Robert Barry Fleming, Executive Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville + Choreographer

Hydra – A Note from the Choreographer

When I imagined a title for this piece and the themes explored in a loose narrative story world of a tribe of aliens coming to earth to inevitably intercede in the social and political upheaval of a self-destructive species. This work is decidedly inspired by movies like THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET that charged my imagination in my formative years found the word HYDRA popping in my head without my knowing why or what exactly a “hydra” really was? Other vague childhood memories of B movies I watched at the drive-in with my parents, images of water, a gigantic serpentine multi-headed Claymation monster and the like emerged and a google search later a couple of things caught my attention. That hydra was not only a Greco-Roman mythological figure but an actual real-life organism that has fascinated biologists because of their regenerative abilities and they seemed to be, like the mythological figure, immortal. This is a genus that does not seem to age or die. What tremendous promise and hope such an entity in the universe might provide us, who are all too mortal to have more time to live and work in resistance and hope to overcome the all too familiar polarizing dysfunction that seems to permeate our current society. What a joy it has been to investigate that through movement with this exceptional group of dancing artists.

I dedicate HYDRA to my first ballet teacher, Victor M. Moreno, of the Ballet Russe who lit the flame of my love for the discipline.

From Robert Barry Fleming’s “Hydra” // Program 4 // Photo by Sam English 2022