Sunday, July 19, 2009

Upcoming August Shows

Josephine's  Echopraxia has 2 shows this month.  One in Tacoma and one in Seattle.  This summer I have been developing a new work that I am calling 'stifle:  Every Breath Is Victory' with dancer Allie Hankins (all-is-on) and guitarist Spencer Moody (Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death and Murder City Devils as well as owner of the Anne Bonny-
I am super excited to work with these two tremendously talented artists and all around wonderful people.  
'stifle:  Every Breath Is Victory' came about when synchronistic experiences in my life all revolved around the same topics of powerlessness, suffocation and the persistence of hope and the daily triumph of mere survival.  First was the tanking of the national and global economy, watching everyone around me kiss their dreams goodbye and struggle to feel like they were even keeping their heads above water.  I was heartbroken and baffled hearing one of my closest friends express feelings of meaningless in her life compared to the sort of life I was building when she lost all of her savings.  All the while I had been feeling like I was drowning, the impossibility of trying to rise above as an artist with the whole deck stacked against you.  I was working as an elementary school janitor trying to pay off filmmaking debts and frustrated at watching my talents slip down child-size toilets.  In addition I was also volunteering at Feral Cat Spay and Neuter Project ( an incredible organization that not only 'fixes' entire feral cat colonies but provides them with stabilizing medical care and also provides low-cost spay/neuters to low-income pet guardians. While working there one day a small kitten died, suffocated on vomit.  I watched 4 veterinary professionals trying to save the kitty, working even several minutes after it had passed on.  It was a horrifying shock to watch what should be a preventable death be completely unpreventable despite the dedication of knowledgeable and qualified persons .  To observe the wheels of fate unhaltingly grind forward and then inspiring to watch the mourning staff and volunteers soldier on providing  care and compassion to the dozens of other cats still waiting for treatment.  A week later during a performance where I was eating a viscous substance on stage I aspirated some of it and was unable to breath or to cough it up.  Standing on stage in front of an entire audience all eyes on me I was more alone than I ever had been in my life.  Looking out I saw a mix of reactions, some fear and concern, but also mirth, distrust and annoyance. Post-modern art has yanked their hearts around so much no one can trust their eyes anymore.   I placed my hands in the 'international symbol for choking' but it was my own body that eventually came heroically to my rescue.  My diaphragm leapt into my throat, sending a thick, metallic taste into my mouth and my lungs filled with painful, burning air and then I finished the dance. Covered in a  cold sweat a sticky drool on my chin.  With complete apathy towards the quality of my performance or the cough that shook the rest of my time on stage- in complete rapture at my own survival and the fact that I could be DANCING, following my dream.  
I hope to be able to develop this work more fully in the next year, but I have been granted two wonderful opportunities to show you what I have come up with since June.

I am very pleased to be performing at the gorgeous Urban Grace church in Tacoma at 902 Market Street ( as part of MLK Move #12. MLK Move is a benefit for MLK Ballet, a tuition-free dance school (   The show is on Friday, August 14 at 7:30 with tickets for $14.