Please send your RSVP to the following email address with the time you will be attending and number of people in your party: RSVP.email@example.com
Remember the show is Saturday March 10th, with shows at 11am, 2pm, and 7pm.
Bittersweet symphony of babies =]
Friends of Iowa Midwives is a statewide grassroots organization working to: promote access to midwifery and out-of-hospital birth in Iowa; protect the rights of Iowa women to choose their place of birth and birth attendant; provide education about childbirth options; and create supportive community for birthing women and families. FOIM has chapters in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, Central Iowa, the Quad Cities, and Northwest Iowa. FOIM’s current legislative campaign aims to license Certified Professional Midwives in Iowa, so that families choosing out-of-hospital birth have access to licensed health care providers trained in this type of evidence-based, family-centered maternity care. Donations to Friends of Iowa Midwives help fund this campaign, as well as numerous outreach, community building, and educational events, such as Iowa City’s Conscious Birth Summit, which brings together stakeholders from multiple backgrounds across the state to dialogue productively about expanding birth options and improving maternal-child health in Iowa.
Collaborating on this project with Joh has afforded me a rare opportunity to combine my expertise and passion as a birth worker with my delight in artistic exploration. My painting is inspired by the universal aesthetic of natural forms, and the recurring, echoing patterns of seemingly discrete formations, such as tree branches, blood vessels, coastlines, and clouds. Thematically, for this project, I am interested in these organic forms as visual representations of the elemental rhythms of gestation, labor, and birth, as well as the connections between ecosystems, biological systems, and human social systems. My approach to painting is dynamic, emergent, and process-oriented; I prefer to let an image emerge intuitively, rather than adhering to a preconceived idea of what the finished product will look like. For this project, I am painting on large, unframed panels of silk cloth. These semi-translucent lengths of silk, like the human body, are malleable, not rigid. As such, they enable fluidity and interaction between the dancers’ bodies and the painted fabric. They invite conceptual and visual explorations of inner and outer space, permeability of membranes, lightness and dark, the hidden and the visible.
My thesis will explore the choreographies of pregnancy. I am interested in these “dances” as they manifest at both macro- and micro-scopic levels. I will study the patterns that women’s bodies perform, both physiologically and behaviorally, in the process of generating life. My dancers and I will explore the inevitable, intricate, and private biological dances encoded in our female DNA by tuning into subtle felt experiences. We will also study and rehearse movements and practices that are outwardly expressed by pregnant women personally and collectively, respecting both those grounded in women’s intuition and those influenced by cultural context. Through the study of these specific stylized sequences that women’s bodies enact in the process of manifesting, housing, nurturing, and bringing forth new life, I hope that my cast and I will gain greater and deeper connection to our dancing bodies as well as trust and wonderment in our sense of ourselves as women. We will explore how these forms of consciousness can be somatically cultivated and communicated. We will take our time and be highly creative and varied in how we locate, learn, and share the embodied processes of this great and complicated creative act.
Performances will take place at Old Brick (26 East Market, Iowa City, IA) repeatedly throughout the day of March 10th, 2012. There will be a talk-back following the afternoon performance. There will be related dance events throughout the Iowa City community during the week of March 5-10.
A recommended $5 donation will be collected at the door and proceeds will go to support the Friends of Iowa Midwives in their efforts to promote safe natural birthing options for women. Tickets may be reserved Online nearer the date, and may also be acquired at the door.
Monica Brasile is a PhD Candidate and Graduate Instructor in the department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Her doctoral research examines the politics of childbirth and childbirth advocacy in the U.S., focusing particularly on emerging trends in the politics of doula care and the roles of doulas as women’s health and reproductive justice advocates. She has been involved in women’s health activism since the early 1990s and has been a certified childbirth educator and doula since 1996. She is passionate about education for social change, and is a recipient of the Outstanding T.A. award and 2011 fellow of the Obermann Graduate Institute on Civic Engagement and the Academy. Her areas of interest include reproduction, childbirth, motherhood, the history of medicine, medical anthropology, and feminist theory. Monica is also a visual artist. She studied Fine Arts (painting and book arts) as an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and has taught courses in bookbinding and zine making. She remains active in comic art, bookmaking, drawing, and painting.