by Rena Butler
Set by Kaili Story
Costumes by Jenni Ladd
Sound by Rena Butler
Photography by Todd Rosenberg
Produced by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at The Harris (Chicago, IL) in 2018
I start my process with wordbanking. Rena gave me words like "gridlock," “migration,” “desolate,” “borders,” “angles,” “destroying,” and “rebuild”. I tend to think more in terms of pictures and art, so after hearing these words I started looking for visual images to give us a shared language to help visualize the lighting. In Rena’s piece there is going to be this explosion or moment of change, and we decided that it wasn’t until then that we would bring color into the world. After that explosion, red begins to bleed into the space and changes the environment.
Rena gave me the following quote, by Rumi, as our way into the world and meaning behind the piece, “Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, For I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.”