Predator Songstress Audience Review Dec 4, 2015

by Erin Bailey-Sun

Watching Predator Songstress last night was a reminder that every movement is a movement against society. I expected to see the push and pull between people and the controlling power, as Joshua Kohl said “re-appropriating the tools of totalitarianism for personal liberation,” set in a dystopian fairy tale. While you can clearly see the work in the framework of a totalitarian society, keep in mind we live in a “democratic” society, the songstresses’ experience is just another Tuesday night for me. Thinking about macro or micro pain, this is how I feel as a women in a society that continues to wage war on ourselves every day. I am constantly losing my voice and trying to recover it while shielding myself from microaggressions. All the while fighting against a society designed to oppress women and criminalize everyone. As the headline repeats itself daily we have become acutely aware that we live in a trigger happy prison complex that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. The songstresses’ world is not a dystopian fairytale, its America.

Every day we present ourselves to society and consciously or unconsciously hope for approval, even if we flout some of the rules we all seek approval from a subset of society. My whole life has lead me to build a safe space to live my truth within society and recently I was reminded how easily that safe space can fall apart. The songstresses’ butoh style movements are the embodiment of my emotions around my crumbling safe space, quick and rapid changes to distort the structure of the body. As I wait for my pain to heal these are the emotional movements I navigate every day and every day they are different. Different microaggressions tossed around and sometimes macroaggressions when you feel the least prepared to handle them, and not once was the songstress shown in a happy space. How could she be when she struggles to choose the correct confusingly multicolored door leading to path with an unknown destination to standing on her podium desperately trying to harmonize all the systems of power that are pushing against her as she tries to create her own safe space. I see people dealing with this every day, and every day we contort our emotional bodies to survive in a society that has no harmony. The songstresses’ world is not a dystopian fairytale, its America.

The songstress brother’s betrayal is a reality for many people who have created a chosen family after their birth families sided with a society designed to celebrate those who have the power and more often than not killing off anyone else. The direct attack from her birth family has left her alone to deal with everything. After all the turmoil and work the songstress has to navigate a society that is always watching and waiting, at the end she fails and is sentenced to death. She failed to survive in society because it is designed to allow people within the margins fail. She was never in a position of power, she was born with the short end of the stick in her hand and her struggle continued until the end. We are all destined to fail and until we realize that no one is getting out of here alive we will continue to contort the structure of our bodies to navigate a troubled society, seeking our voices and a safe space to live our whole truths. The songstresses experience is just another Tuesday night in America, so if we at the end will be sentenced to death I hope your Monday night was spent living your whole truth.