That's an easy one:
January 28 + 29 -
Incident at Chekhov Creek - Dance on Screen Graz, Austria
March 3 + 4
890 Broadway - Philadelphia Screendance Festival Phil, PA
Plow Plant Reap Short Waves Festival Poznan, Poland
Good for you. But what's the next project?
That's a little harder to answer. The long-awaited completion of my feature-length Her Magnum Opus is still a-waiting. It's taken me forever to learn a lesson about using music requiring a license: sometimes they say no - and sometimes it takes them many months to do so. In December, after 3 months of waiting, I got a very blithe no which sent me back to the drawing board for 3 scenes.
Luckily, I immediately contacted Ljova (Lev Zhurbin) who'd already given me permission to use his evocative music in the same-sex fireside tango from Opus. (Think Zorba the Greek meets Fiddler on the Roof.) Ljova has already begun creating replacement music for the 3 short scenes, so the sound mix will truly be wrapped by mid-February. Not only that, I expect the Opus soundtrack will be much more cohesive thereby. Lesson learned.
Fine, but what are you actually working on?
I'm thinking. I'm thinking! Give me a minute, ok?
This period between projects can be frustratingly fallow and yet mysteriously productive. Anything is possible but nothing is cooking. I'm making lists - possible locations, possible cast members, possible shots, possible movement ideas.
What I do know:
it will be under 10 minutes
shooting this summer
a cast of 2 - 4
a location in New England
I know from recent experience that the process of editing a film is whittling, whittling, waiting and more whittling. But how do I describe the process of imagining something that's still gestating? Is it a blob of clay with chunks being added gradually? Or maybe an aerial view that hones in more and more on a specific character/place? Or is it a collection of index cards that get blown into a random order - one landing in a direction I hadn't anticipated, redesigning the whole constellation somehow.
In my last post I was hankering for time spent creating live work. So it's entirely possible that this one will begin as a live dance, even though I describe it as having "a location". Which brings me to the Archive I've selected for this post. Blow by Blow was a live quartet made at The Yard on Martha's Vineyard in just a few rehearsals.
What I knew:
I'd invited a cast of 2 men and 2 women
it should be about 15 minutes long
it was called "An evening with Martha Myers" - so someone believed I could do it!
It was a grand success, largely thanks to the four adorable, game, highly talented quartet of dancers I'd assembled.
Below is an edited souvenir of that project - not precisely a "dance film"- using footage from the live performance. The song which became its title was composed by long-time friend Steve Elson (with lyrics by long-time husband Daniel Wolff) so licensing was a cinch. The dancers - who have since appeared elsewhere in my work, on Broadway and in the Mark Morris Company - are credited in the goofy animations which I was teaching myself to use.
Lesson? Just put "cartoon" in the title!