CHO MU (Butterfly Dreams)
WALKER ART CENTER, MN, and Capp Street Project, San Francisco, CA

Choreographer Joanna Haigood, visual artist Reiko Goto, and composer Lauren Weinger created CHO MU (Butterfly Dreams), which used naturally occurring elements - local butterflies and their metamorphic process - to suggest a metaphorical relationship with human growth and evolution. Conceived as a walk through performance installation, this work took place in six stations along a designated path. The path and character of the stations drew from the juxtaposition of nature and urban life, as well as from the inherent breeding patterns of the butterflies.

With an original score by Chicago composer Lauren Weinger, the work highlights the butterfly’s metamorphosis as a transformation common in our everyday environment yet hidden amidst the distractions and fast pace of 20th century urban living. Reiko Goto, then a San Francisco based artist, has created installations through the Bay Area, taking inspiration from the observation of and interaction with animal life.

Performance Sections:

The Wanderer
The 1000 Different Bodies
The Egg
Balance and the Caterpillar
Leaving the Chrysalis

The Wanderer was played by Joanna Haigood while riding a high bike and leading the audience from one station to the next.

The Tall Man, played by Andreas Meier, wore a box on his chest filled with monarch butterflies that he periodically released throughout the performance.

CHO MU premiered in May 1993 during an artist residency at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco with a New York premiere commissioned in July 1993 by Dancing in the Streets, Walker Art Center, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

Direction and Choreography: Joanna Haigood
Visual Art Designer: Reiko Goto
Composer: Lauren Weinger

Paul Benney, Joanna Haigood, Jo Kreiter, Sheila Lopez, Andy Meier, Jose Navarrete, Carmen Rosenstraten, and Shakiri

Premiere Date

Premiere Location
Capp Street Project, San Francisco, CA

Subsequent Tour Date & Location
1993: Roosevelt Island, NY

Funders / Commissioners
CHO MU’s premiere at Capp Street Project was made possible with generous support from the Flintridge Foundation, LEF Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts

New York premiere commissioned by Dancing in the Streets, Walker Art Center, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with additional support from National Endowment for the Arts, LEF Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Photography by: Liz Zivic, Tom Brazil and Dan Dennehy

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