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Through two 2019 performances HDD explored the life and work of Hildegard vong Bingen at the St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles. Hildegard, a woman ahead of her time, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, polymath and is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history. Her work spanned the theological, artistic, and scientific fields in a time when women rarely had the opportunity to speak up.

Hildegard Herself

November 22 & 23, 2019 – St. John’s Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA. Following The Hour of Hildegard, Duckler’s first installment which explored Hildegard’s Physica, a book health and healing, Hildegard Herself focused on the many elements that made this Saint a radical innovator. The performance took place at St. John’s historical central cathedral, Parish Hall, and courtyard garden, where guests are invited to experience Hildegard’s feminist spirit and legacy. The work explored the multiple dimensions of her innovations in the realms of healing, music, language, and justice.

Choreographed & Directed by Heidi Duckler, Hildegard Herself featuresd HDD company dancers Tess Hewlett, Haylee Nichele, Rafael Quintas, Himerria Wortham, Dominique McDougal and William Jay Ylvisaker. Singers from the Ensemble Vocatrix performed in Hildegard’s original work, Sarah Belle Reid played prepared trumpet with a Minimally Invasive Gesture Sensing Interface (MIGSI) device, and Zach Neufeld played the organ and piano.

Photos by Gary Leonard

The Hour of Hildegard

St. John’s Cathedral Parish Hall, Los Angeles, CA on March 23, 2019. The Hour of Hildegard was the first installment of HDD’s exploration of the work of Hildegard von Bingen. This introductory piece focused on Hildegard’s work Physica, writings on health and her nine healing systems which include the medicinal use of plants, elements, trees, stones, fish, birds, animals, reptiles and metals. It was performed by five dancers with live singers and stories from the workers of the St. John’s Food Pantry.

Photos by Sean Deckert

This performance was made possible with support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.