By SARIA IDANA, a theater, literary, and music artist, committed to freedom of expression as a means to develop action connection and intimacy. Her work focuses on personal and global struggle in conjunction with human resiliency. She is a Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts MFA student.
Saria Idana will be performing her solo show HOMELESS IN HOMELAND on March 1-3 at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley, Calif.
Making the multi- and interdisciplinary body of work HOMELESS IN HOMELAND has been cathartic for me artistically; I have come to deeper articulation of how the different artistic forms relate to each other in process, production and performance. I have released some self-criticism and have more clearly define my multi- and interdisciplinary nature while better understanding how I relate to each form. Word, or poetry, is how I access thought, meaning, and message. Word is where I start; it defines the process which then is refined on the page, in performance or song. Acting is how I tell story and engage with compassion. It is where I can allow for multiple and strong perspectives to live. It is a way of remembering. Song is how I process and transform my own emotional experience. Soundscape is how I create a believable environment to draw myself and/or the audience deeper into the material.
Movement is how I feel, it is the articulation of the unnameable. It is how I understand and embody personal and cultural experience, emotional, and physical landscape. Movement styles are deeply connected to both personal and cultural identity. Most of the conversation of identity in the solo show is not accomplished through language but through gesture and seven forms of dance; modern, hip hop, Israeli folk dance, samba, salsa, flamenco, and dervish turning.
From an interdisciplinary perspective I have experienced how these forms are enhanced by each other, both through clear fusion and by having multiple forms developing material at the same time. This heightened awareness of the power of having multiple art forms in conversation is new for me and the focal point of my artistic catharsis. Before, I simply appreciated engaging in all these forms, and having many outlets at the same time, but the many outlets were often not related, and I did not fully believe that the forms could relate in such a deeply integrated way.
There have been times in rehearsal, some with my director, Shyamala Moorty, and some without, in which I discovered deeper meaning in relationship to culture or land through the movement material that then caused me to go back to the text and shift the language. There have been times when embodying the characters that they have taught me something about the material that then caused me to shift the movement or text. In the recording studio collaborating with sonic architect Troy Alcendor, there have been moments while laying down singing tracks or manipulating beats and sounds that something has dawned on me, and as a result the movement, text, or simply my approach to performing, the material has been changed.
These are examples of how the process of having different art forms in conversation with each other deepens the level of communication that I as the artist can have with each manifestation of the material, and thus I create more nuanced and three-dimensional work. It allows me to be moved and in turn I believe this touches and moves audiences.