Man-Made Mermaid

Man Made Mermaid - Kaliane

Man-Made Mermaid a été composé dans le cadre de l’exercice “My Universe” créé par Zelda Fichandler.

La performance a été présentée avec la complicité d’Olivia Gagnon le dimanche 24 novembre 2013 à la Tisch School of the Arts dans le cadre du cours “Performing Identities” dirigé par Anna Deavere Smith et Nancy Hichinger avec l’aide de Stephanie Schneider. 

When I was a child, I was convinced I was a mermaid.

I suffer from an unknown mutant type of anemia. And I spent most of my school days in pain, or asleep. I tried everything to dissimulate this pain, doing a lot of sports and athletic activities such as dancing, ice-skating, gymnastics, but to no avail.

The sea-witch said: “your tail will split and shrink into what humans call two charming legs, but it will be painful. It will feel like a sharp sword is passing through you”.

As a mermaid, I desperately wanted to walk, and so
Walking became my trade.
It was painful, but a mermaid’s eternal life depends on an outside power.

Pictures of my fragmented self are all over the Internet.
Spreading legs.
Crossed legs.
Wondering legs.
Surprised legs.
Legs asking questions.
Silky, sullen, sulking legs.

I am the first one in my family to be born with straight legs.
Call it evolution, call it integration, the result of three generations of immigration.
Now maybe we can walk freely in the streets of Paris.
I am the fucked-up creation of the billion narratives flowing in my veins.

Once upon a time
Deep in the kingdom of the sea
There was a princess
Covered in jewerelly
With large pensive eyes

I have lost the track of the tale.
I have lost this kingdom by the sea.
But these are more than my legs because this is my legacy.
I am ready to stand now that I know what the people know.

I have learned that
Witches are only in mirrors and that princes are all gone.
I have learned that
I don’t need to give up my voice to walk in the sun.