Shadows of a Strong Woman by Nikisha Reyes
Shadows of a Strong Woman takes us on an aesthetic musical journey with sound therapy, from the perspective of a Trinidadian woman living in the UK. It involves a gospel choir and classical music performances by Guildhall’s African Caribbean Society. The project touches on themes of mental health, identity, and representation within the UK’s Wellbeing and Opera community and was inspired by BBC-2021 Abdirahim Saeed’s Are Black women getting enough support for their Mental Health?
This project also draws upon inspiration from Marianne Anderson, by combining negro spirituals with classical music, and includes meditative mantras from Deepak Chopra & Oprah Winfrey’s, Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude.
In her final year, after the impact of Covid-19 on her mental health, Nikisha embraced Sound Therapy, combining voice and singing bowls as a new process to meet the demands of her studies whilst creating new work. Shadows of a Strong Woman is one of the projects that emerged from this process.
The graduate project version of Shadows of a Strong Woman was featured as part of Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s ‘Of Shadow & Light Festival’ in June.
Directed, produced, and written by Nikisha Reyes
This performance explores themes of mental health, including anxiety around identity, under-representation and isolation.