Li Chiao-Ping Dance is thrilled to bring Here Lies the Truth to CounterPulse! Today, Here Lies the Truth is a live, multimedia, dance theater performance. A true collaboration between artists, disciplines, and our stories. This iteration of the work has taken shape over the course of years of innovation, re-innovation, building back better, and toppling everything down.
The creation of this work began in the Summer of 2020. Inspired and distraught, over the wide spread lies, gross racial injustices, and cognitive dissonance in our political landscape and social fabric, our company moved to create a digital work that addressed truth. Central to this questioning is the truths we hold in our bodies – the knowing that is both felt and sensed. For it is this truth that we are committed to telling – our personal truths. That summer, we met exclusively in the digital zoom space to create live site-specific work for the screen. We hopped from room to room in our homes performing quick changes and operating our own camera equipment, lighting, and sound. It was chaotic and cathartic. This process was truly unlike anything we have done before. We presented here lies the truth, part i at the 2020 SEED Festival – our annual summer dance intensive that took place completely virtually for the very first time.
In the fall of 2020 through the early spring of 2021 we continued the exploration of this pressing theme socially distanced across the country. Continuing to meet, dance, and discuss added fuel to the fire in our hearts to get this work and our message out there. During this time, our nation witnessed increased violence against Asian and Asian Americans. More heartbreak. More disgust. More fuel to the fire and thirst for creation. The second iteration of this work was a more traditional screen dance that was recorded over zoom and individually. Set to a chilling spoken word that addressed the widespread violence. We presented our second iteration of this work – here lies the truth, part ii – as a screendance with a live vimeo premiere and held a talk back following the screening. Our community provided us with incredible insights about what they witnessed and what we have been experiencing collectively. These interactions reaffirm our commitment to accessible dance, conversation, and art.
In the early Summer of 2021, we reunited in person. And we rejoiced! We quickly got to work to develop here lies the truth, part iii – which would be the first in-person iteration. Continuing the integration of text and spoken word, this version was shaped by a cheeky, Dr. Seuss-esque poem that puppeted the dancer’s movements. In celebration of our in person reunion and ability to dance freely in an inhabited space, we integrated complex partner work, explosive physicality, and dynamic phrase material that is characteristic of LCPD. This version was presented at the 2021 SEED Festival and later toured to the Breaking Ground Festival in Tempe, AZ in January 2022.
Following the 2021 SEED Festival, the collaborators and guest artists breathed their light into our process. In the Fall of 2021, we gathered our guest artists from across the country for our first intensive rehearsal process with the featured guest dancers: Kimi Evelyn, JP Alejandro, Fonzy Cevera, Elisabeth Roskopf and Abbi Sickles and collaborators Doug Rosenberg and Claudia Nacimento. In this space, the dancers and collaborators shared their stories, held space for each other in their wholeness, wrote, danced, felt, and healed. After ruminating on the process for several months, we gathered again in the early winter to crystalize the performance into what you will see on the stage. The cast became extremely close through this process. The strength in the vulnerability you will witness on the stage is grounded in the community we have built.
Following the Here Lies the Truth premiere in Madison, WI in March 2022, our community building process and accountability process did not end. We have continued to lift each other up, create space for each other, and hold each other accountable to our community with love and grace.
We are so excited to bring this work from our community to you. Much of LCPD’s work and research in recent years has centered on identity, race, otherness, and colonization. Our community in Madison has contributed so meaningfully to this work via conversations, talk backs, panel discussions, social media engagement, and more. We are grateful for this support and forever impacted by the words and stories shared. By bringing Here Lies the Truth to new audiences we hope to meet more individuals eager to discuss and share their thoughts around the subjects we explore. We aim to continue the conversation outside of our community so that we may expand our own learning about anti-racism, oppression, overcoming, joy, and community. It is never-ending work to decolonize one’s own mind. Constant relearning and recapitulating in new settings is vital to this process. Our aim in presenting at CounterPulse is to discuss, critically engage, disrupt binaries, and reimagine a more equitable future for all alongside new audiences. In doing so, we hope to be changed as this work is ever-evolving.
Here Lies the Truth premieres at CounterPulse Thursday, September 29th – Saturday, October 2nd.