sub rosa

solo performance at Katie Duck’s Attic Studio in Amsterdam, 2022.

I blended storytelling, dance improvisation & theatre, designed a set, created a soundtrack & included lots of silence, worked with scent, and created a ceramic urn to perform a ritual.

Sub Rosa is a ceremonial journey through the alchemical principles of nigredo, albedo and rubedo - inspired by personal experiences, a Psalm from the Bible and Thich Nhat Hanh’s little book ‘How to Love’. A prayer 

Last summer,
Madelin got stuck in a traffic jam in the outskirts of Paris. On her way to La Roseraie.

There, from under the viaduct,
she saw an elderly, gypsy woman approaching.
Her back was hunched. Her right hand open to receive while she passed along the waiting automobiles.
The sun was burning on the roofs, heating the bodies trapped inside.
The woman was wearing dark ragged clothing, open shoes.

Madelin's mind went wild with the sight of her approaching. Just as our mind often does, when confronted with a homeless person on the street.
Reality checks in. And this is what we
- try to avoid.
Should I give her money? Would it help? How are you? Do you have a place to sleep? Do I care?
I will look away.
She knew she couldn't help, she couldn't do .. some thing for her. Money would keep the cycles going on and on and on.

The lady stopped beside her window - begging hands lifted.

Madelin placed her right hand on heart height, and looked the gypsy in the eyes. Gentle smile, soft face.
Suddenly, the lady straightened her back, open sight.
all four were blue. 
She smiled and she knew,
I am you.

Perfectly aware, of the roles they both were playing. Divine comedy. They glanced at each other and smiled more and more and exhaled together with a
deep inhale following through.
In that moment, together, they flourished. Layers shed. Walls broken down.

There is nothing I could do, but to meet you.

Moments pass, and as the traffic got into motion it was their time to part. The gypsy hunched her back, eyelids down. Returning to her story.
And so Madelin said goodbye to the beggar dressed in black. To continue her journey towards the garden of roses.