When I was fifteen, I was part of a project which brought together groups of teenagers from the US and the USSR together to live together for one month, make a play, and tour it. My group went to Latvia. We arrived on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, by train, and were greeted with flowers, singing, dancing and open hearts. This experience shaped my view of the possibilities and power of performance and international collaboration, as well as introducing me to friends I treasure to this day.
This year, with the help and support of my friend Signe Birkova, I will meet with and begin collaboration with a contemporary theater company in Riga – Ģertrudes ielās teātris*. www.git.lv
The project is inspired by a Latvian folk song/dance used to clear sacred space, to banish evil. This song was part of the performance we created together as teenagers, and it has been in my mind since then. In this song, it is dance that clears away evil and sanctifies the space. This is a ritual that exists all over the world, because all over the world, cultures throughout time have danced their nightmares away, and their dreams into existence.
*Latvian speakers – I apologize for the accents being missing accents. My email program doesn’t recognize Latvian…