Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Aug 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Inner Demons

ae deamonsLocal artists explore emotions—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in new dance theater showcase

This isn't the first time that Per Haaland and Carol Fields have collaborated on performance art, but it might be their best effort yet.

Haaland—a local dance theater stalwart—has produced a provocative piece, entitled “But I Will Stay,” which focuses on the idea of attaining enlightenment and accepting emotion. Whereas Fields has created a multimedia performance, called “Exit Through a Revolving Door,” which presents the joys and perils of working as both an artist and in the tech industry. This weekend, the pair will present their united artistic visions in two showings at The 418 Project in Downtown Santa Cruz.

“But I Will Stay” is the story of an enlightenment-seeking meditator who confronts his unruly feelings, which are physically represented by fellow actors on-stage. The resulting mayhem promises to be both humorous and thought-provoking.

“One of the important things for me in this piece is the idea [that] you have to accept your emotions,” says Haaland. “It will be very entertaining.”

For 20 years, Haaland has made a living as a practitioner of Rolfing, a holistic form of therapy that focuses on the manipulation and movement of soft tissue in the human body. He believes that there is a synergy between his day job and his artistic path.

“Rolfing came out of the [human] potential movement, which is the idea beyond just working with the body like in physical therapy,” explains Haaland. “Rolfing has that inherent vision of wanting people to reach their potential, and that physical well-being has a positive effect on your psychological state and your spiritual development.”

His show highlights emotions ranging from fear to joy. Haaland prefers to call them “affects”—a psychological term used for feelings experienced in response to stimulation. The affects and their accompanying facial features, gestures and behaviors are the basis for the performance.

“A lot of the work I do in dance and theater, I think is informed by my background,” says Haaland. “I’ve had these two parallel careers—one in the performing arts and one in the healing arts.”

The second half of this weekend’s showcase will feature Fields’ “Exit Through a Revolving Door.” Like Haaland, her day job offers grist for the artistic mill. A longtime worker in the tech industry who is currently unemployed, she took advantage of her free time to produce the show. Though a work of fiction, she says that there’s very little in the show that’s not real.

Her protagonist is Haven Wu, an unemployed Silicon Valley executive, who decides to take a long-yearned-for plunge into the arts. Haven sets the tone for the show by describing her Silicon Valley job: “It was one of those bad relationships you get through. I was an out-of-the-box artist surrounded by between-the-lines engineers.”

The piece began as a short story, but after a friend commented that “the story dances,” Fields turned it into a full-fledged performance encompassing aerial dance, theater, and photography, with animated portrayals of lucid dreaming—all set to the ongoing narration of the original short story.

“I’m a choreographer,” explains Fields. “And what does a choreographer do? They take a snapshot of an emotion.”

The visual components capture those emotions while the narration tells a back-story of power, sex, and money that exists not just in the corporate world, but in the arts as well.

When Haven takes a job with an avant-garde dance troupe in San Francisco, she encounters a choreographer who Fields portrays as an octopus, due to his strange way of greeting people.

“This guy, when he meets people—say a dancer that’s on the ground warming up—and he lays on top of them and presses every part of his body against theirs, like an octopus,” says Fields. When asked if the metaphor also applies to the corporate world, Fields breaks into laughter while nodding her head vigorously.

In addition to their run at The 418 Project, the animated portion of Fields’ production and “But I Will Stay” will both be featured in this summer’s first-annual Santa Cruz Fringe Festival.

Following Saturday’s performance, Haaland will fly to Los Angeles to attend the Awareness Film Festival for a screening of his new short film, “A Conversation with Ubud Adha,” a humorous mockumentary about a spiritual guru. Fields believes the role is perfect for Haaland.

“Per is an amazing person and artist,” says Fields. “Many are drawn to him and his art because of his kind, insightful and guru-like personality.”

 


“But I Will Stay” and “Exit Through a Revolving Door” will be performed at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, at The 418 Project, 418 Front St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15/general, $10/students, seniors, children, and the unemployed. Photo Credit: Sal Ingram

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

Entering Virgo

Sun entering Virgo brings a sign and element change, from Leo’s fire to Virgo’s practical earth. Food, health, grains, service and small animals are in the news and on our minds. It’s one month till autumn. Pumpkins and persimmons are ripening. Venus is in Leo. We radiate warmth; we’re generous, playful and affectionate. Everyone shows off in an ardent, passionate, warm-hearted, romantic and over-dramatic way, reflecting Leo’s fiery nature. Think of life as Shakespeare wrote: life is a play, we are its actors on the same stage together.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 22

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Locavores Only

Farm dinners at Route 1 Farms and the Homeless Garden Project expand the revolution

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Clowning Around With Armitage Chardonnay

Four of us headed to Brandon Armitage’s new tasting room in Aptos Village recently to try his well-made wines.