hymn + them is a contemporary dance work set on a square of astro turf.
Using 'The Wizard of Oz' as a lens to look at the role of the female in the American midwest, the piece looks at identity and what it means to borrow culture through collage. Often, many people’s only reference for Kansas, Baum’s book, published in 1900 featured one of the first female protagonists in popular literature.
With the backdrop of our current political climate, this project looks at women's role in American society, identity, and belonging. Anybody who has swallowed the scriptwriter’s notion that this is a work about the superiority of “home” over “away,” that the “moral” of Oz is as sickly-sweet “East, West, home’s best” — would do well to listen to the yearning in Judy Garland’s voice as her face tilts up toward the skies. What she embodies with the purity of an archetype, is the human dream of leaving. This is a dance work about the joys of going away, of leaving the grayness and entering the color. Over the Rainbow is, or ought to be, the anthem of all the world’s migrants, all those who go in search of the place where the dreams really do come true. “It is a celebration of Escape, a grand paean to the uprooted self, a hymn—the hymn—to Elsewhere (Rushdie).