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In The Dream Sor Juana enters into a fantastical confrontation with her own questions concerning the meaning of existence and the nature of the universe. Through sleep and dreaming she journeys through a landscape of powerful metaphorical and symbolic images that ascend to the very peak of her imagined obelisk, but then she falls without attaining understanding. Upon waking she is renewed and filled with wonder. The structure and content of this poem provides a potent and multidimensional field of possibilities for creative exploration, and the evolution of a unique, vivid and transformative performance experience. "This project will be a multidimensional synthesis of visual imagery, sound, text and choreography," notes artistic director and choreographer Yolande Snaith. "The collaborative team aims to create a poetic synthesis between our respective disciplines through the integration of dance, music, text, voice and visual design, in order to merge the essence of Sor Juana’s unique, historic voice with the invention of a new, highly contemporary artistic language using the new technologies at the Qualcomm Institute."

In addition to production designer Victoria Petrovich and artistic director and choreographer Yolande Snaith, composer Ryan Welsh is partnering with them on the project. Welsh is working on his Ph.D. in music (composition) at UC San Diego. "In contrast to the rambling and ever-unfolding nature of the text by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, the musical score will emphasize the spoken text as a unified sonic object, alongside other processed and manipulated vocal sounds," explains Welsh. "The Qualcomm Institute's black-box Theater provides the opportunity to surround the audience in an immersive and evolving sonic landscape. The audience will travel into the imaginative writings of Sor Juana through the narrow and claustrophobia-inducing cloisters of her native Mexican convent and arrive at the expansive universe of the sister’s mind."


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© yolande snaith 2013