Photo credit: Lisa Wahlander

Mother.Father. (2016)

Mother.Father. is SuarezDanceTheater’s fifth project exploring family. Suarez conducted interviews with lesbian moms and gay dads. These parents’ stories create the framework of Mother.Father. Excerpts of the audio from the interviews form the sound score. The stories are intimate and engage both the profound and the mundane. They unfold with compassion, humor, grit and honesty. One parent shares about the heartbreak of an adoption falling through. Another shares about the many steps, both personally and legally, she and her partner took in order to become parents. One couple shares about how they raised their son with the constant threat of deportation of one of the mothers. Themes of transformation and devotion intersect with ideas of identity and the socio-political conflicts of creating a family outside of hetero-normativity.

Dancer artists Bernard Brown, Ilaan Egeland-Mazzini, Kai Hazelwood and Nguyen Nguyen join Suarez to collaboratively create a physical landscape to support these stories. They are investigating how to embody the essence of each story, to find the metaphor in their bodies. They are working with both subtlety and virtuosity. New York-based composer Skye Steele is editing the interviews and building the musical score.

They have performed this work in churches through the Los Angeles area.

Jeff Slayton reviewed our premiere at the Santa Monica Unitarian Universalist Community Church: