Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Somehow I didn't quite find the time to write in here about my highly gratifying back to back adventures in early November - a talk and the screening of 4 of my videodances in Sao Carlos, Brazil at the VIII Festival of Videodance, followed by inclusion of Her Children Mourn in a screening of shorts at the Williamstown Film Festival.

More on that soon...
ideally before la proxima visita ao Brasil!

But in case time continues to pass quickly, turkey is consumed and I still haven't pimped for this upcoming event, I'm posting it now.

Join me if you're in the Providence area - Renzi work live AND on screen, a pretty rare occurrence.

And you can heckle me with questions from the house - in fact, it's welcomed!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This just in

My 10-minute short HER CHILDREN MOURN will be screening Saturday November 8 at the Williamstown Film Festival, which is not a dance film festival. It's in my home town where Helen Renzi - to whom CHILDREN is dedicated - was much beloved.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Be Here Now

Ladies & Gentlemen, my plate is full of delicious projects: past, present, ongoing and yet to come.  My intention is to report monthly, but when I miss a month I'm torn between giving updates and moving toward the future.  

There's ROXIE, an 8-minute documentary I completed in 5 days at Experimental Film Virginia in the middle of August, Trailer here.

There've been various film screenings and a few awards - Outstanding Editing for Her Children Mourn and Best Short for A Thousand Miles.  And 890 Broadway screens at Outlet Dance Project next month.
Then in mid-September at Slippery Rock University, I choreographed and directed something for 11 dancers wearing costumes by Liz Prince, in a stunning location, shot by my wonderful host, Jennifer Keller.  

Now I'm back in Nyack, editing that Pennsylvania project (see below) and shooting a new one.  I told you about the CSA grant I got from Rivertown Artists Workshop to work with Latina mothers & daughters in Tarrytown. We've had one movement session and the results are already delightful - tender, rollicking, unselfconscious.  Right now it looks like the final product will drift away from typical videodance toward docu-dance, documentary...

And by the way, you can catch my general drift for the next several months if you attend a program called "hors d'oeuvres" - videodances screened in the lobby of the 92nd Street Y before their Fridays@Noon series. All Renzi all the time.
Editing begins on the latest: Fair, Clear & Terrible shot in Slippery Rock, PA in early September.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Can't keep up

The big news is the Book of Breath mini-tour, which included a glorious evening on the Inside/Out stage at Jacob's Pillow.

Being back at the Pillow was a treat for me, returning to a series I had helped inaugurate 30 years ago, presenting work to a large and lively audience, enjoying a prodigal's welcome.  It was also a reminder that I do love making and sharing work in a live situation, especially outdoors. Eight dancers and a big ole table - and presto, modern dance comes alive! The 8 Manhattanville students got to stroll through history, adding their signatures to the wooden walls of the Inside/Out dressing room, gracing the stage for an audience of over six hundred. 

We’d preceded this triumph with 3 days of rehearsal at Marta Miller’s beautiful outpost in Stamford, Vermont – and followed it with 2 performances in a Quaker meeting house in Newport, Rhode Island as part of the Great Friends Festival. And it was, and I do have!

Her Children Mourn just screened in Roca, Spain, just north of Portugal - and will also screen as part of Autumn Shorts in Somerset, Kentucky at the end of September. The (electronic) mail continues to bring unexpected boons that brighten my day. Recently, I heard that both 890 Broadway and Wildwood were accepted into a festival in Brussels called L'art difficult de filmer la danse.  Last year the same festival selected Her Children Mourn. I guess our definition of dance – or difficult – must agree.   

Upcoming, from August 10th to 16th, I return to Harbor for the Arts Festival in Cape Charles, Virginia to cast, choreograph shoot and edit a short film. The cast will be untrained locals, the subject to be determined. Am I full of trepidation? Yes. Will there be enough time?  Never. Then in September I'll be heading to Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania to work with Jennifer Keller, a faculty member, to make a video dance with students there.  We've allotted a bit more time, and Jennifer will shoot, but there’s the same trepidation.  How much should I (can I?) plan in advance? Which music? Who are the dancers?  What’s the story?

But the recent blossoming of The Book of Breath encourages me that I’ve made these leaps of faith before. Its seed was planted almost a year ago at our first rehearsal - outdoors on a lawn, with my car radio for playback, eager if not experienced performers, and no idea what was coming. The students were ready to work as an ensemble and absorbed the movement quickly; the music immediately defined "character;" the location upended academic expectations and inspired; shape and form emerged; and we ended up at Jacob’s Pillow!

I have to trust something similar will happen again. And I’ll report back here on the results.