Ecstasy: A Water Fable, Denmo Ibrahim
University of Oregon Theater Department, 2014
photo credit: Andrew Ngyuen
Ecstasy: A Water Fable flows like a non-linear poem, weaving together theater, dance, ritual, physical storytelling, and live music. Loosely based on a 9th century Sufi fable titled “When the Waters Were Changed,” the play features three central figures whose worlds run parallel and intertwine at different points in time. The main narrator – Picture Lady – sorts through her fading recollections of Egypt in the 1950’s, surrounding herself with faded photographs and fragmented stories as her memories are washed away by age. She is the mother of Mona – a contemporary Middle Eastern woman living in the US, flooded by visions and nightmares of her ancestors. The ancient Pipeman appears both in Mona’s and Picture Lady’s dreams – he is a mystic and a mystery, obsessed with prayer, taunted by an endless thirst and a set of abstract creatures called “Pipes.” A five-person ensemble traverses all three of these worlds, appearing, disappearing, and transforming right before the audience’s eyes.
I held the roles of both Costume Designer and Choreographer for this production, working closely with the cast to devise a coherent movement vocabulary that could carry them through the multiple worlds of the play. My work for Ecstasy: A Water Fable was recently displayed at the USA Student exhibit at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial.
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