is inspired by the spirit world of the Mexican Dia de los Muertos, populated by the voices and stories of our ancestors, both recent and ancient. The world of daylight confronts the realm of memory, dream and death. It was a collaboration with Pauline Oliveros, the dancers from the Monterrey Mexico community and dancers from Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works.

GHOSTDANCE is site-specific, with audience members seated on all sides of a space decorated with brightly colored baskets, flowers, bones, musical instruments, and other objects gathered to evoke both a Mexican cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos and a lavish carnival.

The sound design by Pauline Oliveros creates an eerie, haunting kaleidoscope of music and woven fragments of collected sounds. Ms. Oliveros intends that the voices fly and fall like wind through the space, drawing the audiences listening attention from one area to another in concert with the movement of the dance.

Following its debut in Mexico and New York, made possible by the U.S./Mexico Fund for Culture, GHOSTDANCE was re-conceived and developed in Russia with the support of the Trust for Mutual Understanding and Arts International.

My work with dancers and audiences in Mexico and Russia for GHOSTDANCE remains one of my richest creative experiences. The experience of listening deeply, of letting our cultural edges abrade and dissolve, discovering through movement and sound how we are alike, and how our differences shape expression. Dancing with them, I felt the commonality of the body, the nervous system and the heart.
Paula Josa-Jones

  • Ghostdance is an apparition in my psyche everyday. The miracle of your work in my life is this -- other choreographer's works may please me or not, but regardless it remains "on" a screen, on a canvas, on a plane of some kind. My delight in the work of artists other than you can be real and meaty -- it appreciates the aesthetic, the pattern, BUT what your work does is LIVE in me! It moves in! It moves me! It transports me to that place that IS art where the work and the experiencer become a breathing art-being. My judgment voice, my critic, my "appreciator" gets swamped. The experience is simply no longer about viewing - the experience IS the dance. Oh, it is that I am DANCED. Your work moves me beyond any consciousness of itself as "art" to the being of art. That's it. WOW. Beyond measuring, thank you.
    Kathleen Henry, Boston Liturgical Dance

    Ms. Oliveros score for GHOSTDANCE is available HERE.