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A Little East of Jordan (The Geography of Healing) on Spark & Echo

A Little East of Jordan (The Geography of Healing)

By Patrice Miller 2 Kings 2:22–25
About

Director and choreographer Patrice Miller developed this theater/dance piece over the past year in response to 2 Kings 2:21-25 and the theme of "healing". 

The development of this piece has been a fascinating; it's a journey that Patrice beautifully documents on this blog.

Read the script:
A Little East of Jordan (The Geography of Healing)

Details
Year
2014
Genre
Theatre, dance, spoken word
Artist Curated by
Lauren Ferebee
Artist Location
New York City

Scripture

2 Kings 2:22–25

22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Eli´sha which he spake.

23 And he went up from thence unto Beth–el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

Artist
Patrice Miller

Patrice Miller

From the Artist

Commissioned by Spark and Echo Arts, A Little East of Jordan (The Geography of Healing) is inspired by the first works of wonder-worker Elisha, and uses theater, dance, crowd-sourced text, and anthropology to explore the dialogue between our bodies, minds, and space as we consciously undergo change.
 
2 Kings 2:21-25: “And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters, there shall not be from thence any more death or barren (land)” So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
 
And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
 
And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

 
A Little East of Jordan is the first line of an Emily Dickinson poem.
 
 
Director’s Note (from the workshop performance):
 
When Lauren Ferebee approached me about this project, I took the opportunity to challenge myself as a performance maker. Instead of writing alone or seeking a playwright, I opened up the text-creation to a number of people, resulting in a rich diversity of stories  and responses. Instead of rehearsing for five days a week for three or four weeks at a time, we performed pieces of this throughout out the year. Instead of giving you a program to rustle through pre-show, I gave you an intention, some salt, and water.
 
I also documented my process in a more precise manner than usual. What I noticed is that it is very hard to create material that feels personal when there are large political happenings constantly streaming across your computer screen, your phone, your eyes in Times Square. And I remembered that the political is personal. That nothing happens in a vacuum. With this in mind, Laura, Stephanie, Morgan and I wove together various pieces to create an honest account of attempting to create when you feel situated in the midst of chaos, of attempting to heal yourself when the world insists on never easing up on you.
 
Read more about Patrice’s process in her blog.

Biography
Patrice Miller is a director and choreographer whose work has been called “hilarious, provocative” by the Village Voice. Her work has been presented at La Mama, 3-Legged Dog, The Brooklyn Museum, Prelude at the CUNY Graduate Center, Theater Row, The Brick, FRINGENYC and many of the other festivals in NYC, as well as at non-theater spaces including NYC FashionWeek, the 68th Street subway stop, city parks, and art galleries. She was the performance director for 571 Projects, a Chelsea art gallery, where she collaborated with visual artists, including Julie Trembly, to create art-specific performance pieces. She is a member of Untitled Theater Company #61, where she frequently works with Edward Einhorn and Henry Akona. Patrice is also one half of Tux and Tom Productions, where she collaborates with Chris Chappell. She is also known to have spent some creative time with the Institute of Psychogeographic Adventure, Piper McKenzie, and Justin Maxwell. Some of her favorite directing and choreography credits include In Pieces (a dance adaptation of illustrator Marion Fayolle’s work), The Pig, or Vaclav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig, Elephant Foot Umbrella Stand (for IPA’s Experiment #23b), Dead Cat Bounce/Money Lab, ELE↓↑TOR, Maggie Cino’s Decompression, and Bunny Lake is Missing. Read More

Patrice Miller is a director and choreographer whose work has been called “hilarious, provocative” by the Village Voice. Her work has been presented at La Mama, 3-Legged Dog, The Brooklyn Museum, Prelude at the CUNY Graduate Center, Theater Row, The Brick, FRINGENYC and many of the other festivals in NYC, as well as at non-theater spaces including NYC FashionWeek, the 68th Street subway stop, city parks, and art galleries. She was the performance director for 571 Projects, a Chelsea art gallery, where she collaborated with visual artists, including Julie Trembly, to create art-specific performance pieces. She is a member of Untitled Theater Company #61, where she frequently works with Edward Einhorn and Henry Akona. Patrice is also one half of Tux and Tom Productions, where she collaborates with Chris Chappell. She is also known to have spent some creative time with the Institute of Psychogeographic Adventure, Piper McKenzie, and Justin Maxwell. Some of her favorite directing and choreography credits include In Pieces (a dance adaptation of illustrator Marion Fayolle’s work), The Pig, or Vaclav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig, Elephant Foot Umbrella Stand (for IPA’s Experiment #23b), Dead Cat Bounce/Money Lab, ELE↓↑TOR, Maggie Cino’s Decompression, and Bunny Lake is Missing.

As a performer, Patrice has appeared with Urban Bush Women in their Place Matters: A Look at Displacement, Martha Bower’s Dance Theatre Etcetera in Angels & Accordions, as well as in her own work throughout the past decade. She has appeared in a number of Gemini Collisionworks productions including the American/English premiere of Richard Foreman’s George Bataille’s Bathrobe.

Patrice is developing a process that uses theoretical intersections between performance and social science theories, in the hopes of creating work that has aesthetic and social impacts. Her interests include the representation of gender, class, race, religion, and other identity constructions in theater and dance, feminism in performance across cultures, and political performance. And humor. She’s very serious about humor.

Artist Statement:When Lauren Ferebee approached me about this project, I took the opportunity to challenge myself as a performance maker. Instead of writing alone or seeking a playwright, I opened up the text-creation to a number of people, resulting in a rich diversity of stories  and responses. Instead of rehearsing for five days a week for three or four weeks at a time, we performed pieces of this throughout out the year. Instead of giving you a program to rustle through pre-show, I gave you an intention, some salt, and water.I also documented my process in a more precise manner than usual. What I noticed is that it is very hard to create material that feels personal when there are large political happenings constantly streaming across your computer screen, your phone, your eyes in Times Square. And I remembered that the political is personal. That nothing happens in a vacuum. With this in mind, Laura, Stephanie, Morgan and I wove together various pieces to create an honest account of attempting to create when you feel situated in the midst of chaos, of attempting to heal yourself when the world insists on never easing up on you.

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