900 Bees are Humming

a multi disciplinary work exploring death, life, love and transformation: scale and interiors

created by K.J. Holmes

Excerpt of an improvisation as research and development of 900 Bees performed by K.J. Holmes and cellist, Juan Ignacio Ferrares


Solo distillation

900 Bees are Humming” is a structured improvisational performance exploring life, death, love and transformation. A mythical world is created through dance, music, voice and image, making visible our layered world, the histories we hold in our bodies, our relationships to the environment, and how we must protect and honor the spaces between. Like Magical Realism, illusory and real, it invites audiences to be present with a never-ending process. 

“900 Bees…” continues my long-term interest in nature, human nature and a trust in performance to speak to social and environmental issues. The initial inspiration for this piece comes from an experience I had teaching Somatics/Improvisation and the Poetics of Dance and Performance in the countryside of Solvik, Sweden in June 2017.   This is an area where there are many working sustainable farms surrounded by Anthroposophic research in architecture, farming, and community. The class was housed in a Steiner school in the midst of an old forest near the Baltic Sea. To prepare for class, I walked towards the sea through a forest that held enormous oak trees. As I was walking through I heard a distinct loud humming.  I noticed a placard. It described the age of the oak trees saying it takes 300 years for the tree to grow, 300 years for the tree to live, and 300 years for the tree to die. As the tree is dying, different insects and animals will use it for their home, including bees. I suddenly realized that the humming was coming from one of those trees inhabited by many bees. It was extraordinary, both the story and the sound. It made what seemed to be dying as so alive, so full of sound and vibration. It made vivid the recycling of lives and of time and space. I resonate with this life cycle process as a dancer who uses her body as a source for creation. As a singer, I feel in my breath these hums. As an improvisational dance artist, I resonate with this process, entering my own interior and using impermanence as sources for creation.

“900 Bees…” will be an evening-length performance and film installation with a chorus of dancers and vocalists, music by myself and cellist Juan Ignacio Ferreras.

I am currently conducting solo rehearsals in the studio and outside in varied landscapes, exploring relationships between varying systems of vibration and resonance, and reading about bees in mythology.