Sha Sha Higby’s Paper Wings
Sunday, September 27, 7:30PM
Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley
Sculptures come to life in a combination of puppetry, dance, and art
Paper Wings a whimsical journey of life, death, and rebirth through ephemeral images that evoke the passage of time and day, or the shifting of the seasons. It takes Higby two years to make and develop a new costume... slowly moving us toward a sense of patience and timelessness.
“I approach dance through the medium of sculpture. I interweave painterly manipulation of physical materials and textures I make one by one from wood, paper, silk, ceramic, and gold leaf with a labyrinth of delicate props. My work strives to create a path where movement and stillness meet. Shreds of memory lace into a drama of a thousand intricate pieces, slowly moving, stirring our memory toward a sense of patience and timelessness.
The air surrounding us is like many planes in space, assorted canvases of images. Every time we move about, the space around us is filled with drawings, colorful sketches, and complex patterns. Our thoughts blend into the air and space about us. With these ‘costume sculptures’ I want to show how we are the elegant complexity of the atmospheres about us. Emotions and thoughts cluster on the surface of our bodies and then break away, fly, and float off. Each bundle of emotion becomes yet another entity in itself, splitting into many facets again, gathering and returning to its source.
On the surface of our skin there are multiple little theaters and stages. One inch away from our body is the sky under which the drama of this tiny world unfolds. As the costume stirs itself, it is as if every movement is filled with thousands of adventures.
As a child, I was fascinated by the peek boxes we used to make out of shoe boxes. You looked into the peephole and saw cutout layered landscapes portraying a silent wonderful paper world. I seek to do this today. I am allured by the theatrical quality of flipping through ancient palm leaf drawings from India. They are visual line clusters of symbolic journeys through love, emotions, battles, and life. One of my goals has been to make theater like turning through pages of a book of paintings. The stylized turning of the pages makes the intricate detail of each individual picture come to life. The slow shivery movements of each scene make the potential of the next scene even greater. A shattered piece of a story seems even richer alone because it has the potential of being inserted into the whole.” - Sha Sha Higby