Sending the message of water’s connectivity across cultures, IONA’s ‘Electric Blue Community Beach Performance’ has been performed for hundreds on beaches across the State of Hawaii. ‘Electric Blue’ draws from the myth of the Scottish selke sirens, mysterious seal creatures who shed their skins (in this case vintage fur coats) onto the sand in the gloaming to dance with their destiny. Flaharty subtly links the original myth, that the selke can be captured if her sealskin is stolen, to the pillaging of the ocean and the raping and colonization of pure cultures across the globe.
In a unique display of counterbalancing, the sometimes-airborne dancers use ropes to enhance aesthetically dramatic partnering. Evoking the familiar Homeric account of Ulysses, the men represent society as a whole, and the rope the rules by which ordered society is controlled. With 12 dancers in full Victorian costume, the beach becomes a surreal battleground of love, ringing with the haunting sounds of singer/songwriter Charlottemarie and lit by the setting sun.