Sandra Hughes – Bring Me Yellow Flowers
Traemos Las Flores de Cempoalxochitl
Showcased at the American Film Institute Video Festival, Los Angeles
Nominated for the Robert Bennett Award
Created, Written, Choreographed & Adapted from her Live Stage Production by Sandra Hughes
Project History – Artist Statement
While I was performing and teaching workshops at a university in Mexico City during El Día de Los Muertos my Mexican students and colleagues insisted I must create an ofrenda (offering) to and for Frida Kahlo in the form of a performance. Their ongoing support encouraged me to produce, create, write, choreograph and direct Bring Me Yellow Flowers – also known as Traemos Las Flores de Cempoalxochitl – for the live stage. Later, Producer-Director John Williams of Rubicon Productions asked me to adapt my stage production for video/film.
Both productions draw upon my longtime dedication to performances rendered as moving images and music. My longtime collaborator Tom Spock (Spach) composed and performed the sound design and music for both the live stage and video/film productions. Master mask-maker Michael Hickey traveled with me to Mexico, created the masks and helped (with guidance from our Mexican advisors) to select costumes and props from the markets in Mexico City.
For the film shoot I was pleased to have the opportunity to reimagine aspects of the stage production. I chose an outdoor nighttime location where we were able to build real fires and use large clay bowls of smoking copal as part of the setting. I also restaged the action and adjusted the choreography for the camera. Our hardy cast members and crew worked outside during January in 21 degree F weather. The artistic comradery I experienced with Director of Photography Mark Petersen contributed to a warm and inspiring creative environment.
Due to the many levels of collaboration, the stage and video productions were fully realized. Production support from the non-profit arts organization Gateway Performance Productions was deeply appreciated. And we were honored to have Bring Me Yellow Flowers included in the American Film Institute Video Festival showcase with a nomination for the Robert Bennett Award.