Thursday, October 11, 2012

me kissing Deborah

Hey look! I'm kissing Deborah Hay!

I first met Deborah over a decade ago while I was living in Austin, which is also where Deborah has lived for many years now. I took a workshop with her that she called "Dancing and Writing Together."

I have to be candid here. I sort of knew who she was, but not really. My grasp on dance history wasn't so great and I really was a bit befuddled by what I experienced in that workshop. (I did, however take it a second time!)

Without going into details, I sort of remember maybe being a little bit of a jerk in those workshops, especially the first go-round.

So, anyway, I leave Austin in 2001 to do graduate studies at Columbia College Chicago in Interdisciplinary Arts. The "Movement Images" class was taught by Nana Shineflug and Charlie Vernon, and a component of that class was dance history. It was that component of the class that changed my life (and is probably to blame for my become a sometimes dance writer).

It also really introduced me to the Judson Dance Theater. That class gave me a context for the aesthetic and practice of that movement of artists and gave me a retroactive context for the two workshops I experienced with Deborah.

And, to be honest, there are ways that my own preparation and practice for performance have been radically affected by those workshops.

So it's a joy to be able to spend this week of rehearsals and to perform with Deborah on Saturday. If you're reading this before October 13, 2012, do come out and see us in Richmond Hall---in Richmond Hall---performances at noon and 3:00pm.

me kissing Paul

Read the previous entry about me kissing Joanna to give this entry context.

But basically, this is Paul Smith. He and I are in Richmond Hall, the site specific performance by Deborah Hay. This is after rehearsal today. We are actually in the building that gives the performance the name. I love that skylight above us.

Paul has a resume in dance and performance, among other things, but he's also new to me, so here is that awkward moment when I admit I don't much much more to say about the person I'm kissing.

However, I do have this little fun fact: Deborah said one of the best meals she ever ate was prepared by Paul. So he cooks as well as performs. And very well, according to Deborah.

me kissing Joanna

This is Joanna Friesen. I've only recently met her, although she has a longstanding presence in the Houston dance community, especially as an educator at the University of Houston. 

My first experience with Joanna came when i received an email from her. She had gotten my name from my friend Toni (who was my first kiss on this blog!), who said I might be interested in a little project at the Menil Collection. Deborah Hay was coming to Houston to do a site specific performance and they needed six performers to support Deborah's solo.

My first thought was "I don't have time for this," followed immediately by my second thought, "I have to do this!"

The performance is this weekend, Saturday, in Richmond Hall (which is also the title of the performance). There will be two performances, at noon and 3:00pm. Click the Menil link above and look at their programs, if you're reading this before October 13, 2012.

 I kissed Joanna after rehearsal today. For getting me involved in this project, she deserves at least a kiss.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

me kissing Angela

One last birthday eve photo. This is Angela Fry. She is also in Wanderland. Yeah, it was a Wanderful birthday.

Besides dancing in dance films and such, she is also the owner and director of Tippy Toes Dancing, an after school performing arts program. Click the link to see what that's about.

Have you seen the movie, Bernie? I haven't, but the town where that takes place, that's where Angela is from. That may make no difference to anything at hand, but it delights me to know this.

me kissing Sabra

Another birthday eve kiss (see previous post for the head gear explanation). This is Sabra Yarbrough. That Wanderland dance film I mentioned last post? Sabra's in it, too. She teaches tango. I'm going to take a lesson sometime soon.

Sabra and I dance together a bit in Wanderland. I was awkward and stepped on her at least once, but only in rehearsal, I think. She has cats, but I won't say how many lest you judge her (although I aspire to her level of cat ownership).

She did look at me crazy when I said I wanted peach cobbler without ice cream. But I love peaches and I love peach cobbler, and ice cream, as much as I love it, just sort of gets in the way of the peach flavor. And it's my birthday, I can have my cobbler how I want it. So I did. I can handle a little crazy eye from Sabra. I know she's (mostly) playing in her judgment over my dessert choices.

me kissing anonymous woman

Tomorrow is my birthday and tonight I had a birthday eve dinner. So I got some kisses.

Here is a good friend, who I've known for over a decade. For reasons that actually make sense, she prefers to not be googleable and asked to be anonymous. So that's kind of all I can say on this post.

Except maybe I should explain my head. I'm wearing my birthday headdress, given to me by filmmaker/dancer/choreographer/costumer Ashley Horn. Ashley is busy editing a dance film she's shot called Wanderland. I'm in it. I kept asking for a headdress for my costume. I was denied, but she came through for my birthday. So it's a little bridal. Birthdays are about as close as I'm likely to get to a wedding, so it works.