Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another show down, one more to go...

The Day from Merli:

Picture this: It's 11am on June 11th -- the big day of the Dance for World Community Festival has arrived! -- and just as we approach "Advocacy Way" to set up our table, it pours. Kim and I scramble to check in, find a half-available tent, then pick up a giant table and run to safety! Within moments we realize it'll take far more than just a tent to save us, our many paper products and our assortment of bags from the rain. As it blows in from the back, we team up with the booth next to us to push our tents together. Kim finds a huge roll of lime green plastic wrap, and together we embark on...

SURVIVOR: Luminarium Dance Style

Kim, cradling our precious safety pins in her mouth as we work quickly to kludge our tent together.

Quick! The rain is soaking our beautiful t-shirt display! We grab our only umbrella and put it to work.

Caption: "WHAT have we gotten ourselves into..."

Hanging up the t-shirts in an attempt to weigh it all down.

Suddenly, it becomes clear that NO where is safe. The one dry spot left under the table has turned into an active river coursing through our tent.

Finally things start to settle. We are cold and wet, but happily secure in our survivor tent.

Merli...and the table! Not yet in its full glory. We put out posters, t-shirts, raffle tickets, mailing lists... It really looked quite lovely in the end. Not to mention, we were the most colorful tent on the street!

The day went much better after that. We were excited to share information on our company and recent performance projects, and eagerly listened to the other dance organizations that visited our tent. Despite the rain, it was a wonderful chance to get our name out there, and the diehard dance fans of Boston and Cambridge did not disappoint. Our audience was very full when we performed at 4:40, and everyone seemed to enjoy the show very much.

We soon learned that on average, the tent would turn into a sail boat and blow about 4 feet across the pavement every 33 minutes or so, leading Kim and I to become very good at bracing ourselves against it throughout the day. Kim suffered a waterfall from a neighboring tent towards the end of the day, and I lost most of my toes the moment my bare feet hit the stage (turning a beautiful, numb white!), but all in all, it was a fun experience, and our dancers -- as always -- did a wonderful job.

The Day from Kim:

Dance for World Community... an interesting phrase if you think about it for a minute.  

Anyways, my day started a graceful ten minutes late, picked up Merli in Watertown, and both of us had the highest hopes for the day.  I had been watching the weather, and wondering how reliable that 30% precipitation thing was on the Weather Channel.  Seeing as the clouds looked like they were clearing, rather than gathering, I thought nothing of the possibility of nasty weather!

Fast forward, thirty minutes, Merli and I had just trekked through Harvard Square with everything we needed for the day, to find ourselves standing in front of a soaked wooden table with nothing covering it.   We stood for a moment, taking in the light rain that was misting our faces and frizzing our hair, while the rain got heavier, wondering where the tent was, that we were promised.  As it turned out, the chaos induced by the rain brought out everyone's inner 'every-man-for-himself' and had snagged all of the tents!  In a genius moment of both fear and survival we grabbed our table and wrestled it across the street where we kind of commandeered a fellow presenting organization's tent.  Slightly awkward, but this guy had two tables and two tents already... did he really need that much space??  In the hour that followed we set up a fairly genius shelter (who would ever have thought the word shelter would be included in writing about a dance festival) made of half a roll of neon green vinyl, and 20 safety pins.  I'm not going to lie, participating in a competitive creative problem solving program throughout grade school prepared me well.  Thanks, DI.   

Anyways, view Merli's pictures above for the process and the final product.  With a small river flowing beneath our table and feet, and everything we owned propped up on one small folding chair, we were ready for business.  Somewhere around the time I went to seek caffeine and soup I came to the conclusion flip flops weren't a good footwear choice for the day, but what could I do at that point!  

We had MANY laughs, both in the comedy of errors we were experiencing, and for just the ridiculousness around us (at one point our neighbors tent dumped a gallon or so of cold rain water square on my head)... and collected yet another nontypical experience to add to our company's short lifespan.   At one point Mark showed up, and was a fabulous sport of a company member to sit with us in the rain.

Much later in the afternoon, after a slight episode at Dunkin Donuts (they want you to buy something before they let you into the lost bathroom... they obviously don't know how much coffee I buy) we took the big outdoor stage on Mass Ave to perform our new co-choreographed and utterly awesome piece 'you have hands, too?'  Most excitingly, I got to perform in it!!  While there were tiny puddles on the edges of the stage, and no railing around the sides even though it was 5 feet up in the air (I was very worried one of our dancers would just run right off the edge, cartoon character-style) it was a solid performance.  It felt great to perform, I forgot how awesome the focus feels and the energy and adrenaline that builds between performers.  There is a sense of silent communication that you have with your fellow dancers on the stage, and it was just all so familiar and great.  While I don't know the next time I will perform with the group (someone has to design and run lighting/sound!!) it felt lovely and I am grateful to Merli and our wonderful company members for including me in the performance.

Below are some pictures from the festival- unknown to us we had an adorable audience of cute kids!  

If you are in the mood for some light reading, check out this blog post by Jenn Allen.  It sums up the day and our performance quite nicely from the viewpoint of an audience member!

That's all for now!!

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