We’ve had two performances of OUR TRAIL, and they’ve been a great success so far. The final performance will be in St. Petersburg at Soft Water Studios, on Dec 9 at 5p, and I am super excited that we get to perform this project one more time, in our home city. The first performance at the Botanical Gardens was beautiful; it was lovely to kick off the project next to Creative Pinellas.
There are over 20 performers involved in the three works, and it was difficult enough finding three dates for performances, so we were going into the first performance with a lot of trust. We had the performance mapped out, but until it actually happens, there are no guarantees. And there are a lot of elements – live performances of both music and dance, and moving the audience through different areas of the gardens.
The performance began with I don’t travel with my Louis Luggage, by Kellie Harmon, performed to music by Florent Ghys. It is a trio for three women dressed in striking pink sequined dresses and white tennis shoes. From here, the audience was led into the Wedding Garden, where Helen Hansen French’s work Awakenings was performed with live vocalists singing a score composed by Alisha Erao. I choreographed the final piece of the performance, At This Moment, a group piece for seven dancers, with original music composed by Mike Alexis, and performed by Mike on vocals and Ricky Seelbach on keyboards.
I had wanted to work with Mike for a long time, and I wanted to make a piece with music that I want to dance to, like, in the club, not concert dance. I wanted to make a piece that would be accessible, that would make people want to dance, or feel like they could join in too. I wanted to create a situation where people could feel comfortable to get up and join us, so we would all be dancing together. When I thought about who I would invite to dance in the piece, I thought about who I wanted to be in a studio with, I thought about my elders, my contemporaries, and those I have guided in their own training. I thought about Mike, and his kind and generous spirit, and his amazing music, and before you know it, we were moving forward.
Here are some photos from the first performance at the Botanical Gardens. And come join us for the final performance on December 9th in St. Pete!