FIRE Gods in the Gardens at Vizcaya
For Tigertail Productions, April is the month of fire. Like their WATER Festival in 2016, this month’s FIRE Festival celebrates a single element in multiple art forms, including dance, visual art, music and film.
A centerpiece of the festival is a site-specific performance event at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, coming up this Wednesday night. Set in the moonlight, “FIRE Gods in the Garden” places four dance solos within Vizcaya’s outdoor landscape.
Each choreographer will explore a god or goddess who embodies an aspect of fire:
Carla Forte, known for dark expressions in both film and dance performance, depicts Huracán, the Mayan god of wind, storms, and fire. He is considered both a creator and a destroyer. Her short experimental dance film will be projected on the surface of the swimming pool at the north end of the house. “I feel like each person has their own hurricane inside,” she says of the theme for the film. ”It’s about how the self creates everything and at the same time destroys everything. And how nature does that too.”
Pioneer Winter’s performance moves by boat at Vizcaya’s waterfront. He’ll be representing the story of Greek fire god Hephaestus, using a journey across the water as a metaphor for transformation. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the god of metalwork, fire and volcanos. In some versions of the story, his mother cast him down to Earth because his body was deformed. Winter uses Hephaestus’s story as a metaphor for power lost and triumphantly regained. The character is a good fit for Winter. His recent Gimp Gait, a duet with disabled dancer Marjorie Burnett, is all about power and expression through different types of bodies.
Hattie Mae Williams performs on a staircase at the West Garden Mound, part of the formal gardens. Her goddess Sekhmet, is the Egyptian deity of fire and war. In general, Williams produces interdisciplinary, site-specific performance that activates spaces. Here, she explores Sekhmet’s character. “I’m doing an invocation to her,” says Williams. “She’s very fierce, she defends justice. But then again she has a softer side, which is very alluring and feminine. Right now I’m trying to find the balance.”
Marisa Alma Nick, choreographer and director of Alma Dance Theater, performs on a staircase at the opposite end of the house, in the East Garden Mound. She performs as Hawaiian fire goddess Pele. In Hawaiian mythology, Pele is seen in the violent eruptions of volcanoes. She is passionate and volatile, and her folktales often involve love won and lost. As a choreographer, Nick often provokes questions around feminine sensuality, a key aspect in the mythology of Pele.
Doors will open at 6pm so visitors can enjoy the changing light of sunset in the gardens before the performances start. And as night settles in, visitors will be led through Vizcaya’s paths to all four pieces. The evening’s guides will light the way with headlamps designed by visual artist Yura Adams.
All solos will be staged once at 7:30pm and again at 8:15pm. Arrive early to see the full set. No entrance after 8pm.
‘FIRE Gods in the Garden,’Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.,Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, 3251, S. Miami Ave.; tickets $20 for adults and $6 for children, ages 6-12; https://vizcayagardensapril2017.eventbrite.com ; 305 324 4337 or visit www.tigertail.org.