MINISTRY OF ♀ (work-in-progress)
“…the evening was powerful…the performance couldn’t be more timely…I especially liked the tableaux section, ironically since I am such a fan of high intensity movement. I think that section, because you took your time with it, seemed more like a meditation – one that slowly turned my stomach.”
– Cathy Nicoli, Assistant Professor, Roger Williams University Dance Department
MINISTRY of ♀, an evening-length dance theater performance, explores vignettes of the feminine experience in today’s world. These stories, passed down to us in lore and song, plastered on billboards and in magazines, consumed in movies and television, bind femininity to specific roles. They describe exactly how to look and how to act. They prescribe, how to exist in our own bodies and minds.
‘Who I am is for me to define, no one else.’
When we are denied the opportunity to define our stories, to define our perspectives, that denial comes to defines us. When we own our story, we have the power to create our very own brave ending.
The choreography, in collaboration with fashion designer Carlos Villamil, lighting designer Lynda Reiman and set designer Corrine Chase, draws inspiration from iconic images generated by Hollywood and the fashion industry; poetry by Eve Ensler, Rupi Kaur and Nayyirah Waheed; speeches by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and personal stories told by both the dancers and the community. The dancers, costumed in vintage ‘undergarments,’ perform in and out of 7-inch platform stilettos and smile-masks vacillating, sometimes violently, between myth and truth.
MINISTRY of ♀ shines a light on the damaging effects of feminine objectification, and provides a fuller understanding of the complexities of the feminine identity. It also strives to provide a platform for a further conversation about the stereotypes we all experience. Each and every one of us is in conflict with a story that has been told for and about us. How do we defy those stories? How might we come to love them? How do we find the courage to be authentically ourselves? And how do we fully support others in doing the same?
Excerpts from this project include Blue Girl Gold, CROWN, #LikeAHammer, HYSTERA, Seagulls & Phoenixes, Post Up, Resting Wish Face, Rearview Glass, and Bring You, Take Me; and have been performed at Roger Williams University, Boston University, Dance Complex, Green Street Studios, Boston Center for the Arts, Jose Mateo’s Dance for World Community Day, Design Museum Foundation’s Work Innovation Summit, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. MINISTRY of ♀ will premiere in its entirety in Boston in 2019.