I’m still in wonder about Erika Senft Miller’s “Between Land and Water” event on September 10th. This photo shows my UVM Comp class performing on the dock of the Burlington Community Sailing Center as part of this event.
Upcoming this weekend, a flurry of still-forming dance/music events:
Friday Sept 30 I will be back at the Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington performing the monthly “Mixer,” at cocktail hour, 6:00pm – this may end up being a solo show… or a solo-on-solo show. Either way, I’ll be there, moving!
Then Saturday night Oct 1, I will be performing my songs on guitar and harmonica for the first time at Pingala Cafe at the Chace Mill, and for the first time with Bridget Wheeler on upright bass – a wonderful dancer and musician. Have really enjoyed beginning a musical collaboration with her – so looking forward to beginning to perform together.
Last, on Sunday Oct 2 – the first of the student choreography workshops at UVM’s Recital Hall. We are doing a daylight showing, to leave light and room for outside site choices for dances.
A little into the future: I can’t believe I go into Gus Ziesing’s Low Tech recording studio in three weeks, to record three songs with Bridget Wheeler, Ted Looby, Remy de Baroque, Dan Strauss, and Chris Scroth. A fantastic band, we may just have to up and take it on the road. I feel lucky!
Artistically, things appear out of the primordial pools, they bubble up in mysterious ways. I continue a clear impetus to disappear and appear, to continue to do all the things I’m doing, just to do them. Thus, appropriately, I got quite complimentary reviews from audience members as the role of Chaos in the opening scene of the Dragon’s Egg Metamorphosis Project, as conceived and directed by Marya Ursin and be-masked by Dan Potter. Emerging from darkness, wildly, unconsciously, unknowingly dancing. Dancing without knowing. I’m not surprised – this state of chaos, well, it feels like my natural state right now. It’s not bad, it’s not completely uncomfortable – or it vacillates between disturbance and equipoise. But I’m well, well aware that everything, everything within and around me is in flux. Oh, yes – it is that Queen Bee of July, high summertime disorientation, and even more; that time when I learn again and again that there is no loss – “there is only gain out of loss, over and over.”
The amazing Peter Cunningham took this photo of me as Chaos.
I head south to Connecticut tomorrow, for my yearly disappear into the perfect “o” of summer – The Dragon’s Egg Summer Solstice event. This is a yearly narrative-based project; this year we look through the lens of Ovid’s Metamorphosis. I always feel so lucky and grateful for this event – and to be friends with Marya Ursin and Daniel Potter – who loft such special celebrations of life and art, replete with overflowing food at cast dinners, music jams, in their very special studio and home.
I weeded my fallow garden this week. I will plant cover crop soon – oats, which dries to a beautiful docile hay-like cover for the beds – but in the meantime, I am enjoying the “volunteers,” as my dad says – cilantro in my meals, and these Sweet William in a Carnival vase that comes from my paternal grandmother, Edna Reinhardt Byrne.
An amazing photo by Kevin Bloom. Sure was fun to try out the Mixor a second time at the Light Club Lamp Shop, felt like we hit a groove.
Meanwhile, next door, songwriting Clare, with a few new tunes, appears…say, to help close down a great week of JazzFest…for Acoustic Brunch at Radio Bean this Sunday 11:00 – 12:30pm – delighted that Dave Clark will join me for some tunes on ukelele.
This Friday at 5:30pm is the second “Mixor” at the Light Club Lamp Shop. The last one on May 6 was a deliciously riotous affair – with White Witch appearing, the amazing young jazz outfit Stork playing music, and about ten dancers – or more! joining at moments from the audience. This round, practicing some discipline and sparity: four performers, Avi Waring, Marc Wennberg, and Bridget Wheeeler and myself, with Randal Pierce gathering a group of musicians. Had a great workshop last week at UVM to play with structures. Interested to see where this goes. Really love how Radio Bean/The Lamp Shop are programming dance into their schedules – along with literature, music, and all sorts of wild art.
Remy and Dan were here this Memorial Day weekend! Remy De Laroque and Dan Strauss, up for their yearly Vermont pilgrimage – graced by Ted Looby, Vermont musician, facilitator of all things musically generous, good, and fun. Ted’s group Secret Heliotropes played too. We played collaborative sets on Saturday at Radio Bean in Burlington, on Sunday at Monkey House in Winooski, and then a last-minute round robin sharing at The Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington on Monday. Beautiful to hear Remy and Dan’s songs and their craftsmanship in playing guitar together and harmonizing, to get to know Secret Heliotrope’s Jonathan Kissam’s songs, too, and to hear Ted contributing his inimitable apt guitar-ness to everything. For me and my songs, I received the gift of this amazing and insta-band fleshing them all out. What a scary, uplifting, joyful rush of an experience. I so appreciate the impromptu-ness, the intuition, trust, sharing and even the goofs that go on in these music gatherings. Feel really lucky to be a part of it.
…oh delicate Vermont spring: fiddleheads, unfurling twirls of leaf – sometimes when it finally really arrives you wonder, am I up ready for it all, all this lushness? Well, I better be! Heading into a couple weeks of performing. First up: the Middlebury Farmers’ Market this Saturday May 21st 9:00am – 12:30pm – quite an epic time for a solo acoustic player to be playing. Time to dig deep.
I showed a new White Witch piece – of the seemingly new series “Samskaras” – in Erika Lawlor Schmidt’s Castleton-based DanceFest Vermont! last weekend. No-rehearsal improvisational structure performance in it by Paul Besaw, Sarah Brutzman, Avi Waring, Marly Speiser-Schneider, Marc Wennberg that really blew me away. Got my awe on. Overall it was a real dance camp weekend – performing with Paul Besaw in his work and a whole host of excellent fun Vermont dance folk.
White Witch says she’ll show up at the Mixor at the Lamp Club Light Shop this Friday May 6th 2016 at 6:00pm. I suspect it’s going to be a rowdy affair – Bridget Wheeler, Natalie Wheeler, Max Freedberg, Marly Speiser-Schneider, Avi Waring, Stephen Richards, Paul Cirignano, Paul Besaw, Elizabeth Seyler, and maybe more crew from the DanceFest show last weekend showing up
Misspelled words are showing up in my dance events, wonder what that meens.
I was in charge of a spring student showcase at UVM a few weeks ago, April 17th just as the weather was wavering on the edge of spring. It was a thin-threaded affair, time-wise – all of us, students, faculty, Bert Crosby, our amazing UVM technical director, guest artist Jennifer Monson – working with limited rehearsal and materials. But the content ended up being really rich. A dance journey inside and out around Southwick Building on the Redstone Campus – two shows on a much-needed beautiful spring day with lots of sweetness, effort, and reward all mixed together. A process that’s come up a couple times this spring – of weaving disparate repertory dance pieces with a few ties into a coherent journey or narrative – it happened with Dance Tramp’s show at the Flynn too – is interesting, surprising. This one was not perfectly executed by any means – whatever perfect means – but a thoughtful experience for performers and audience. I was really proud of the students’ concept for this event – “ravelling” – naming the process of connective threads. I was really proud of the poster, which I conceived and Andy Aquino, amazing designer and office assistant at UVM, put together. It goes down as a site dance unto itself, changing the occupants’ – at least my – perception of the site of Southwick, in some subtle sly way.