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Genesis:  Air, Water, Life


Genesis: Air, Water, Life is a multimedia performace piece using the mediums of aerial hoop, ritualized movement, and a 150 gallon acrylic petri dish. This piece is about creation, portraying the murky, amoebic beginnings of an organism as well as a thought, idea, or belief.  My intention is to illustrate the liquid origins of life, as well as the unclear, underwater fog that accompanies a half-formed idea or belief (including those frightening ideas or beliefs we wish would stay underwater without emerging into the light). 


I wish to recall for the viewer the visceral sense of something beginning in them, unbidden, as well as the visual of the grotesquely beautiful beginnings of a living creature. 

This multimedia piece is a true community creation.  The first iteration was funded by my first crowdfunding campaign in 2012.  The piece debuted at Emerald City Trapeze Arts in Seattle, WA March 2, 2012. 


Genesis is a particularly high maintenance piece to stage- it requires a heated water source, at least one person pulling lines (and memorizing the choreography), and usually the help of the entire cast to clean up the water afterwards while I shuffle my drippy self backstage.  The opportunities to perform this piece, as a result of all the aforementioned maintenance, have been limited- but because I had the great fortune to meet many like-minded, unreasonable directors, over the years I've been able to perform this piece at Supperclub SF as a residency, for Circus Automatic in "Raised by Wolves", and for Fidget Feet Aerial Dance in Ireland.  As seldom as I've been able to perform it, the ripples it caused have spawned a host of photography projects, creations, and was the impetus for what became the award winning show "Elements", created with Natural Wings Aerial Dance in Perth, Western Australia.

I had the great fortune to restage this piece almost 10 years to the day it premiered, in Rouge 2022, presented by Caroline Calouche & Co.  The second video below, Genesis 2.0 is from this decennial performance.  The first video is the debut of the piece 10 years earlier, in 2012.

Every step of the way it has been a community effort and a labor of love and devotion to performance art.  As such, it is presented here in full, with my unending love and gratitude to the countless souls who have poured themselves with me into this project.  They are not pictured, but trust me....they are there.

Special thanks to my incredible patrons for making this possible. Don't go back to sleep. xo

Photo by Peter Zay


  • Musical score:  "Water from the Same Source" by The Rachels, from the album "Systems/Layers" copyright 2003 - Quarterstick Records - BMI,  used with permission

  • Petri dish by Zero Edge Aquariums

  • Platform by the amazing Will Sims

  • Costume, choreography, and performance by Rachel Strickland

  • Choreographic consultant:  Laura Bland

  • Videography by Goldie Jones, Bruce Magnotti, and Zay Photo

  • Rigging for original debut:  Winch team Benny Searle, Paul Shimmel and Gary Kirkland

  • Rigging for Genesis 2.0:  Winch team Shaun Wilson and Caroline Calouche

  • Special thanks to Three for choosing this piece for SF Supperclub's residency, and to Elliott Goodwin Gittelsohn for pulling lines

  • Extra gratitude to Gary Kirkland for saying "it's GOT to be in the show" and generally being a badass friend and enabler

  • Powered by patrons, so much love and gratitude to the over 50 original backers and 126 patrons without whom this would be a blank page.

photo by Dominic Bonuccelli.jpg
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