FLOODING IS WHAT THEY CALL IT
FIDGET Space, Philadelphia
"You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. 'Floods' is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Writers are like that: remembering where we were, that valley we ran through, what the banks were like, the light that was there and the route back to our original place. It is emotional memory--what the nerves and the skin remember as well as how it appeared. And a rush of imagination is our 'flooding.'" -Toni Morrison
flooding is what they call it is an experimental dance work that investigates flooding as memory. As political climates perpetuate further constriction and control, this ensemble seeks out that which cannot be contained - rushes of memory, outpourings of sensory joy, cascades of collective action, swells of remembered songs. They become thin-skinned and porous. Space is reconfigured into a floodplain as dancers quake, ripple, and sway in the undertow of a sonically immersive ecology of static, signals, and songs. The piece asks, “If flooding is a river’s form of remembering, what can we remember, collectively, through our flooding bodies?”
Directed by Tyler Rai and made in collaboration with the performers: Maghan Baptiste, Sophia Dunn-Fox, José Alejandro Rivera, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and marion spencer.
This piece premiered at Fidget Space in Philadelphia as part of Cannonball Festival and Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September 2023. The development of this work was made possible by grants from the Northampton Arts Council, South Hadley Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the generous support of many individuals.