False Prophets (2018)
“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.
If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.”
~ Noam Chomsky
Choreography & Direction: Sarah Hixon
Music: Penderecki, Pärt, Shostakovich, J. S. Bach, Utah Phillips, Tiomkin & Washington
False Prophets is a movement threnody in 7 images. The dance is surrounded on three sides by thousands of lengths of thread, a direct mythological reference to the life threads woven for each human by the three Fates. The significance of the threads change throughout the piece. Dancers manipulate actual and imagined threads which force the movement responses of others, much like puppeteers. Eventually the threads also come to represent autonomy. The first four sections depict different facets of tyranny and control by extrinsic powers over the common man including fate, war, and propaganda. The old man portrays these seats of power, from Oracle to general to corporate overlord—all manufacturing consent through deceit or manipulation. The work ends hopefully with resistance, and the realization that authentic interpersonal connection will dismantle oppression.
False Prophets is a diatribe against corruption and oppression. By representing shifting methods of coercion, it reveals the truth that none of this is new—false prophets are still at work around us. The dance is inspired by the writings of Noam Chomsky, and musical choices range from Soviet-era composers to the folk songs of labor organizers. Structure was approached dramaturgically, building a non-linear narrative through movement and music.
Its intention is to inspire resistance to the mechanisms that would entrap us.