The project “midwife/dramaturg” led the group in an exploration of beauty, and how beauty manifests itself in gesture. Their presence in the environment was built into the November show, representing people who have been “on the hill” before, or who will be there in the future. The music for this scene is a composition called “Beauty Is,” a composition for voice and electronics originally written for the Sleeping Beauty Ballet, a dance-theater performance developed with and produced by Minneapolis-based Ballet of the Dolls, Myron Johnson, Artistic Director and Choreographer.
The show brought together a remarkable cohort of artists, musicians and theater professionals to perform a variety of compositions and narrative soundscapes written by Harris. These award-winning performers include soprano Norah Long, vocalist Viv Corringham, theater artist Paul Herwig, cellist Randall Davidson, the New Music ensemble Zeitgeist, English Horn performer Merilee Klemp, electronic music artist Steve Goldstein, projection designer Jim Peitzman, digital illustration artist and costume designer Candy Kuehn, and lighting designer Mike Grogan, with creative audio mixing and sound processing by Tim Donahue and project midwife Kym Longhi.
We are working to keep the exploration moving forward, to keep the conversation going, and to identify potent opportunities for us all to have an impact – to help create the world that we want, rather than passively accept what is here now.