Project Cathedral, and all Ambient event held monthly at St. Paul’s Cathedral, was purely surreal, to the point that it made anything else seem normal.
Passing through the tall stone arch and entering the cathedral, burning candles lit the path down a short flight of stairs, under the room that was to host the event, and up an equally short flight of stairs. We paid a humble $5 cover charge and picked up a complimentary bottle of bubbles. Behind us was the main dance room, fully decorated to theme.
A water sculpture near the entrance to the main room was made of two thin sheets of mylar. Blue and Green tinted water flowed between the sheets, but the water looked like it was pouring through the air. Air bubbles migrated upward adding to the aquious nature of this event.
Bubbles blown by the audience, who were actually part of the event, drifted past one foot wide by eight foot long tubes of translucent grocery-store-bag plastic. Small fans pushed air through the plastic tubes causing them to wave and pulse in irregular patterns, like sea weed on the ocean floor. Their soft crumbleing noise was all we heard when when the performers were not playing their instruments.

The performers themselves blended into the background, as did everyone in attendence that night. Time itself blended together leaving you to wonder just how much had happened in the last half hour. What time is it? The lack of a beat threw off my natural sence of time. Drawn out, flowing melodies layered on top of eachother added to the disorientation.

Dancers reappeared dressed in white veils, holding matching umbrellas. They opened and closed the umbrellas mimicing jellyfish swiming through the ocean.

Overhead, a video tape of fish swiming, filmed earlier that day at the Birch aquarium, was projected onto a huge tarp. Silouettes wiggled and turned above our heads, fittingly, making us feel as if we were on the ocean floor.

Dancers immitated different types of fish, gracefully swimming in the cathedral. One, dressed in red with a stainless steel barbeque tong in each hand, took on the personallity of crab. She scurried around clicking her tongs in the air and on the ground. At one point she picked up an empty bowl and took it to the kitchen.

There were vegan offerings spread out on a table at the back of the room. A nourishing curry and rice entree, as well as salad and steamed spinich made for a healthy snack. Fruit juice and hot green tea were available for everyone to drink, and all of this was free. (Of course, donations were accepted, and everyone chipped in)