MINISTRY OF ♀
“…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
‘Who I am is for me to define, no one else.’
We all experience stereotypes. 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? Is there any part of those stories we might come to love? How do we find the courage to be authentically ourselves? And how do we fully support others in doing the same?
When we are denied the opportunity to define our stories, to define our perspectives, that denial comes to define us. When we own our story, we have the power to create our very own brave ending.
MINISTRY of ♀, an evening-length multi-media 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.
Through the examination of media driven archetypes and clichés, MINISTRY of ♀ exposes the world of unattainable standards created by gender stereotypes. The choreography, influenced by hip-hop, contemporary, pole dance, jazz, and video dance, draws inspiration from iconic images generated by Hollywood and the fashion industry; poetry by Eve Ensler, Rupi Kaur and Nayyirah Waheed; text by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and personal stories from female-identifying community members. 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. Fashion designer Carlos Villamil, filmmaker Lindsay Lapointe, and visual artist Corinne Chase add dimensions of texture and imagery that directly inform the choreography and intensify the physical story-telling. The evening culminates in a ‘fashion show’ spectacular that incorporates members of the community, showcasing the beauty of diversity and the strength of all who identify as femme.
Featuring music by PJ Harvey, Ani DiFranco, Beyonce`, Fiona Apple, Rachel’s and DJ Fraction, MINISTRY of ♀ aims to shine a light on the damaging effects of stereotypes and feminine objectification, and offer 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.
Choreography & Direction: DeAnna Pellecchia
Dancers: Olivia Blaisdell, IJ Chan, DeAnna Pellecchia, Kristin Wagner, & Tracy Wu
Fashion Design: Carlos Villamil
Film & Projection: Lindsay Lapointe
Set Design: Corinne Chase
Community Outreach | MINISTRY of ♀ Residency
The MINISTRY of ♀ Residency features the company’s evening-length performance MINISTRY of ♀ in conjunction with workshops offered to the community which aim to give voice to women, fem and female identifying (womxn). The MINISTRY of ♀ Residency can be structured to suit the specific needs and goals of your students / community. Please contact us for more details.
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MINISTRY of ♀ Excerpts on Vimeo
Excerpts from this project include Blue Girl Gold, CROWN, #LikeAHammer, HYSTERA, Seagulls & Phoenixes, Post Up, Timber, 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 2019.