NEPO 5k Don’t Run

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my piece “Whispers to me; Shouts to me” is occurring in three parts. Part one was last weekend at Smoke Farm. Part two with be at Burning Man (for those of you going to the burn, look out for me in a ridiculously long dress out in the playa. Days and times not set, playa time is unreliable.)

Part three will be at the NEPO 5k Don’t Run here in Seattle, and thus, the most accessible for many to see. If you are in Seattle.

I highly recommend checking this event out, many amazing artists are participating and I think it will be quite the experience. Here is a map of many of the participating artists. Text is small (I’m #36!), but you can get a sense of the event. I hope this will be a poster. It would be such a fantastic poster.

You’ll see below that my piece is noted as traveling, and my location is around S Massachusetts and 14th. I will be starting near there, and traveling the route in reverse: along the I-90 trail to 12th, then down King to the International District. Depending on timing I may make it all the way back to Occidental Park, but if all the participants are past, I’ll simply go to the light rail station and head back to Beacon Hill to enjoy the latter part of the event at NEPO House. Perhaps I’ll continue the dance on the train!

Map

Wow, how'd they fit all that in?

Isthmus

While going through video of my past work to find some good excerpts to show at my talk with Mandy Greer, I watched this video I made in 2009 again.

This piece premiered in Manifold Motion’s show Miscellanea II with live performance of the music on marimba by Memmi Ochi.

The piece came about very organically. In the spring of 2009 Memmi had her PhD recital in which my husband and I created the multimedia aspects of the performance (visual and interactive). She arranged and played this piece of music in the recital, and it really stuck with me. Shortly thereafter Bridget (a Manifold Motion member) and I were interested in shooting and composing a video dance together. Long before, we had hiked through the floating bridges in the Arboretum here in Seattle, and been struck by their odd beauty. We had talked for some time about doing something there.

So, with this music in mind, I suggested we get together with our friend Cheryle and shoot something on the bridges. I then composed the piece and asked Memmi to perform the music live at the performance, and then here we are!

 

Whispers to me; Shouts to me

This spring/summer I created a new piece called “Whispers to me; Shouts to me.” It is the first piece in over a year that I have created to perform myself, rather than for Manifold Motion. I hope it is the start to a renewed period of personal creative work along-side the company work.

I created “Whispers;Shouts” specifically for the Stillaguamish River where it runs through Smoke Farm near Arlington, WA. This past weekend I performed it there, as a part of the Smoke Farm Lo-Fi Arts Festival: *Not to Scale.

The piece was a solo dance performed in a bright red/orange/yellow dress with an extraordinarily long train.

Yellow China Silk

30+ feet of yellow china silk formed the train

Three musicians stood on the end of the train as they played a spacious percussive piece. I began with the train wrapped around the musicians, crouched between them. After a slow rise and unwrapping of them, I moved away from the musicians and into the river. A bright trail connected us, a brush stroke of color through the greys and blues of the rocky river’s edge.

I found that the china silk, and the amazing design and construction of the dress by Christy Hirschman, was strong enough for me to put a fair amount of my weight into pulling away from the shore. The train became a literal support for my movement at times, a restriction at others.

The silk floated just below the surface of the water, picking up color from the river, but remaining a saffron trail. Occasionally an air bubble would get caught underneath it and travel the length of the train. If I moved sideways in the right way the fabric would billow in the water, capturing it and becoming a huge resistance to my movement. The train and the water became even bigger shaping factors to the piece than I had thought they would.

One by one the musicians stepped off the train and moved into the forest, as their song became louder and denser. Set free in the river, I gently glided down with the current and out of sight, with a bright trail of silk behind me. The music echoed through the trees, the last bits of my dress disappeared and the piece came to a close.

During both performances cows in a distant field began lowing when the bass drum echoed through the river valley. As the musicians faded out, we were left with the lows of the cows! Incredible.

******

I’d like to share a bit about my thoughts behind this piece. Performance (all art) extends well beyond the intent or thoughts of the artist and is necessarily shaped by the viewer experience. So, this is not necessarily what I wanted to communicate to the viewers, but what informed it for me during my process and performance. Quoted below is an excerpt from my proposal to Smoke Farm:

Conceptually, this project is about place. How does our past, through the places that have shaped us, support who we become? What happens when home is lost or taken away from
us?

Practically, it is no-tech performance created specifically for a remote location. My goal is to create unexpected, striking, beauty within nature.

Personally, it is a meditation on my recent experiences of loss of family and place; an expression of my search for understanding of where I come from and how to move forward when I desperately want to hold on to what once was.

The piece is specifically designed for Smoke Farm, which holds great importance for me in the Pacific Northwest. It reminds me in many ways of where I grew up in rural New Hampshire, yet has particular beauty and meaning distinct from my past.

In examining my ties to my present and past through place, Smoke Farm and my childhood home stand out. As I process the unavoidable reality of distance and eventual loss of that past home, I find a need to mourn and create a testament to the places that were a part of becoming who I am. I would like to memorialize that connection in a place that is a part of who I will become.

******

In the process of creating “Whispers;Shouts” I thought a lot about place. I began to wonder what this piece, created for a distinct place, would be like in other places. How would the meaning change? The movement (certainly if it is not in water)? Would performance experience be different?

So I decided to make it a three-part piece. Smoke Farm last weekend was Part 1. Part 2 will take place in the open desert at Burning Man. Part 3 will be a part of the NEPO House 5k Don’t Run on September 10th.

Starting in Occidental Park, NEPO 5K DON’T RUN transforms an ordinary 3-mile, walk-able route through your city into an unforgettable journey (really), integrating site-specific performances, interventions and installations along the way.

“Whispers;Shouts” will transform into a traveling performance for the 5k event, a journey through a city.

Photos to come, I’m sure.

A Public Conversation

On Friday August 19th I will be joining Mandy Greer for a conversation as a part of her residency at The Project Room. The conversation will begin at 4pm, and all are welcome come join us!

Mandy has been hosting a series of conversations with people that she would like to learn something from in regard to her current project, Solstenen. I am honored and excited that she asked me to come talk about my work as an interdisciplinary artist and dancer, what I do as a movement analyst, and how that may work into her own impulses to further involve her physical self in the project.

Solstenen

Mandy is one of my favorite artists. I first discovered her amazing crocheted and beaded pieces around the time I was working on Woolgatherer for Manifold Motion. I attended a  community work party for the Degenerate Art Ensemble‘s piece, The Silvering Path, both to help out my friends at DAE, and to get a glimpse of what someone else was doing with yarn.

At the time she was creating a massive yellow slug-princess dress, and I instantly fell in love:

Slug Princess, full back, 2008
Since then I have followed her work closely, attending many installations, gallery shows, and an amazing exhibit at the Bellevue Art Museum. I find her aesthetic sense both beautiful and creepy. The fine detail, rich texture and organic quality create layer upon layer of story and place and movement that just grasps my heart every time. The worlds she creates are places I want to explore, touch, consume.

As I have gotten to know Mandy personally I have learned some crochet techniques (thanks Mandy!) and we have shared materials for our various projects. I love that as a community we can share our knowledge and resources to help each other succeed, and I was so happy to accept Mandy’s invitation for this conversation. I don’t know where exactly it will go, but I can’t wait to find out!

The Project Room is located at 1315 E Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98122.

A Start

I’m setting up this blog so that I can communicate about and document my solo artistic work. I imagine I will post about things that inspire me or my thoughts, as well as about specific showings of my work.

I do intend to provide more information about my work as a movement analyst as well, including what I do, how to book a session with me, and why you might want to! I expect the layout and method of conveying information through this site will take some time and shifting about. It’s like unpacking into a new kitchen — it always takes a while to find the best place for everything — that balance between convenient, logical, and space available.

So welcome to my shifting virtual kitchen. Where I will cook up… ah… the metaphor only stretches so far.

Welcome!