Three sections of OCTAVIA: 1. In the Beginning was…, 2. Anyanwu's Child, 3. Ooloi introduction.
STAYCEE PEARL dance project examines the life and work of esteemed science fiction writer, Octavia Butler. Her insecurities, and triumphs are juxtaposed with her stories, layering her experience with a composite of her characters. Finding similarities in personalities, powers, adventures, and moods, SPdp creates a world colored by Butler's story telling sensibilities From extensive research, Staycee Pearl and artists developed movement and gestures, a path, sound, and visual environment that gives a glimpse into Butler's world from a dance/multi-media prospective, bringing her magical written worlds into physical form.
According to Octavia Butler’s biography, after watching a bad science fiction movie (Devil Girl from Mars), she decided that she could do better and began writing her own short stories at age 12. Through her works she explored such issues as race, religion, sexuality, social progress and social class. She published her first short story Crossover in 1971 at age 24 and continued publishing award-winning novels and short stories for the next 35 years. Butler’s works include Xenogenesis Series, Lilith’s Brood, The Patternist series; Parable series; Kindred, and her final book, Fledgling.
Over the years, Ms. Butler was honored with numerous awards. Most notably, in 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to be honored with the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant and in 2000 was recognized with the lifetime achievement award in writing from the PEN American Center.
Collaborating with Staycee on OCTAVIA are Herman Pearl, sound designer/composer, Adil Mansoor, theatrical director, Isaac Bower, sculptor, and Bob Stineck, lighting designer. Dancers include: Ursula Payne, Gwen Ritchie, Kerra Alexander, Shana Simmons, Jasmine Hearn, Renee Smith, Laura Warnock, Jamie Murphy, and Jessica Simmons.