Performing is a chance to feel the energy of the present moment in an amplified way. To luxuriate in and be open to the magic that happens when you step onto the sacred space of a stage and feel with full awareness the movements and the presence of the other beings next to you. Creating a performance piece opens up a different, nonverbal, kinetically expressive way of communicating an idea, a feeling, or a story. At the core of my performance art is a somatic, embodied approach to movement and an understanding of performance as a way to heal and participate in a ritual.
These images are from a solo performance at a Tamalpa Life/Art Process workshop at Earthdance in Plainfield, Massachusetts in the summer of 2016. Tamalpa Life/Art Process was created by the choreographer, dancer, author, and visionary Anna Halprin and her daughter Daria Halprin. I used movement, writing, and drawing for this performance. With a group, we performed an improvised score in nature!
These images are from the performance called “BioConnect” that I did with the visual artist Alexandra Deutsch. Alexandra created these amazing soft textile sculptures. They look like fantastic yet somehow realistic organisms, a different species. We explored via movement the question of how we as humans relate to life forms with whom we do not share a verbal language. Alexandra and I co-created the choreography and performed the piece at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in June 2019.
These images are from the performance titled “Limitations,” co-created with the visual artist Hura Mirshekari. We explored how limitations operate both as a creative constraint and as a hindrance. I created the choreography and Hura came up with ways to physically and artistically “limit” the dancers and our ability to move. Our dancers were artists from the United States, Turkey, Tunisia, Japan, Estonia, Iran, and Germany, among others. At the end of the performance, we each said in our mother tongues what limitations mean to us. We performed at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in May 2019.
This is a solo exploration I did by the river Seine with Alexandra Deutsch’s fantastical soft sculptures in June 2019. This piece was a movement ritual to honor transitions.
This video was a collaboration between a dancer, musician, and a writer from different parts of the world. In April 2020, I participated in an online festival where we were divided into groups and were asked to come up with a video within 24 hours from our respective homes where we were quarantined for the COVID-19 pandemic. “Electric Ocean” is a meditation on the element of water and its metaphorical qualities of turbulence and stillness. The piece is an artistic reflection on how we hold our personal pain, suffering, joy, and radiance within turbulence and stillness. It is a meditation from personal to global, a recognition of being in the same global boat but riding different storms, a yearning of the heart to find stillness below the turbulent waters.
Choreography, Dance: Hiie Saumaa
Poem, Voice: Maureen St Clair
Music, Video Production: Plouviez
In this video, I perform an embodied exploration of the artworks at the exhibition "Beyond the Frame: An Image in Action," co-organized by the residency program L'AiR Arts and the gallery Mémoire de l'Avenir in Paris in November 2020. "What happens when we respond to works of art by using the whole body? What kind of knowledge emerges?" I asked. The videography and editing is by the visual artist Chris Lee. This video was featured at the UNESCO World Philosophy Day in 2020.
Choreography, Dance: Hiie Saumaa
Video Production: Chris Lee