Photographed during Riverside, California's four-month Occupation of Main Street's pedestrian mall, the image to the left depicts duet material from Hannah Schwadron and Crystal Sepulveda's 50 Foot Woman. Borrowing its title from the 1958 black and white sci-fi film, Attack of the 50 foot woman, the duet built off the momentum galvanized by a fellow Occupier's short story with the same name. The premise of the short story figured the horrors of an angry woman as she towered over corporate America, upsetting all plots designed to keep her down, crushing the droves of dulled people who knelt before those false powers.
Hannah and Crystal's take extended that feminist presence by asking all present what people's power could like as a size-changing collective heroism. In this moment captured here, the words from the crowd were "solidarity," "sharing" and "strength".
Performed at Temple Beth El in Riverside, CA as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day services, Meine Liebe Ursel recalled the story of Hannah's grandmother, Ursula Schwadron, whose family fled Nazi Germany at the late date of 1941 in a massive Jewish migration to Shanghai, China.
The hour-long dance theater work recited the verbatim account of Ursula's recorded talk at a West Los Angeles synagogue the one time Hannah heard her tell her story. Addressing a Jewish congregation as if she were her grandmother was the next piece of the embodied research begun as an MFA thesis project. Morphing between characters in the story, Hannah became Ursula's father walking her to an unknown fate at the local government office, her grandfather rushing into his own synagogue to save a torah during the burning destruction of Kristallnacht, and finally her future husband Abe, a sax player from Brooklyn whose family at first wouldn't recognize the refugee from China as a real Jew.
A central agenda of Hannah's dance projects has been to keep them accessible and in-touch with audiences new and old to dance.
In site works like the one shown in the photo to the left, dancers and crowds can take pleasure from seeing the energy and aesthetics of everyday spaces in new ways.
For this piece, Hannah teamed up with 10 students at the Florida State University School of Dance to create a choreographic dance-blast at Bread and Roses, Tallahassee's local food coop.