“Did you see it?”
“What was that?”
“Did that tree just move?”
When walking through Disney World, one expects to meet lots of characters. Sometimes these encounters are expected and intentional; sometimes they are unexpected. Often you meet “first tier” characters, such as Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Goofy, or Donald Duck. Sometimes you meet unconventional characters like the soldiers from Toy Story, the Imperial Stormtroopers from Star Wars or the elusive, sometimes smoke free Pecos Bill.
For a truly serendipitous encounter, I hope you meet DiVine.
She can be as allusive as her character. A search on Disney’s website does not reveal her. On the internet, I have seen her referred to as “Tree Woman” or “Ivy Woman.”
Who is she?
Her name is Priscilla Blight and she is a performance artist who is part of a group known as The Living Garden. When she moves, it is with the grace and agility of nature itself. When she stands still, she portrays the strength of a rock. When she so wishes, she can blend into the scenery so completely that all are blind to her prescence.
I posted a picture of her at the top of this blog. Did you see her?
Currently, DiVine appears on the pathway between Africa and Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some websites state that she performs at 10am, 11am, noon, and 1pm. But I can’t find any official listing of her in Disney literature. And she surely can’t perform every day of the week. My family saw her on Saturdy.
Using stilts, extended arms and creative costuming, DiVine fluctuates between 7 and 16 feet tall. When she crosses the path, it’s impossible to miss her. When she curls around a post, it’s easy to mistake her for ivy. When she hugs a tree, she vanishes into the landscape.
There is something both mystical and magical about DiVine. The best way to see her occurs when you are innocently looking at a grove of trees and, suddenly, one of them begins to move. Fortunately, that’s how I first encountered her. With that first movement, however, she draws a crowd. Then most people see her as they strain to understand what everyone is looking at.
Her performance ability, however, is superb. Not only can she move in a way that convinces you she is a moving plant; not only can her face take on the luminecent quality of a natural organism; she also has great timing. She can stand perfectly still and tranquil until all the nearby guests have taken their look and moved on. Then–suddenly–unexpectantly–she will begin to move right in front of an unsuspecting youngster who will cry out in delight, astonishment or sometimes terror.
She does not speak. She does not look directly at you. Her eyes are either wide open or so serenely shut you just know she has returned to Nirvana.
This is a character performance worth experiencing. It is, for lack of a better word, DiVine!
[2/1/10 Editor's Note: Whenever I write a blog, I usually send an email to the subject of the blog. This blog was partially based on information from the website cited above. After posting, we were delighted to hear from Priscilla Stephan (nee Blight) who created the character DiVine. She gave us the following update to that information:
Thank you for writing such a poetic Blog
I felt it was also important to update you so that you have a few current facts!!
DiVine has recently become part of a new company i have just formed called Living World Entertainment. I am now called Priscilla Stephan (not Blight) because I got married a few years ago.
While i created the character DiVine and used to perform this act I now function mainly as a Creative Director.We now have about 10/12 DiVine performers that work through out the states and beyond!!
Up until very recently DiVine was part of The living Garden which was produced by 2nd Nature Productions. i started 2nd Nature in FL in 1999. Divine now however as been transferred out of 2nd Nature into my new company Living World Entertainment.
The performers name who was working that day is Carol ann Byron.
I hope this helps:)
and thanks again for sending this to me.