One Breath is an Ocean for a Wooden Heart

One Breath is an Ocean for a Wooden Heart, a duet created by Lisa Bufano and Sonsherée Giles, is informed by the relationship between physical transformation and identity.

In this performance, the dancers wear 28" wooden stilts secured to their arms and legs, constructed from queen-Anne style table legs.

The stilts utilize familiar every-day objects to enable the dancers to create a basic illusion of table and chair shapes. Through the quality of their movements, the dancers are transformed through a wide range of imagery: animated furniture, magical toys, 8-legged insect, 4-legged gazelle, and 2-legged birds. The effect is an eerie otherworldliness, as two dramatically different bodies navigate a movement and sound landscape that is both enabled and constrained by their use of wooden stilts.

During the development of this piece, Sonsherée noted the experience of being disconnected to the ground (via the 28" distance of the stilts). This affirmed Lisa's experience as a 15-year prosthetic user; someone who performs tasks using tools that prevent 'feeling what she's doing.'

While thinking about that specific experience of disconnection, Sonsherée and Lisa made a creative decision to try to remain physically connected in some way to each other through-out the piece, until the end when they part.

One Breath is an Ocean for a Wooden Heart premiered December, 2007, at the Ekstravagantna tijela (Extravagant Bodies) Festival in Zagreb, Croatia. It was also performed for audiences in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, and San Francisco.

One Breath is an Ocean for a Wooden Heart
 was commissioned in part by AXIS Dance Company in association with Alliger Arts, and supported, in part by CA$H, a grants program of Theatre Bay Area, in partnership with Dancers' Group.


Choreographed/Performed by:

Lisa Bufano and Sonsherée Giles
Music Composed by:
Jerry Smith
Music Performed by:

Jerry Smith and Caroline Penwarden