We spend too much time scouring Kickstarter, looking to feature the next big artists. In our most recent search, dancer, artist, yogi and writer Aurora Lagatutta really stood out. For starters, she lives in a tent in Puna, Hawaii. But more important, Lagatutta is embarking on a journey to create a multimedia-based one woman show about female empowerment.
The show will combine collage, writing and choreography for the empowering piece entitled, "You are the Song You've Been Waiting For." The story, full of poetry and whimsy, is the tale of a girl who is swallowed by an old woman and learns about life and love through this strange new partnership. ("Harold and Maude" meets the story of Jonah and the whale, perhaps?)
Lagattuta explains more in depth on her website: "It tells the story of a young woman with lollipop lungs that have dried out, making her mute. So, a wise whale woman finds her, recognizes her ailment and her cure, and that is to eat her. Once swallowed, the young woman embarks on an adventure of self-discovery, encountering many entities on her way who reveal her own hidden powers to her."
We were as struck by Aurora's imaginative storyline as we were by her warm spirit and pursuit of passion and empowerment. The project worked toward a cause dear to our hearts in a language we had never heard before. We knew we had to learn more, so we asked Aurora some questions; her answers are below.
HP: We'd love to hear about your experience living in a jungle tent. Where did you get the idea?
AL: A friend of mine told me about Kalani, an Oceanside Retreat Center in Puna. It is a place where you do a work trade (I work in housekeeping) in order to partake in free yoga and dance classes and utilize free rehearsal/studio and art space. It sounded perfect for me. So I work four days a week cleaning houses and I spend the rest of my time doing art, dancing and creating this new show. This means I also live in a jungle tent and receive all my meals for a small volunteer fee.
HP: Your show had such an unusual plot. How did you come up with it?
AL: I joined a writing group here, which is where the story was originally birthed. Although, I draw a lot of my inspiration from my meditation practice and dreams. The wise old whale woman is inspired also by past residency in Bali. The stories around Durga, the strong goddess of darkness, destruction and creativity really captivated me.
HP: What performers inspire you?
AL: Oh so many! Marta Carrasco in Spain is a favorite. Leigh Evans, who is a performance artist in NYC influenced by yoga and Odissi dance. Meg Stuart too.
HP: What advice do you have for young women who feel uncomfortable in their bodies?
AL: Don't be afraid to feel. Notice and trust what gives your body pleasure and what feels good. Discover what makes your body FEEL good and listen to that. Make time in your life everyday to do something that makes you laugh and brings you joy.
Remember you have the power to create your reality.
Check out Aurora's Kickstarter page to learn more. (And if anyone is looking for a jungle tent roommate, we're accepting applications.)