Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer 7: Post-Translations

July 10-14, 2011

Well, we were inordinately blessed with fine weather this weekend.

After weeks of worrying, hand-wringing, and rain-venue preparations, Translations totally lucked out and got perfect weather for both our shows (not to mention our dress rehearsal, which finished about 30 minutes before a torrential outburst of rain).

The two days immediately following our performances were miserably hot (upper 90s) and humid - air you could swim in.

You can't schedule fine weather, and all I can say is, we were very very lucky. Thanks, Ma Nature!

So many things to reflect on after the Translations performances, and I've been doing a lot of it.

A profound sense of gratitude is the common thread. I am so thankful for the opportunity that Blue Sky Project has afforded me to carry out this ambitious (and risky) investigation into such heterogenous elements (as dancers, classically-trained musicians, birds, and iPhones) coming together.

I am grateful to be working in such a supportive community of artists, youth, neighbors, academics, scientists, starting with Blue Sky and extending with wonderful gooey tentacles into the Greater Dayton community: naturalists at the Aullwood Audubon Center, musicians from the Dayton Philharmonic, University of Dayton, the local youth orchestra, and a Dayton high school national champion in Ornithology!

What incredible support: from the financial sponsorship of the University of Dayton to the artistic/technical/moral support of the Blue Sky community, whose artists and youth have helped in myriad ways. They've been sounding-boards for my creative process, contributed beautiful watercolor and ink artwork, taken photo documentation (see below!), volunteered as tech crew and vocalists. I love it!

We've been so fortunate to work with such open-minded and adventurous performers, who brought their stage-proven talents to the vast and unbounded space of the outdoors, exploring the possibilities with enthusiasm.

What an incredible experience to have a creative vision - an unconventional one, and one that requires so many people - and to be able to realize it in such a short few weeks.

Rodney and I were definitely building on last summer's collaboration at the Schuster Center, Of a River, and it was fantastic to be able to build on our ensemble, with several dancers and musicians returning to work with us.

Bringing new phenomenal dancers and musicians into our fold was also exciting, and I am hopeful that this is not the last in my work with Rodney: I feel like we are really developing a unique process and medium for the interaction of music and dance. It's an approach that balances improvised material with choreographed/composed material, creates unusually deep relationships between individual dancers and musicians, and challenges conventional experiences of performance space.

It's literally un-real to have the time and resources to create an ensemble of musicians and dancers who develop a common artistic language - you hear of such groups comprised of musicians only, or dancers only, but I don't know that those worlds normally have the chance to collaborate the way we have here at Blue Sky.

Collaboration takes a lot of time and a supportive community, two things that are extremely rare in our high-speed, efficient, individualistic culture. I am grateful for the Blue Sky counterweight!

Thanks to Kaz McCue, resident artist at Blue Sky, for taking incredible photos. Here's a taste:


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