DESTINY - First Half

Artistic Director, Cheryl Flaharty

Pre Show: The Fool: Dennis B. Miller, Destiny: Laura Brucia

The Garden of Eternal Truths
Opening Poem: Laura Brucia
Trees: Lizbeth Grote, Geneva Rivera, Maile Baran
Golden One: Chandra Miars
Keeper of the Garden: Summer Partlon
Light Being: Andrea Torres, Spider: Jamie Nakama

The Company, featuring:
Trio: Jamie Nakama, Summer Partlon, Maile Baran
Apples: Geneva Rivera, Sami L. A. Akuna
The Patriarch: Wailana Simcock, Darren Miller, Kane Desmond Balbin,
Kent Stromberg
The Science God: Dennis B. Miller

The Company, featuring:
Chair Duets:
Maile Baran and Sami L. A. Akuna, Lizbeth Grote and Darren Miller,
Laura Brucia and Dennis B. Miller
The Hunter: Summer Partlon

“... a visually stunning, visceral and provocative opera of movement.
Honolulu Star Bulletin

Destiny’, IONA's most exuberant work, speaks of the maternal strengths of the Earth and the forces of change. The evening-length production draws content and imagery from a magical “Garden of Eternal Truths”, Eastern and Western religions, gods, goddesses, healing, and peace. In an all-encompassing work, Artistic Director Cheryl Flaharty merges dance with video, spoken word, and captivating musical scores to reveal the creative structures that define our spiritual beliefs and shape the destiny of humanity.

DESTINY has been performed over the last 15 years at The Hawaii Theatre, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kauai Performing Arts Center, and the Kohler Center for the Arts. It has always been received with standing ovations.

DESTINY was created in 2002 and filmed in 2003 with the following support:
AT&T, Persis Corporation, Aloha Airlines, Hawai’i Community Foundation, Cooke Foundation, Atherton Family Foundation, Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, G. N Wilcox Trust, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and Circle of Goddesses.

Often, things in life seem destined. The perfect coincidence. My work as a choreographer seems destined to me and each new piece I create destined as well. Fifteen years ago I knew that I would create a new work entitled ‘Destiny.’ Everything you see before you has unfolded from that one word – following each step to the next – like a dancer’s seamless improvisation.

Rehearsals started the week of September 11, 2001. As an artist, I have taken from the world around me and the heavens above to create a contemporary experience of Us. My work in the community with abused women has become a strong presence in my life. At the age of 12, I was the first female to carry the crucifix up the aisle in my Episcopalian church. Much to my surprise, what I thought would be a dance about the possibility of destiny has turned out to be a question about Our destiny.

‘Destiny’ is created mostly in a nonlinear, circular format. We experience it in time, of course, but there is no story line. Rather, there are chosen thoughts, like cards in a Tarot reading in which the sum total provides the final expression. A great change is upon us as we enter the astrological sign of Aquarius. The female principle is rising to balance that of the male. The Piscean Age, dominated by masculine energy – the patriarchy – is ending. As the female energy becomes more dominant we see the value of women in society increasing, the need to end domestic violence, men recognizing their softer feminine side, religious structures shifting, consciousness and intuition rising, and our attention brought back to nature.

The garden at the top of the show represents the archetype of paradise. Everything which follows represents our struggle to regain that paradise. The men and women represent the aspects of the male and female energies as they shift. The props are symbols – the book, the word, the forbidden fruit, the snake, Dorothy, the instruments of visual perception, the gun, the veil, water, the crucifix, the Tree of Life.

It is my hope that this Tarot reading called ‘Destiny’ will help to manifest a conscious future for humanity; that it will help us enter a golden age, and that we will understand what it is to be One.

I thank the dancers for their dedication to this process, this vision. It has been a blessing to restage this work several times over the years with many original cast members so beautifully merged with several new dancers. It is their souls that dance before you, open to the winds of change, speaking honestly through their unique bodies in the language of dance, poetry, and symbolism. Their improvisational work both on stage and off contributes greatly to the body of the work. I thank all of my collaborators as well, for their incredible dedication.

IONA's E Season is supported by The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii or grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.