Novena was a capstone project that was to be performed at NYU Abu Dhabi. It was the result of more than a year of preparation and four years of education. The project was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 restrictions.
I’m a stranger in my own soul
I’m stuck in a deja vu
I feel like a ghost visiting my body in the past.
I’m homesick from my old self but I’m feeling at home
Sometimes I tell myself I want to go back to normal, but this is my new normal
Novena is an autobiographical performance piece exploring the impact of religious social scripts on the performance of the female body. Drawing aesthetic imagery from Catholic performance practices and rituals, Novena depicts a recluse bride who imprisons herself in a church to atone for her sins. We watch as she processes her feelings of transgressional guilt in contention with her instinctual pleasures.
Exploring the impact of religious structures on a woman’s coming of age through prose, song, and dance, Novena questions the process of outgrowing and interrogating institutional beliefs ingrained in the female psyche.
Photographs by Daniel Rey