Glass is a film and performance installation featuring music by Peter Van Zandt Lane, text by Olivia Clare, cinematography by Chelsea Robin Lee, and choreography by The People Movers.
At first, it was all about barriers.
The People Movers started working on Glass with composer Peter Van Zandt Lane during a 2015 residency at Pocantico: the Rockefeller Brothers estate.
On this lavish property, there were gates everywhere – at the entrance, between houses and studios, throughout the gardens. And there were non-physical gates. We had to be invited to the residency, raise funds to be able to go…
The more we thought about it, the more we realized there were gates everywhere. Omnipresent reminders that you can see through, but you can’t get past — at least, not without privilege, commodity, and societal mobility.
At first, it was all about barriers.
Alongside composer Peter Van Zandt Lane, we started working on this project back in 2015 residency at Pocantico: the Rockefeller Brothers estate. On this lavish property, there were gates everywhere – not just to enter the property, but between houses and studios, throughout the gardens. And there were non-physical gates as well: we had to be invited to the residency, raise funds to be able to go…
The more we thought about it, the more we realized that there were gates everywhere. Omnipresent reminders that you can see through, but you can’t get past — at least, not without privilege, commodity, and societal mobility.
And then, it was about a specific kind of barrier.
As we continued developing this piece alongside the 2016 presidential election we were overwhelmed by news from a campaign polluted with misogyny and violence towards women. Yes, her campaign was flawed, but Hillary Clinton was held to double standards time and time again.
Women in positions of power are expected to be everything and nothing – genuine but unruffled, intelligent but not pedantic, warm but not soft. This was on display every day.
That, plus disturbing reports of Bill Cosby’s predatory behavior. That, plus Elizabeth Warren being cut off on the floor of the senate. That, plus Brock Turner’s lenient sentencing, plus constant threats to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, plus our personal experiences as female performers being typecast and victims of audience abuse.
It is impossible to escape these harmful gender disparities.
We kept thinking: What’s a barrier that, as a woman-identified person in America, you can see through but you can’t get past?
Right. A glass ceiling.
What we've been working on.
“…when a woman says something that impugns a man, particularly a powerful one … the response will question not just the facts of her assertion but her capacity to speak and her right to do so. Generations of women have been told they are delusional, confused, manipulative, malicious, conspiratorial, congenitally dishonest, often all at once.”
Featuring a cast of all female performers, Glass exploits the viewer’s perspective to emphasize the idea that women are so often looked down upon. The performance intentionally separates performer/audience, language/music, and individualism/conformity to show how barriers are cultivated, maintained, and perpetuated in our day to day lives.
Through meticulously controlled movements, wild emotional gestures, “power poses” and even nail painting, the cast communicates the fight for status, confidence, and attention that women engage in their careers and personal lives.
Notions of competitiveness or cattiness play out, too. The performers walk the fine line between standing in solidarity with fellow females and perpetuating the very misogyny they stand against.
Come + SEE
Let's shatter the glass ceiling together.
Learn more about how you can get involved with our process.