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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prima Spira

There is no denying it, at times we must face our shadow...and the shadows of the world. Viewing this darkness does not always have to be deigned evil, it can help us grow and learn so that we may become that much brighter and whole within ourselves. Acknowledging the range of different aspects of light and dark within our beings allows for an integration that breathes harmony and truth. This is Prima Spira, the first breath of this understanding. Prima Spira is a play that has been written and directed by my roommate, Rebecca Antsis, as an Independent Study.  The study is named Women's Nature, Ritual and Experimental Theater, and this production is an apt reflection of its title. I have always thought a lot of Rebecca, but through this play I have seen how Prescott College has supported her freedom to express what can only be described as pure genius. Sometimes dark, often achingly beautiful, Prima Spira is an exploration in theater courting mythical ritual. There is no dialogue, though there is impassioned use of the human voice in non-lingual patterns. Using powerful music to echo the energy of lore, the play sets a stage for a culmination of different dance styles interlacing to create an incredible tale. The dancing incorporates aspects of butoh, bellydance, classical, and flamenco as well as touch-flow improvisation. Having such a spectrum of styles allows for a space to really root in with rituals of ancient and modern flow, creating a transformation in all who are involved.

I have never taken a dance or theater class at Prescott College, but it has been an amazing experience getting to be involved with an artistic production of this caliber. It just goes to show you don't have to be majoring in the Arts to be involved artistically here. Through this play I have connected to a way of expression and a community that has inspired me to the core.

This brings me to my favorite part of the whole production: the coming together of strong women in the community in order to explore ritual and dance together. The play involves thirteen women (a sacred number in ancient ritual) who span from childhood to silver hair, reflecting the many archetypes of female beings. It has been inspiring seeing the growth of the actresses and director through the exploration of these archetypes. These archetypes include the Dark Mother, the shadow of life, Kali, who dances creation and destruction, Salome, the femme fatale, La Llorona, the woman driven to insanity, as well as archetypes that reflect the innocent child, the primordial female being and many many more. Through acknowledging these different archetypes that are in all of us, the women in the production have been able to share wisdom, experience and vibes to grow and create something that is intrinsically powerful.

As Rebecca has often said, you must sweat your prayers. Prescott College has given life and support to a work of art that does just that.

Dance, when you're broken open. 
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you're perfectly free.

-Brittany "Davi" Davis, 12.15.2011

Here is a pic of the flyer. Cheers!

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