The miracle of the naked expression of a dancing heart in flight is one of the most beautiful expressions we have in the arts. When you combine this with the choreography of the soul you get Critical Mass Dance Company’s AMA TERRA, a modern dance work sharing a story of a young Mother Earth protecting the Mexican forest home of the migrating Monarch Butterflies.
Critical Mass Dance Company (CMDC) describes its production of AMA TERRA at the Daviola Dance Theater as a work of backlight Dance Theater combining dance, aerial, circus/flow arts to relax the mind and spark the imagination. This fusion of elements is all at once striking, beautiful and ultimately a healing celebration of all a night of theater is meant to be.
AMA TERRA (danced by aerialist Sioux ZQ) soars in magical flight high amongst the trees of the Valle del Bravo Forest to open the show. The elegant, simple set direction by Cecilia Sanchez glows with quiet strength into the darkness of the theater immediately co-creating a relationship between Ama Terra and the audience deep within the heights of the forest trees catching a rare glimpse into Ama Terra’s magnificent orchestration of the ELEMENTS (Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, and the magical 5th element only Mother Earth possesses, the power to synergize all forces to nurture seeds to grow into trees.)
Butterflies (Danced by Joy Anderson and Johanna Iraheta) sweep into the forest, enjoying this sacred space of dance movement as Ama Terra ends her meditation. The Butterflies do what Butterflies do ultimately exiting the Forest stage to return next season.
The mood quickly shifts as Red banded Loggers march menacingly forward ceaselessly cutting down trees. In her attempt to stop them, Ama Terra gets injured resulting in a severe case of amnesia and loss of her powers. She has forgotten who she is and the gifts she possesses.
The ELEMENTS return with flowing white wings to revitalize and heal Ama Terra. As she watches, the Elements share their gifts through dance, offering them as presents in support of awakening and stirring the soul. This section of backlit work of dance performance is alive with possibility as the atmosphere of transformation roots.
The Elements delight in a natural grace of effortless motion danced by Joy Anderson, Johanna Iraheta, Gwendolyn Retzinger, Cailtlyn Ryan, Elena Sophia Kozak, enlivening Mother Earth inviting the necessary healing and remembering to revive the Forest for the return of the Butterflies.
CMDC's AMA TERRA rejoices in its expression of Imaginal possibility that resides in each moment achieving transcendence.
In a lovingly crafted closing number Ama Terra enters the chrysalis cocoon of nothingness into soupy imaginal cells releasing through complete transformation to butterfly with a legion of returning Butterflies and the Elements demonstrating nature's endless ability to begin again, no matter what, rising to the occasion uplifting the human spirit.
In this time where many of us are deeply asleep to the actions necessary to bring about peace in our hearts, it is a breath of fresh air to see a group of young women putting their hearts on the line, demonstrating each of our abilities to awaken to our rightful position as powerful stewards of our home, Mother Earth.
Ultimately, Ama Terra brings forward the inner light of the heart into the waking world of a dark theater with a spiraling butterfly effect, as more and more butterflies join in the expanding energy of light and love by this committed band of change agent dancing hearts.
Makeup Artist/CMDC Company Member Ginger Alleyene created unique patterned painted faces reminiscent of tribal female warrior markings that worked perfectly with the performance. Lighting/Sound/Technical efforts by Kenny Iraheta were equally inspired.
CMDC's choreographer/dancer/executive director Elena Sophia Kozak hit all the right notes in back-lighting the way ahead. In paying attention to what needs tending, those things heartbreakingly happening beyond ourselves, offering a different way, through the self of our limitations, reaching into that source of natural empowerment, healing, awakening into the activism of each moment taking a stand for what you believe in via the ARTS with complete willingness to join together in story telling that raises consciousness around healing Mother Earth, who needs our help, just as much as we need her.
Divine intelligence has a plan for each of us to share the gifts we have been given. When one of us does this all of us benefit. When a Critical Mass of people take action remembering their true nature, choosing to be part of a revolution of the heart, taking a stand for what matters, the world as we know it changes.
May we all find that space in our hearts igniting the eternal light of grace to dance into a tomorrow where peace and harmony abound.
Get your tickets for Saturday, June 25 at 6 PM at the Actors' Gang at the Ivy Substation Venice Blvd, Culver City, California 90232 here’s the link to the event page on Facebook
Mel Note: Critical Mass Dance Company is a Non-Profit organization I love and support. They have been operating in Los Angeles Pico Union district of mid city Los Angeles for the past five years creating wonder filled works of modern spirit filled dance performances and loving community action. Their mission is to foster community health, women’s empowerment, and social change in Central Los Angeles and beyond through dance and movement. CMDC works to make dance more accessible not only through its programs, but also through its blacklight dance theater shows.