“What if H.D. a.k.a. Hilda Doolittle Was Secretly Into Dada???!!!”
A Dance and Multi-medium Live Performance Piece Created by Ariel Len of Zoey’s Projects for Nuit Blanche
Sponsored by Dance Ontario and Curated by Thom Sokoloski at the Distillery District
On September 29th 2012, five times during the night of Nuit Blanche, I will be performing a special tribute piece for Hilda Doolittle, the Fantastically Diverse Writer, (novels, poetry and a massive quantity of personal letters to countless other famous Artists of all fields) Actor, and Film Editor.
In addition, I will be having an all-night table with a silent auction of the painting which I made, and will use in this live performance. Half of the money I raise from this silent auction will be donated to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the name of the person who wins the painting in the auction. There will be two other free, all-ages activities -“How to write a Dada poem,” a hands on activity which you can photograph to send to your friends, and another game -“Guess which 7 body parts I used to paint with, instead of a paint brush?” I may even have a prize for the latter game. There will also be a more detailed write-up about my performance piece, and a chance to join my e-mail list for occasional updates about my projects.
Hilda Doolittle was a Womyn who Dared to live Her Own Life by Courageously Making the Choices that were Right for Her, at a time when Womyn were not allowed to make any of Their Own Choices. She faced Medical/Health Challenges and She was also Bisexual. Her longest and no doubt most important relationship was with Bryher (aka Annie Winifred Ellerman) who co-raised H.D.’s Daughter Frances Perdita with H.D. Together They also edited the only feature length film which HD was one of the stars in, called “Borderline” which also co-starred Paul Robeson. This film is groundbreaking in its bold exploration of Racism, Psychology, and Experimental Artistic Expression in Filmmaking.
It is also very significant to me that even though both H.D. and Bryher were the ones who edited all of the Pool Films, (their 3 person joint filmmaking Company) Bryher’s husband who directed and produced them all –Kenneth Macpherson, was also given the credit for Editing. This blatant negation is something which has happened to Womyn in the film and television industries throughout Herstory. In my opinion, both as a Filmmaker and as the Artistic Editor of all of my film and other projects, editing is half of the storytelling in any artistic work, so I was naturally very appalled to discover this fact in my research.
As a Tribute to HD, and in alignment with the theme which Thom has selected –Dada - I imagined what HD might do if She were to create a Dada work using several arts forms, to perform in private for Her own amusement, and maybe for Her friends, since in public She was a well established Imagist.
I decided that since She was a Multi-Medium Artist, She deserves No Less Than a Multi-Medium Arts Tribute.
So what if H.D. was actually Secretly a Dadaist, I asked myself?
What would She Create?
In answer to these questions, I chose three key scenes from Her role in the silent film Borderline to re-enact, while costumed as H.D Herself. I have also taken four of Her poems and reconstructed them as Dada works, the last of which is also being done as a Dada sound poem, to overlay with these live silent film scenes as a sound track.
In addition, I created my own Dada music using singing, speaking, and 5 musical instruments. I Artistically Edited this music together, with the Technical Editing work being done by J.P. Hunter, who will also help Tech the night of Nuit Blanche. I then chose a visual art piece which inspired me from the Dada period, and which I saw in one research source as a still work, and in another as a moving film image, separating apart. By combining all of these things together, I choreographed 2 dance pieces which I also perform live as HD Herself.
The final scene of this piece is a dance piece which I choreographed and also perform live to this Dada soundtrack. It is specifically about the First World War and its impact upon the Dada Artists and Their Art. Lastly, I also painted a visual art piece specifically in the Dada style, to go with this portion of the performance piece. This entire 6 part piece alternates between silent film reenactments/poetry scenes, and dance/music scenes.
You are all welcome to come out to Nuit Blanche to Welcome Hilda Doolittle Live, by Performing the Role of Her Audience, and by playing the Dada games, and participating in the Silent Art Auction to help raise money for the World Wildlife Federation!
You are also welcome to go to my website www.zoeysprojects.com for more upcoming details about this new piece, to see some of my other works, or to reach me by e-mail by clicking on “Contact us.” Thank you for your interest in and support of Hilda Doolittle’s Creative Genius, and of my own work!
Ariel Len founded Zoey’s Projects to create solo and group projects which Celebrate both Womyn and People of all Diversities both Visible and Invisible. She is one of Canada’s only Professional Dancers who has trained Herself to put down Her cane and dance all Her own creations. She is a Filmmaker, Choreographer, Dancer, Writer, Visual, Multi-Medium and Performance Artist and Live Wordscapist.