The Materiality of Impermanence

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. Eighteen months, four surgeries, 16 chemotherapy treatments, and 30 radiation sessions later, I needed to make sense of this journey. In order to do this, I created a dance: The Materiality of Impermanence.

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 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 Materiality of Impermanence premiered in March 2012 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.

Quote from an audience member:
“…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