Created and performed by the women of the Open Program (Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards)
Presented as an open rehearsal, followed by reception & discussion
She's there and she's here. You can find her in every house.
She's mother, daughter, wife, sister. Every woman close to you.
Dark Is My Mother is a serious and playful homage to the diverse manifestations of the ancient and powerful tradition of popular myth related to a feminine entity. It explores the tradition of women's gatherings and women's communities, it opens to a world where women’s play, imaginations, memories and temptations are woven into song, dance and praising.
The ancestral backgrounds of the women of the Open Program are vast and deep: Mediterranean, Slavic Europe, West African, North and South American. In all these cultures there exist stories, poems and myths describing a feminine entity – seen as a mother and as a creative energy, but also as a terrible and destructive force that decides upon the destiny of mankind. Through the myths related to this feminine divine figure, to her fall and redemption, is woven the story of oppression and humiliation that has accompanied women on their journey through human history. Women all over the world have tenaciously resisted historical reality, by keeping alive a knowledge of life and nature, of its rhythm and cycles. This knowledge, a treasure within the hearts and bodies of women, is threatened but also still secretly nourished. Dark Is My Mother is a contemporary reply to these myths, and bears within itself the seeds of the surging humanity of our days, a humanity that enriches itself by continuing to blend elements of diverse origins. It is a vision, conjugated in the feminine, of how living traditions can reappear and renew themselves, brought together by the migrant humanity of our times.
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Encounters: The Open Program at CDTPS is an artists' residency organized by Myrto Koumarianos, hosted by the University of Toronto's Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, and supported by the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts, University College, Theatre and Performance Studies (UTSC), English & Drama (UTM), the Department of English, the Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Centre for Comparative Literature.