Bloom in FIRE

October 2023 at the Headwaters Theater, Portland
research and choreography by Min Yoon // movement with Frances Nay, Imani Garnett, Jen Shin, Layna Lewis, Miro Oh, Piper Josephine // music with Firebrand by WICKING GROUND //
with mentorship from Rosario Sammartino and Daria Halprin of the Tamalpa Institute

Are we watching the same dream, one of trembling sculptures that remember and re-member? In converging inner landscapes of fires, the bodies harden and they crackle. The impulses pattern and re-pattern victimization and perpetration. They search for new directions while being dragged down and dragging down. They become a container, parts of a trap, a door, and a labyrinth in the social architectures.

In a call for bodies to research violence internally and relationally, Min Yoon collaborated with movers for four days at the Headwaters Theater in Portland. They shared images from the research in a butoh ritual performance and dialogue with the audience on violence in expressing, watching, and relating in space together, and the current and perpetual devastation, colonization, and atrocities coming through the group body. 

For bodies that remember violence and dance to integrate the forces that have erupted, damaged, hurt
For the perpetrators, victims, and plurality, polarity, and community within us
For bodies navigating the dance of life with inner | outer violence, relational violence, personal, and political violence

~~~ from the movers~~~

“So as I danced this violence I followed the straight lines of decisiveness and conviction. My strong elbow joints wield protection and throw shade if threatened. The pain body as described by Eckhart Tolle rears upon its hind legs in fiery reactivity. Knees point toward goals and never consider the ruinous practice of how they achieve them- let alone try to change their approach. All bony-hard projection and trajectories, all lazer-focused path-burning assertion. All qualities of ferocious focus and blind determination, strong yet unwilling to compromise or hold opposing truths as valid, let alone empathize with such truthsayers.”

“The thing that surprised me about the perpetrator was how akin it felt to the victim. With each, I felt the emotions of helplessness, loneliness, sadness, and immense pain. Each of the archetypes wielded a weapon, something sharp. This sharpness is what I've been thinking/writing about in my work so it was interesting to see it come through in dance. In changing each of these, I found relief, lightness, vulnerability. When I was in the perpetrator role, I heard the phrase, ‘I am so tired,’ which is a mantra that has run through my head many times before. Tired of keeping the anger lit, tired of protecting myself so fiercely that I hurt others. I felt the fatigue, both in my mind and body.”

“I zoned in on the sense of violation, being violated in body and mind, from physical and mental and even emotionally manipulative abuse. There is nothing advantageous there. Even camaraderie is a struggle when the first obstacle of the victim is to reveal oneself as victim.”

“I wanted to explore this line of violence that runs in my blood. I see violence in the anger that I experience and have enacted upon loved ones.”

“I dedicate this dance of violence to relationships and taking responsibility for my part in the aid of their evolution, all in good time.”