Dancing the Book of Ruth (2015)

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Book of Ruth 1:16-18

Created with support from Spark and Echo Arts and 1450 Ocean/Camera Obscura Studio Artist in Residence program.

Choreographed and written by Christine Suarez in collaboration with the performers

Performed by Rebeca Hernandez and Carol McDowell

Performed at 1450 Ocean/Camera Obscura in Santa Monica, CA, August 29, 2015

Christine was drawn to the Book of Ruth because of the story and relationship between Ruth and Naomi. She identifies with Naomi’s depth of desperation and feeling that God had forsaken her and is inspired by Ruth’s unshakable faith and hope. And together they do something that no other Biblical women do: they reshape what a family is and how women are supposed to behave.

For this manifestation, the work was  designed it in part as a site-specific piece and in part as a lecture-demonstration. It was important for the audience to experience the real landscape of the location and to see the work from different perspectives. It was also important  to tell the story while also sharing their creative process.

Christine, Rebeca and Carol were inspired by a series of paintings that capture the moment of Ruth’s devotion to Naomi. They used these images as a source for movement material. They then manipulated the shapes by moving them through space, changing speed and spatial relationships. They morphed these paintings to reflect how these women reconfigured their ideas of themselves. They also played with patterns in space to represent how these two women navigate the cultural structure, which they lived – how they both continued on with their lives together though with great uncertainty.