Thursday, May 21, 2009

In the studio...showing next week!

Hello, all and happy happy SPRING!
Katie and Jim are working on our sound score today, and tomorrow we head into the studio to refine the material we discovered in the park. I got a sneak peak of the sounds before editing last week, and Jim successfully captured the sound of Natalie playing together with church bells, children playing, sneezes, and squeaky grass! We'd love for you to join us to see and hear this work in progress:

VIA Dance Collaborative
Wednesday May 27
8 pm
Dixon Place
161 Christie Street

The evening, presented by Dixon Place, also features a new duet choreographed by founding company member Katie Swords and of course a sneak-peak at The Seasons Project: Spring. The show runs under one hour.

Afterward, we'll head over to
Jadis wine bar around the corner. They have promised some sort of good drink special for us, though I'm not sure what it is!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reflections: our Spring event in Central Park

On Saturday May 9 we met in Central Park to begin The Seasons Project with an improvisational exploration of the spring season. If you met us at that event, welcome! We'd love to hear your comments here on this page. If you didn't join us on over the weekend we'd still love to hear your impressions.

We began Saturday afternoon by gathering on the lawn just inside the East 67th Street entrance, where we found our permit granted us a beautifully unique (and not too muddy) spot to explore. Katie is leading us through this season, and ultimately taking on the choreographer's role, and she started by asking us to be still and to smell and listen: grass and musky earth and a the smell of sweetness like new growth; children playing, birdsong and the periodic crack of the ball players' bat nearby. We shared some of this perception verbally, but then dove right into the movement exploration itself.

A big, black rock held maple seedlings and our bodies slothed over it -- viewers said we appeared to be coming out of hibernation. An old, large oak tree with a seemingly-impossible horizontal branch expanded its reach over the lawn and provided endless impetus for our movement. Mud puddles and a stand of five human-size trees offered other arenas for our interactions.

Flutist Natalie Joachim sat in the grass and provided a beautiful melodic score, while Sound designer Jim Briggs III recorded the sounds of the day and the sounds of our movements: in addition to Natalie's playing, he captured the squeak of wet grass under our feet, our splash in a puddle, our scrapes against a rock, and the occasional springtime allergic sneeze!
Throughout the afternoon we gleaned inspiration from our surroundings' unique springtime characteristics, and we engaged interested passersby by asking their impressions of spring and inviting them to keep up with the project on this blog. We were surprised by the number of foreign visitors -- many who happened upon us many spoke little English, and most were vacationing. We recorded most of these interviews as well, and they may find a home in Jim's final score.

Over the next few weeks we'll be heading into the rehearsal studio to cull Saturday's discoveries into a dance section. We plan to show a rough draft that section on May 27 at Dixon Place, at 8 pm.

Monday, May 4, 2009

First Event: Spring! Saturday May 9, 4 pm

Please join us this Saturday for an outdoor improvisational exploration of the spring season.
Stop by to watch -- or to participate
This Saturday
May 9
Central Park -
Lawn outside Billy Johnson Playground
Enter from E. 67th Street
more info. here:

This is the first of a years' outdoor improvisations, to coincide with each season of the year, each in a different Manhattan park. After the park initial improv we will be heading into the rehearsal studio to cull our days' discoveries into a distinct section of a larger dance work, with a seasonal section choreographed under the direction of a different key VIA choreographer. At the end of a years' time we will have a full dance with movement and score based on our reflections of the changing seasons. We want you to contribute to this project: In addition to being invited to each seasons' outdoor event, you will also be able to join in right here, online.
Hope to see you Saturday, rain or shine!