On January 8th, 2010, I received a call informing me that I had breast cancer. Since that moment, the eyes I see with belong to someone I do not know, and my body is a foreign puzzle with missing pieces. Every day I am newly surprised by the decimation of what my life once was. Twenty-six months, three surgeries, 16 chemotherapy treatments, and 30 radiation sessions later, I want to make sense of this journey. In order to do this, I have created a dance: The Materiality of Impermanence. In March 2012, the production premiered at the Debra and Kevin Rollins Studio Theatre at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas, where it played to sold-out houses.
Using contemporary movement language, The Materiality of Impermanence is performed by eleven dancers in a series of solos, duets, trios, and group sections. Collaborators include scenic, video, costume, and lighting designers. Six breast cancer survivors from the local community participate in an onstage elegy to the many women who have perished from this devastating disease.
The following are some of the images from The Materiality of Impermanence:
The sound of shattering glass penetrates the darkness. Lights fade up on a female form jailed within a small space: reaching, reeling. A young girl sleeps next to a mother. Three women peer into mirrors, grieving for what is about to happen to their bodies and their spirits. A man’s voice dispassionately explains Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Brightly colored bras are strung together, forming a clothesline that entangles and connects a group of laughing dancers. A lone figure with a suitcase embarks upon a voyage to an unknown destination.
The production also includes a panel, Art and Healing, featuring breast cancer survivors who have used art to transform their experiences. For booking information, please contact email@example.com.
“…brilliantly conceived, and masterfully executed. I got the story as a survivor. I got it as a woman. I got it as a sister to a woman who did not survive. It was just generally beautiful. Thank you for using and sharing your gift.” Marcia
Funding was made possible through the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, the Redd Carpet Fund, the City of Austin, The Puffin Foundation, and contributions from many generous individuals. The Materiality of Impermanence is a sponsored project of VSA, The State Organization on Arts and Disability (www.vsatx.org).