It’s been a couple years since Maya Lewandowsky, artistic director of La Caravan Dance Theatre has put on a dance opera with her ensemble. Fihi Ma Fihi (It is what it is) is the company’s newest production that explores Rumi’s poetry and ultimately, the hero journey.
Lia Pas has taken 13 poems by Rumi and created a musical composition and libretto. The company then “experimented in the studio with the lyrics,” Lewandowsky explains. “We saw what sounds would come and we performed different exercises.” The company improvised as well as they worked through the poetry and created a narrative around the poetry. Some poetry was expressed purely through movement and some through singing and musical composition.
Lewandowsky and her troupe explored all aspects of the hero’s journey. “We started to create a map. A hero’s journey map.” This maps guides each performer on their own journey and also guides the production along its narrative. “First is the calling, you’re living the ordinary life and then you respond to the call of adventure,” Lewandowsky explains. “You meet your guide and go through the threshold because there is no going back. You meet your darkest night of the soul. That’s when you are immersed in the darkness, or the unknown. And when you completely surrender to it, you let go, it’s a death experience. There is a reward, the light at the end of the tunnel. Basically, it takes you into resurrection.”
La Caravan Dance Theatre has taken this narrative and expressed it into performance art. Lewandowsky has created an ‘unrestricted’ form of art and fit it within the hero’s journey and Rumi’s poetry.
“We have many layers in the show. The audience won’t necessarily understand those levels, but you can see that we are going through so much connection, if you stick with us, you will go through your own journey,” Lewandowsky says.
“We want to take you through your own transformation.”
La Caravan Dance Theatre’s production of Fihi Ma Fihi (It is what it is) runs June 8 – 11 at Theatre Junction Grand. More information is available online.