Sunday, April 21, 2013

Collaboration Chronicles Round 2: Threading Motion at the NE Quilt Museum!

Since words and original music were the perfect accompaniment to our experimental mobius show, I decided to keep Jenn and Christos on as active participants in my new work (the 'live' component to Luminarium's Threading Motion Project), with Rose, Katie and Leslie dancing as a trio.  

Preface; I had minimal knowledge of anything to do with quilts!  Merli, and her previous interest in quilting, was the one driving the connection to the NE Quilt Museum in Lowell in her quest to create the beautiful Quilt Vignettes (on film), and I was glad to contribute work performed live amidst the museum's collections.  

I approached my work from a very broad standpoint.  Quilts are comfort, they are art, they are hard work.  As art, quilts too must be conceived through creative process, which can be flattened into the ideas of preparation, process, product.  While I often don't work methodically, any artist has at least a bit of personal process, so in that manner I related to quilting.  I remember my grandmother teaching me how to sew buttons onto scraps of fabric, and later turn scraps of fabric into larger items; her motto was constantly "measure twice, cut once"and this along with ideas of blueprint, trace, and steadiness were inspiration behind the first phase of the piece.  The second phase, process, attempted to stretch and weave our 60ft aerial silk throughout the performance space.  The dancers became thread, became fingers in control of thread.  They were thoughts and ideas, put into action or discarded.  Each of the three was constantly in contact with the silk.  It supported their weight and movements, it was a thin barrier between two partnering dancers, it was a constant. Finally, our final portion of the work demonstrated the permanentness of a product, whether tangible, visual or auditory, and the ultimate goal of sharing it with others.  

Hopefully soon we will share some video, so you can experience and weigh in on our final product.  With subtle/intricate music providing support to the movement, and the following poems spoken throughout the 15 minute piece, many audience members raved about the work's multiple layers providing a fullness to the viewing experience.

Check out the brilliant poems that follow, and if YOU attended this weekend's showing, please send us your thoughts.

Many thanks to Jenn Allen, Christos Zevos, Rose, Leslie, Katie and everyone that made this project possible!



Collaboration Chronicles... Threading Motion Round 1

As a artist (especially a former college dance major), we often find ourselves in forced or chance collaborations.  To be completely honest, besides working with Merli in constant Luminarium endeavors, I had never really collaborated with someone I knew on a personal level.  

We were accepted to mobius' Tinderbox series for April.  Having the Threading Motion Project approaching and not a lot of time, I decided to present the broken-down version of my live trio, done as a solo.  I suppose in retrospect this is typical for me, present the introspective exploration on a work that hadn't been created or performed yet.  Backwards, as usual!  

Anyways, in order to fill out the sensory experience, I approached my lovely jazz-composer/trumpet-playing sister, Jenn Allen, to provide some of her new musical sketches to add more life to the work.  With Jenn on trumpet, and Christos Zevos, bassist extraordinaire, we had an awesome thing going!  

60 ft- of teal silk, the movement talents of Leslie Armstrong (our newest Luminarium dancer)... the art exploration was visually interesting, but since I am a backwards worker and the world knew nothing of this piece, I felt audiences needed a tiny bit more context.  We had sections exploring unravelling, emerging, distributing/scattering, a section based on an ostinato, and another unravel.  I was going to write some amateur poetry myself... when Christos casually offered to take a turn at it during one of our two rehearsals.  Just under two hours later, at the end of rehearsal, I am certainly glad we had agreed to give it a go.  

Even if you are lucky enough to have wonderfully talented people in your life, you can still be rendered speechless by new creations...  Please enjoy the following poetry, which accompanied our mobius/Tinderbox performance!




rises from water: 
fathoms deep, cold 
and round 

the world held their 
and exhaled. 



sunlight through window 
hand-clap, dust constell 

each particle 
even drift 
to new homes 



a  shopping cart 
with a  stubborn 
wheel squeaks a 
stubborn    hand 
cracks  knuckles 
with    shopping 
bags  in  hand  a 
car  door  creaks 
a  window  with 
small   cracks   a 
strong        hand 
squeaks  chalk a 
hand  bag with a 
stubborn    clasp 
shopping     cart 
sound  over time 



tight wound 
and wind 
-no sag 

sound of 
hands brushing 
on walls, 
oceans of 
smooth cloth 

sky made 
solid, balled 

and released.