“I'd Rather The Ocean” is a piece that combines dance, theater, and visual arts. In “I’d Rather The Ocean”, an eccentric group gets together with the mutual objective of performing a choreographed dance at the peak of the Himalayas, at an altitude of nearly 30,000 feet. During their journey, each group member is faced with challenges that drastically test their determination, persistence, desire, and resilience. The fight for survival in drastic conditions creates the dramatic tension of the piece, as the group sees itself psychologically and physically affected by extreme altitude and rapid change in eco-systems. The mountain’s harsh conditions influence the way the characters interact with each other, making the mood shift from tense and competitive, to almost tragically comical at times. These conditions are used as tools to reflect human vulnerability, and how it can get caught in a fine line between what is commonly considered serious, ridiculous, fictional, and real. Choreographer of the piece, Sônia Lopes Soares points out: “Walking up the mountain serves as a metaphor for life, a starting point for reflection, and a means for creation. The journey towards the summit allows the piece to explore concepts such as success vs. failure, the struggles that come with adapting to a new environment, what we as people dream about vs. what we can realistically achieve, and how the human being longs to become immortal through its accomplishments.”
In its creative process, “I'd Rather The Ocean” investigates the scenic possibilities that can be created through different intensities, densities, and textures in movement.
Sônia Lopes Soares // director, choreographer, performer
Luciana Paes // dramaturgy assistance
Mercedes Searer // performer
Christine Bonansea Salut // performer
Janet Panetta //performer
Kevin Fay // performer
Jiyoun Chang // lighting designer
Kuki Stolarsky //sound designer
Baille Younkman //costume designer
Sônia Lopes Soares is a Brazilian dance artist, working with dance and theater for 20 years. Cultivating a language through multidisciplinary collaboration, Soares constructs scenes using nonlinear, poetic narratives, mirroring the random and chaotic nature of the universe. This investigation encompasses vulnerability in the bodies, the line between fiction and reality, the ridiculous and tragic, and how they all interconnect. Sônia has received four prestigious grants from the city of São Paulo and the British Council to develop, produce, and perform her company’s work. Soares has performed in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, United States, France at Pompidou, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In 2017 Sonia created a new work in a four-month residency in Brazil, with a NY based dancer and two Brazilians actors, and in and in September 2017 she participated in a residency in Groningen Holland with Cia Hiato.
Sônia has been showing her work at Dixon Place, NDA/Performance Mix Festival and in April 2018 will present a work at Judson Church as part of Movement Research.