Chambers of the Heart – reflection and images

In early November 2016, Weigh Your Words was part of an interactive, multi-media production at the lovely Josephine Butler Mansion next to Meridian Hill (aka Malcolm X) Park in NW Washington, DC. Chambers of the Heart was a collaborative artistic effort of dancers (through the Word Dance Theater), musicians, and sound and light artists that took the audience through an exploration of the various kinds of love and relationships in performances staged throughout the mansion.

I created a word garden in the conservatory with about 400 words relating to love and relationships for the audience to explore as the performance progressed. The room also had lighting and some decoration to enhance the mood of the space. Some of the words on stones were distributed throughout the mansion as well, so tie in visually with the performances.

Participants were invited to play with the stones, using them as catalysts for love poems and notes (note cards provided) as they processed the performances elsewhere. Sometimes the performers wandered into the word garden and interacted with the stones in character. It was a moving experience, not only because the choreography and atmosphere were pretty intense, but also because the performances took place immediately following the Presidential election and many people arrived with strong emotions and welcomed the opportunity to express themselves, both personally and as members of the larger community.

Here are some images from the word garden in Chambers of the Heart.

 

And here are some photos of the performances and the larger space.

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