Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Ahead, Fall Back

As completion of Her Magnum Opus is delayed to some not-too- distant future, I occupy myself by continuing to delve through archives of past work. With the help and encouragement of Arthur Avil├ęs,  we're compiling over 20 Marta Renzi & The Project Company newsletters to create a stunning two-volume publication with added photos.

URGENT: If any of you have copies of old newsletters, please share them with me. Although my good mother did her best to  save archival documents, there seem to be several missing ...

Once it's completed - neck and neck with OPUS at the moment! - I'll find a way to make it accessible online as well. Of course I was dying to add annotations about who's doing what now, but Arthur's brilliant idea is to let the newsletters + images speak for themselves. Here's most of  the brief introduction:

In a pre-digital age, mailing these newsletters was Renzi's way to keep in touch with her audience: friends, family, dancers and supporters. Reading these almost diary-like entries provides us with the historical landscape through which one choreographer made her way during the turn of the 21st century.

Ms. Renzi's candid and intimate writing offers insight into more than twenty years of work, her creative process, as well as the spirit and philosophy that moved her.

After 2006, this personal conversation with her audience migrated to another sphere:

Which brings us together, here.  The "voice" in this blog is the same as twenty years ago, as is the format, more or less.  Each one included a little info about upcoming events:

March 30
Strawberry Shorts Film Festival 
Commendation Screening
Cambridge, England

Her Magnum Opus (sneak preview)
Daytona Beach, Florida

And no newsletter was complete without a photo, usually in an insert. Since I've become a filmmaker, I typically share moving pictures, but for this archival anniversary let's make it a photo just like olden times. And why not one that became a brand for the Project Company? So it must be one by Robert Flynt who, the compilation will demonstrate, was as close to company photographer as it was possible to be.

See what I mean by an archival anniversary?

It's also appropriate that today's photo is from Lincoln Center Out of Doors, where I was lucky enough to present work for many summers, through the birth of Amos & Lorenzo - and the death of Burt Supree. Or as one newsletter notes, from federal restrictions on NEA grants in March 1990, to ... the dissolution of the NEA in 2017? Say it ain't so.

Every newsletter also made a plea for feedback, and often included wonderful missives from far-flung dancers, students or audience members. Remember letter-writing? I miss hearing from folks in that way - not snail mail necessarily, but more than a COMMENT or a LIKE.

Each newsletter invariably ended with a cheeky but heartfelt request for donations.  As the piggy-bank echoes with the sound of post-production coins paid out - and as we head to tax time - your donation is still most welcome, and still tax-deductible!

Thanks for continuing to join me on what continues to be a great ride.


Nancy Allison said...

Hi Marta,

Congratulations on completing Her Magnum Opus! Can't wait to see it, somewhere soon! And thanks, as ever, for all your generous encouragement to me and other new members of the dance film world.
All best,

And Dancers Inc. said...

Nancy, thanks for your kind comment. I do hope to invent a screening tin NYC sometime soon...
I'll see you before then, however!