a Story Told in Movement

Honored to debut this piece as part of the BEACON 2019 Dance Concert at St. Petersburg’s gorgeous Palladium Theater on April 5, 2019, “A Live Experience of Physical Connection.”

Devised by Sheila Cowley, Helen Hansen French and Alex Jones
Sculpture by Mark Aeling
Paintings by Ana Maria Vasquez
Sound Design by Matt Cowley
Lighting Design by Joseph Oshry
Photography by Tom Kramer

This collaborative project uses theatre, dance, visual art and sound to build a work that none of us could make alone. Inspired by paintings by Ana Maria Vasquez, of land and people ripped apart and healed, we started with a narrative I wrote – which was quickly scrapped and a new story began to find its way through the movement and ideas dancers Helen Hansen French and Alex Jones began discovering.

The ideas of sculptor Mark Aeling influenced the story, reminding us of views both seen and hidden. The evocative work of lighting designer Joe Oshry and sound designer Matt Cowley grew from the sculpture, the paintings, movement and the story.

This work has always been about walls between people. . . personal divisions, as well as physical. The irony’s not lost on us, how difficult building a wall turned out to be – especially one that had to roll and rotate, and somehow fit in Helen’s car.

We wrestled with race and motherhood and immigration. Many times, we hit a wall. But all those conversations had to happen for this work to become what it is tonight. It’s a beginning, in our hope that Doors will live on other stages – and on dirt, pavement and polished floors, with many different dancers.

We made this work in the hope that all kinds of walls can tumble, even if it’s just one wall between two people. It was always called Doors for a reason.