A Story about Transformation

One year I spent 52 hours hugging Sara

We stood with our arms around one another on street corners

at parks

by the lake

We strained and shifted, eventually

discovered breath and how to stand up straight


We stuck out, went unnoticed

We relocated

We were called artists and lesbians

We accumulated



skeptical glances

We embraced strangers and they embraced us

We arrived



Our bodies evolved to fit together with ease

Hugging simple as breathing passed hours into seconds

And before we new it a year had passed

Before us

There was an opening



charlie’s haikus

sacred ritual
do we really believe it?
yes to illusion

one thousand people
all moving as one person
there is a healing

ten thousand mysteries dance
the biggest question

pushing my body
it becomes more of myself
energy is real

Reflection 12/13/12 and performance draft

Yesterday Sara and I discussed the idea that each of us plays different characters. Our masks bring four different characters to life. Each character has its own qualities and elements it brings to our healing ritual. Here’s what I envision:

Octopus/Owl……Wisdom, Guidance
Lightning…….Kinetic Energy, Alchemy
Cat/Cactus…….Stability, Strength
Bird/Dog…….Playfulness, Curiosity, Mobility

I am thinking of a draft of the second half of the performance. Right now it look something like this:

– Nationlistic dance. People start to peel off to change. S remains doing nationlistic dance the longest. She doesn’t change in the space. When she is done she exits the side door
– A and B do modified pedestrian dance – fav pedestrian dance movements + some Yvonne Rainer moves? Sara enter from the back, changed. She puts on mask and paces on back bench (perch), close to audience members. Meanwhile C sets up sound? Ped dance ends with very long shmoosh. C joins for shmoosh. Shmoosh begins to migrate further downstage.
– S leaves her perch, begins to approach the three onstage. She circles around shmoosh, which is becoming faster and more aggressive (or opposite? Shmoosh starts violent and becomes more gentle?). She circles around, transforming mob and also opening space.
– S sounds single note, all freeze. ***Is this where she takes off her mask? All sound different notes in harmony/disharmony
– A and S peel off and begin to put dirt out downstage. C and B peel off and put on masks.
– C goes to his perch
– B does solo lightening dance, bringing alchemy and energy into space. During this time A and S continue to arrange
– B goes to his perch
– C comes forward as bird/dog. Playfully he does the dance of chicken feet, leaving tracks in the dirt ***do C and B’s dances overlap slightly? In middle of C’s dance A goes to back, puts on mask. She approaches dirt, slowly moving from upstage to downstage, bringing strength
– Ocarina sounds
– All take off masks. Place mask just upstage of dirt on ground?
– All begin Wigman dance. 1st round counts of 8, then get faster and faster. Then some movmts from earlier in the piece come in (Falling to the floor, computer typing, muscles, salute, etc)? During this time singing various harmonic/disharmonic tones. Tones trigger motion sensors. Sounds build as poses/movements get faster and faster CLIMAX!
– Bryan breaks free from Wigman poses/configuration. Others freeze in Wigman poses. B begins his healing dance. Halfway through B’s dance, S and A unfreeze and begin to walk downstage slowly. At this point, C unfreezes. He statically hold several poses from earlier in the piece such as one wigman mvmt, salute, face down on ground. He holds each pose for several seconds.
– A and S lay down on their sides in the dirt, heads facing one another. They slowly begin a healing dance. First couple of mvmts are in unison and then they break off, each doing individual healing movements. During this time C and B get the water. They begin to flick the water on the dirt and the women while they are doing healing dances.
– C begins to hum. All join in humming and come to stillness. Women get up from dirt.
– Everyone puts boots back on. Continue humming whole putting boots on. One by one they grab their individual masks and line up parallel to audience and centerstage. All sounds stop. All stand shoulder to shoulder, holding masks and simply witnessing audience. Then slowly walk out through dirt, up aisle, and exit space.

**In this version, the climax, the Wigman section is the height of trauma
**I really want more integration and connection btwn the first and second halves of piece. What if the beginning had more expressive (healing or traumatic) movements interspersed? What if some people ‘fall off’ during the nationlistic dance and have to be brought back. Fall on face and then stay there? Take a break and smoke a cigarette, leaning against the wall?
**I think it would be awesome if Sara played more of the drill sargent role in first half. Then, she becomes the conductor of sorts, or initiator of the healing ritual in the second half. I like this connection!
**Putting shoes back on at end = acceptance of some part of group identity
**I thought there would be some more storytelling in the second half, but I am not sure where this fits in yet. Each person speaks a short bit of text about belief?

Possibilities for spoken stories:
sara and biodynamics
Aurora believes too!
Shamanistic complex example!
Story of a healing
Example of how group empowers
Illustration how group identity oppresses


Aurora’s Haikus

other dimensions
teeter totter of belief
collective body

resistance culture
embrace Mennonite beliefs
simple living, peace

atomic energy church
a light-charged symbol abounds
chant and meditate

water swirling song
reflects our community
mental looping escape

culture of belief
god in spaces in between
action, creation

Occupy Chicago

from Occupy Chicago’s mission statement:

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.
This list of grievances is non-inclusive.

To the people of the world,
We, Occupy Chicago, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
We pledge to do the same.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!