Earth Madness

"Earth Madness:  The Truth & the Lie" is a performance piece that speaks to the madness which posses humans to mistreat, pollute and disrespect our home and our provider: the living earth. Things have become so unbalanced that what is destruction is called development and living sustainably and naturally is considered radical. The name came from dancer/choreographer Maura Garcia's response to "mountain top" mining and the practice of literally blowing up the earth beneath our feet in search of resources. It has been presented in various iterations including as a dance solo, a dance video and a full-length multi-media children's performance including dance performance, video projections, storytelling and 100 + audience participation activity. 

Full version premiered 29 March 2013 at Briarwood Elementary School, Prairie Village, KS  USA

Performer: Maura Garcia (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet)
Videography: Robert Parker (Comanche/Kiowa/Tlingit/Athabaskan/Lakota) 
Animation: Soumitra Dasgupta, Anurag Dasgupta
Recorded Music:  "Frybread and Tortillas" by Phillip Meshekey with Cempoalli 20  
Flute Music Composition:  Albert Smith (Tlingit)
Voice-over: Maura Garcia  
 

Background
In 2013, Maura Garcia received a commission to create an interactive, multi-media environmentally-themed performance. She decided to expand "Earth Madness" by incorporating narratives and reaching out to other artists. One of the narratives, The Truth & the Lie, encourages us to question the assumptions we have about the status quo. Adapted from the traditional Cuban narrative as told in the movie "La Ultima Cena", the story goes like this:

In the beginning there was the Truth and the Lie. The Truth was beautiful, strong, powerful and had feathers and many colors. The Lie was ugly, weak and pitiful...but the Lie had a machete. One day the two started to fight...it lasted hours, days, months maybe. Finally it looked like the Truth was going to win. But remember, the Lie had that machete. Just as the Truth was about to finish the fight, the Lie took out his machete and cut off the Truth's head. The Truth was in darkness, confused. In this confusion the Truth ripped off the head of the Lie and put in upon his shoulders...and ever since that day the Truth has been walking around in the world...but with the head of a Lie.

Garcia asked the other artists to consider the story within the framework of "Earth Madness" and in terms of our interactions with the planet and all its inhabitants. The result was two responses: an animation and art video. Artists Soumitra (soumitradasgupta.com) & Anurag Dasgupta (vimeo.com/black dogbodhi) created the animation, layering vivid abstract colors and shapes with images of the natural world. Thunder's House (collaborative efforts between videographer Robert Parker and Maura Garcia) produced the art video, using the haunting music of flautist Albert Smith and incorporating movement and storytelling. 

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