vita activa


Meany Studio Theatre

Co-Collaborators/Dancers/Sculptors: Alethea Alexander + Adele Nickel

Costumes: Jordan Fell

Soundscore from: Caroline Shaw, Digiffects Sound Effects Library, The Sound Gallery and Rest Television

Sound compiled and edited by: Alethea Alexander

Showings and residencies at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center (Bellingham, WA),

the University of Washington, and Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX)

Vita Activa is a collaborative work for two dancers, twenty 10-foot-long PVC pipes, and an 80-pound bag of concrete. It posits a feminist response to Hannah Arendt’s notions of “labour, work and action” with explorations of effort marked and practiced by female bodies. Vita Activa draws on imagery of forests, fields, and construction sites to bring the organic and inorganic into conversation. Cooperation, care, ease, frivolity, grace and grit all find their way into the labors of the work.


A version of Vita Activa was performed at the 7-Day Dance Festival in Bellingham, WA (August 2019). It was expanded upon in residence at Sam Houston State University (October 2019), and premiered in its first iteration at the UW Dance Presents concert at the University of Washington in January 2020.

photos: Warren Woo

© 2020 by Alethea Alexander