“Kalyian was inspired by the blind princess from the island of Samar, a freedom fighter and founder of the Philippine martial art Kali. Blind since birth, this legendary princess possessed an extraordinary sixth sense and sensitivity towards energy and life forces that she could not be defeated by even the fiercest of warriors. Kalyian is a modern-day personification of the female warrior spirit. It depicts the timeless battle of women, whose inherent warrior qualities are first fought, then realized, and eventually developed into harmony with the total self. It is the same force that gives women of this nature, the strength to survive and succeed. Kalyian combines technology with techniques drawn from Kabuki Theater, dance and Kali to depict both a primordial and futuristic sensibility.

In the tape, Kalyian encounters a figure clothed in black, face concealed. Narrow beams of light cut across a darkened space. Like two cats, they move about, appearing and disappearing into the shadows. At one point, the figure in black eludes her by leading her into a maze. As soon as Kalyian enters the maze, the space becomes alive; a montage of images bombards her. She responds instantly and attacks. Eventually, she becomes aware she is fighting her own fears, anger and aggression. The more conscious she becomes of this, the less fighting and destruction occurs. From this realization, Kalyian transforms her weapon into a flute to communicate through music to the figure in black. The figure responds to the music through dance. Image after image of the figure in black join in, moving together in harmony, they become one. Then, the figure reveals to Kalyian, her past actions and moments of self-realization. More and more, Kalyian recognizes parts of herself before her, until once again she is face to face with the figure in black. At this point, Kalyian realizes her subconscious has been her guide, leading her into self-realization and eventual transformation into a higher form of awareness. Kalyian has resolved her internal conflicts and is in harmony with herself.”–Barbara Sykes Continue reading