Black Swans, an opera poem© is envisioned as an international community and collaborative project. Multidimensional and interdisciplinary in scope, this performance installation weaves personal and cultural heritage stories inspired by the significance of the black swan. Aesthetically, Black Swans integrates the visual expansiveness of an opera with the intimacy and depth found in the poem form.
Artist-scholar L. Martina Young imagines the black swan image as a bridging and unifying symbol. She explores how diverse cultural and human narratives relate to the significance of the black swan and how those narratives inform and interact with one another—culturally, ecologically, and aesthetically. As a humanitarian, Ms. Young hopes to identify not only real and imagined qualities evoked by the image, but also to address the modern ecological challenges endangering the species itself. Ms. Young’s approach constitutes a creative process and artistic product that is capable of yielding ways and possibilities for critical conversation, healing, and reconciliation among peoples and cultures in our modern times.
Most significantly, Black Swans’ content evolves as it reflects the living stories, poetries, dance, and musics of the people involved in re-imagining and performing the work: indigenous and non-indigenous, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike. When we can locate and retrieve something of ourselves in one another’s stories, we deepen our connections. Currently, U.S.—based artists are developing an excerpt of the work for a 2018 October performance relevant to their lives and cultures.
Black Swans, an opera poem© is a site of inquiry. It is also a universal symbol that beckons global consideration, response, and active engagement. The final outcome of this work is exemplified by the image audiences are left with: a constructed and illuminated installation of the celestial stars forming the Cygnus (Swan) constellation.
2016 Award of Excellence
Traditional Association for Cultural Harmony
The Lighthouse/Studio 5 O 2
creating a community place and celebrating 17 years for an art and life practice ~
"Somatic therapy can been defined in many ways: a form of neuromuscular movement re-education; mind-body training that addresses root causes of musculoskeletal pain, movement limitation, and/or immobility; and the way we, as human beings, sense and organize movement of muscles and bones. For me, Martina Young’s revolutionary healing practice has been a wonderful shared experience of movement, aesthetics, body and soul.
Ms. Young’s current therapeutic work has become the practical manifestation of her lifelong experience as artist, teacher, 30+ year Pilates practitioner, scholar, and somatic being. She has a laser-like ability to hone in on clients’ pathological issues by locating those areas in her own body and instantly analyzing cause and effect. She then is able to easily translate how to internally tweak and maneuver muscle and bone back into alignment using her clarity of language and poetic image.
My most recent healing experience with Martina has been a demanding and ultimately transformational journey, leading me through a careful, exacting and delightful rediscovery and recovery of my physical self.
In the first week of therapy, my right leg was nonfunctional and I felt like a bloated, limping, decrepit and frankly, unknown version of myself. Today, after 6 sessions of Martina’s Swan Practice and exacting Pilates Reformer work, I feel sleek, grounded and yet lighter, and physically ready. At 66 years of age I’ve experienced a rebirth of the strong and vital mover I’ve always been, and with her patient, attentive, and empathic guidance, I am at ease once again in my body self. "