The Trancendance of Inanna
Written, Produced, Directed and Starring
Titanya Monique Dahlin
Inanna is Titanya's one-women show,
based on the Ancient Sumerian myth and retold by her. Larger productions are accompanied by live music and may include
song and additional dancers.
Originally found on clay tablets, Inanna
is one of the oldest shows known to man. Inanna, Goddess of Love and War, descends to the Underworld to meet
her dark sister, Erishkigal. On the way, she meets a slew of strange characters such as an Arab nightclub singer, the man
of her dreams, and a holy fly. Mid- East dance with mask, sword, and the dance of the seven veils.
2,000 years older than the Bible, The descent of Inanna
was inscribed on clay tablets in the Sumerian Dynasty around 1750 B.C.
The Sumerians were, as many believed, to be the first
civilization settling in Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Iraq).
They believed the Universe was under the watchful eyes
of the gods in whom everything in nature was changed. Their cities were built around their temples, as public rites and rituals
played an important role in Sumerian life.
One of their leading deities was Inanna -- Goddess of
Love, War, and Procreation. She was the Great Mother, worshipped throughout the land for nearly 2,000 years.
Sacrifices were offered daily to the Gods, and every
year there was the New Year celebration. This was a great ceremony of music, song, and dance depicting the sacred marriage
right of Inanna and Dimuzi. This union symbolized fertility of the earth and power to the people, and continued for many centuries
were an awesome culture. They gave us our first form of writing (wedge shapes on clay tablets) called Cuneiform. They built
the first cities and our first system of government. The Sumerians were among the first inventors and made some major contributions,
such as glass, metals, mirrors, canals, bridges, sewage systems, architecture, science, textiles, astrology, astronomy, time,
musical theory, musical scale & notation, agriculture, business & trade, and beer.
One of the first poems ever to be written down comes
from around 2300 B.C., by a high priestess by the name of Enheduanna. Her poem was dedicated to the great goddess, Inanna.
It is she who, in the beginning of the show, invites us into the world of Inanna.
The Trancendance of Innana was Titanya's own personal
myth while she did the research for a period of three years.
order to know Inanna and her journey, I had to go dark. I found it easy and wrote whole volumes while I was depressed.
Yet, in my happier moments, when I really wanted to write, it was difficult to even lift a pen.
Within my research, I began to explore the seven gateways,
something that was only touched upon in the myth. What lie there and what did they mean to humanity and myself? I found
myself diving into the ominous seven deadly sins, and the dance of the seven veils. To me, the dance is a symbolic representation
of Inanna's descent. Like life, thresholds need to be crossed, and as we change, the past must be left behind.
As a Mid-Eastern, Polynesian dancer, storyteller and actress in
the '90s, Inanna called me for something different. It seemed she wanted "her story" to be updated to fit "our times." I have
taken mine and Inanna's liberty to tell and dance an interpretation of many different styles together creating a fusion of
the old and the new in harmonic synthesis.
As you watch this myth enfold, please note that any similar
reference to either my family or friends is purely coincidental, which makes the story of Inanna so powerful; it can
touch us all.
I couldn't turn the corner without one of my friends
or fellow artists telling me that, they too, were dealing with the myth of Inanna in their own lives. Like a morphegenic field,
Inanna surely calls us in this time we are living in now to transcend, to overcome, and climb over. We are called to go beyond
ourselves, to go past where we think we need to stop. Hopefully, we may continue to live the transcendent truths of who we
really are as spiritual beings.