By LeRae Haynes –
Miss White Spider Arts is a new, fluid, creative, and versatile business that offers an incredible range of products and experiences for customers. Artist owner Al-Lisa provides an educational focus that is global, positive, unique, and inspirational.
One of the things offered through Miss Spider Arts is dance facilitation. In spring of this year, Al-Lisa facilitated ‘Dance Beyond Words: An Ecstatic Dance.’“It’s an experience with the practice of communicating through our bodies and letting them tell their own stories beyond using words, with an introductory five rhythms opening,” Al-Lisa said.
“I also offered Raise Them Up: an all-ages community dance in Williams Lake, with various free form activities and props in the dance space for kids and adults to explore the creative together,” she said, adding she will offer more courses offered in the fall.
White Spider Arts also offers a global shadow show—puppetry for all-ages audiences, representing a new country and region every year. “I might do a mythological story, legend, or folklore from their ancestry, incorporate my own music, and add pertinent music from that country,” she said. “I do this for festivals, and am also looking to present in the education system.”
She said she may do some speed painting with it, use a loop pedal and synthesizer, and learn to speak with an accent from that country. “In the beginning, I do a little commentary and drop a little about where we’re going within the tale,” she added.
The shadow tales tell themselves. “I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and it’s finally starting to manifest,” she continued.
“I create one show a year, and this year I’m representing the Northern Scottish Isles; I travel with that show for a year. I’ll archive it after that and people can buy past performances on DVD. Then I move on to another country for the next year’s tour.
“I hear ‘wow’ a lot, and I like it when people say they’ve never experienced anything like my shows before—that’s my favourite,” she said.
She has also started to do children’s shadow shows. “They are not as complex to present and I have a growing menu,” she said. “Right now, I have four stories for children’s parties and events—you can choose. All my stories have an integral message behind them: positive humanitarian lessons.”
There is definitely an educational aspect to her shadow shows and puppetry.
She also makes hand puppets, marionettes, stick puppets, and refurbished teddy bear puppets—a goal for next year besides shadow puppetry. “I’m going to also bring my bigger puppets and do something interactive with kids,” she said.
Also available from Miss White Spider Arts is Cirque du Soleil-style free-form face painting.
Al-Lisa said she’s getting back into DJ work, choosing music with positive, lyrical energy as well as her own music—global world beat for special events.
A composer, Al-Lisa describes her music as fusion loop electro folk trip hop. “I do acoustic instrumentals fused with electronica beats,” she said. “It’s ‘dancy,’ dreamy, and experimental.”
She also does custom paintings and portraits, murals, and fine arts workshops; besides doing seamstress work and fabric arts, she is a trained Early Childhood Educator and works with children in various ways.
“I trust I can always do what I set out to do,” she continued.
She said art flows from her in a fluid way—that she starts without a vision and it just flows.
“Every painting is custom—whenever I do a painting, I feel as though I’m filling out an order because eventually the person and the painting find one another and they belong together. It might take a couple of days, or 10 years, but they always find each other,” she said.
Festivals have been good for her—that’s where she got started with her shadow shows. “Coming through Community Futures, there was a ‘milestone question,’ and for me, that milestone is my services being sought out, not me seeking work. I have happily met that milestone.
“The two major cornerstones of why I’m doing this art business, is that I need to be true to my purpose, which is being an artist,” she continued.
“The second is, I really want to see healing of multiculturalism, where people just accept people because they’re people.
“I am part of that movement, and I want to be part of it in a more tangible way, so I put it into my stories.”
She said at the fundamental core of all ancestral beliefs and stories, is love. “It all comes back to the basics of love, compassion, and kindness,” she added. “We all have to survive together; there’s a common thread through all our ancestors’ beliefs.
“The feedback I get from people is that they really feel moved from my shadow shows, and for me that feels like I have succeeded. I don’t want to just entertain people,” she said. “I want to feed their spirits and make them feel inspired, more connected to each other, and at peace with themselves.”
For more information about Miss White Spider Arts, visit www.misswhitespider.com or on Facebook.
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids.