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.
It’s still cold here in Vermont! slow, slow spring – means the sugar makers get more time to do their stuff. Hot or cold I’ll be blowing off some steam this Sunday April 10th at Radio Bean in Burlington – Acoustic Brunch 11 – 12:30.
Beautiful to have dear and amazingly talented friend Nick Leichter here for the Dance Tramp Show at Flynnspace this past week. Here is Nick – with impeccable hand position – working the keyboards for the pre-show music. Great to have Jom Hammack, Dave Clark, Julie Peoples-Clark, and Chong-Ho Kim in on that little burst of music-making too – pure fun and joy.
Was great to be at Flynnspace, creating work with the Dance Tramp camp: Selene Colburn, Paul Besaw, Paula Higa, Marly Spieser-Schneider, Avi Waring, Tierney Munger, Tracy Martin and Stefan Jacobs who both created our lighting design and managed the space. As Selene says, this is dance family.
a lot of stuff all laid out, of all colors and sorts.
I’ll be back at Radio Bean this Sunday March 13th 11:00am, acoustically brunching in my regular 2nd Sunday slot. Feels like it’s been a while. All sorts of thoughts are brewing these days in my head about the ways to bring the music-making and the dance-making more together. But it’s already happening…
Excited for the next week, love my group of UVM student performers for the Dance Program’s Dancing Uphill 2016 at Mann Gym March 17 – 19 – a bold, brash, fearlessly improvising bunch – and I’m really happy with the resulting piece, “premeaningmakers” – which is a very loose and expanded reset of a piece first made at Muhlenberg College eighteen years ago. The new UVM Taiko Drum Group will be performing in this piece. How amazing.
Two weeks after that: Dance Tramp is back at Flynnspace in “non sensibility: every body plays the fool.” It’s satisfying to see this show begin to come together – from many different approaches, we seven choreographers are really collaborating, sharing ideas, mixing it up. Chance procedures may make an appearance, and several other experiments in dance, some of them unrehearsed! White Witch will show up in “The Ghost of Rocinante,” performing with Yutaka Kono who will be performing on tuba. I’ve been rehearsing and reworking this ballet solo this spring break week alone in the UVM Recital Hall; I always love these solitary daytime rehearsals, especially in such a beautiful space, looking out at the pine trees of Redstone Campus.
The wide swath of vista of the field at the Dragon’s Egg – I am always honored to be there, any time of year, but this wintry turn-of-the-year time is becoming a ritual. Went down to the Egg for the third year to gather with old friends for some dance and play time, and to put on a little showing at the end: “I Went to the Field to Visit the Star, Winter Part III (or Samskara, or, The Frina’s Song and Dance Show). It was beautiful to spend a couple days trying out dance experiments with Jeffrey Peterson and Amy Larimer, and to be joined by Marya Ursin and Heidi Henderson in my “no-rehearse” structures – preparation for Dance Tramp’s March Flynn show, “non sensibility: every body plays the fool.”
Other shows upcoming – my regular Second Sundays Brunch at Radio Bean this weekend, Sunday January 10, 11:00am…and I’m doubling up on it: will be performing 12:00pm – 2:00pm on Saturday Jan 9th too…a weekend tour, all in one location.
White paint keeps coming back for me. I used a huge spiral of it on the floor a long time ago in my dance suite Sugar Cain, to create the Land of Nod. Ara Fitzgerald and I have duo-ed with white face paint and full skirts and corsets in Pilgrimage. Here I am at the Dragon’s Egg in Ledyard CT as part of Marya Ursins’ “Quixotic Dream: The Don Quixote Project” , appearing for the second time as “The Ghost of Rocinante” – a new horsey ballet solo I am developing. The week before I showed it at The Rose Street Coop in Burlington as part of Jamie Kaplan’s Hoodoo Voodoo. I am struck by how much the attributes and circumstances of venues and events greatly shape the work. I had an idea for a ballet solo and now it seems to be done by a ghostly horse – Don Quixote’s, in fact – with a white blaze on his face. That marking may even make its way into my music this week at Radio Bean – Monday Nov 23 at 7:00pm and Sunday Nov 29 brunch at 11:00am.
Strangely, my White Witch – alter-ego character – has never appeared in it, but she may soon. Here she is in 2010, telling me it was time to get a guitar.
No upcoming events.