Eroica is collaborative multimedia installation and performance piece by the dancer Neeka Reeves and multidisciplinary artist Erick Antonio Benitez. Eroica is a work intended to examine the boundaries and struggles faced by African American women in modern-day America and how these circumstances translate into a search and longing for freedom through the exploration of origins and roots. Using symbols of nature and movement, Eroica suggests and explores the ideas of self-empowerment and myth. To create freedom where it was not given, to find freedom where it was lost, to manifest freedom, where it was forgotten, are all questions that Eroica invites the viewer to reflect upon. Eroica presents a narrative of a African American women who faces the day to day challenges being marginalized by the color of her skin and gender. A voice that has been silenced by this outcome is expressed through a metamorphosis of the inner voice. Through the channeling of ritual and dance, the inner voice is capable of transcending the individual into a place of freedom. Ultimately Eroica evokes a myth of freedom that liberates an oppressed individual.
The installation and performance of Eroica is composed of movement, sound performance and a visual installation made of video projections and found objects.
The performance element of Eroica is a call and response between the dancer and musician through a method of improvisation with a loose choreographed structure. The musician creates compositions with field recordings, acoustic and electronic instruments. The dancer's role includes dialogue, dance, and interaction with the visual installation. The visual installation includes a projection within the space of the performance to fabricate symbols and visual cues that amplifies the narrative of Eroica. These projections culminate images found in nature, city infrastructures and symbols. To complement the visual aesthetic, an installation of physical natural found objects is installed to enhance the ritual elements of the movements found in Eroica.
Eroica will also be developing into a short film musical narrative using the similar themes from installation/performance such as dance choreography and music with scenes taking place in numerous locations around the city of Baltimore. This short film project will initiate in Spring 2019.