Love, a state of grace will be a four day performance installation between February 11 and February 18, 2022, at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. Each performance will be presented in one hour cycles repeated over 3 hours, during which the audience may move freely within the Cathedral. With over 90-foot ceilings, stained glass, and multiple chambers, Grace Cathedral will provide a multifaceted platform of many vantage points for the audience.
The original concept for Love, a state of grace was in response to the rise in violent attacks and vandalism directed at sacred places in the United States. The objective was to bring together diverse communities to share and celebrate our common humanity and the tenets of love in religious practice. Since our initial development of the work, our country has increasingly experienced the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge of social uprisings against racial injustice. In light of these events, we have reframed Love, a state of grace to include reflection and dialogue around these issues. It is our hope that the performance will create a shared experience that will reaffirm the role of kindness, compassion, love, and righteous social action in the national healing process.
Choreographed and directed by Joanna Haigood, the performance will feature six of the Bay Area’s most talented aerial dancers who will interact with original props created by collaborating designers Wayne Campbell and Sean Riley. These props include an anchored 90-foot ladder and 70-foot swinging pendulum, each a unique response to the rhythms and height of Grace Cathedral’s Gothic design. Composer Walter Kitundu’s sound score will incorporate recorded material, the activation of live acoustic instruments within the space, the Cathedral’s massive pipe organ, and voices of a small choir, all in conversation with the Cathedral’s cavernous interior space and prolonged reverberation. Artist theologians Yohana Junker and Claudío Cavalhaes will design a series of meditations and small rituals that the audience may engage throughout the Cathedral. At the heart of each ritual, the question that emerges is how to intimate and love our places, our bodies, our communities, our land otherwise.
Our community partner, Grace Cathedral, has a well established tradition as a cross-cultural sanctuary. Its leadership and innovative programming has inspired much of the conceptual aspects of this work. Performances will be followed by panel discussions with activists, artists and theologians, who will discuss the concept of “otherness” and strategies that lead to greater acceptance and understanding. We are pleased and honored to be collaborating with Grace’s staff to further our goals of safe public dialogue within the context of an arts experience.
Love, a state of grace is made possible by generous support from the California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, MAP Fund, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Gadomski Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Distracted Globe Foundation, and Piece by Piece Productions