Saturday, May 30, 2009

Community Dance Project 2008: Silent Confessions

Last summer I had a great opportunity dropped into my lap. Early in 2008 I was speaking with friend Matt Bebermeyer and we got talking about combining fine art and dance. Little would I know that this would turn into a fantastic project come summertime with the Community Dance Project (a fantastic project put together through Happendance)

I got partnered up with Andrew Amos to help combine dance and traditional art. Upon our first meeting we immediately went into the concept of providing imagery to help set mood for the dance. We quickly found that we were going to need to tell a story to make this work. we each brainstormed and soon had a concept: The five stage of grief. Now cam the hard part how to make it work. Well he ended up getting five dancers involved, one for each stage of grief.

Now all we had to do was tell a story

I quickly surmised that each of the stages (dancers) needed a corresponding color.

Well this is kinda how the story came out. (in lieu of video I'll explain the story after each image.) During the production I queued the images to come up with each piece of music, one for each image. So kinda in the same respect you'll see the image first and then the events that took place. Just for informational posterity the piece is titled "Silent Confessions"

We start out at a funeral where one of the dancers is lying dead (this dancer will represent denial, color: orange) The other four dancers (each representing a different stage of grief) are standing above her body. Denial seems to get up and finds herself confined and doesn't understand why. The other dancers exit the stage

(Enter anger, color Red)
Anger confronts Denial and starts a very combative sequence where we find Denial defending herself from anger onslaught. Anger exits and Denial lays down at the center of the stage.

(enter bargaining, color: green; and depression, color: blue)
Denial is sleeping, Depression is fawning over her wishing he could be with her, bargaining is throwing herself and depression. Denial gets up and starts going about her day. Bargaining continues to throw herself ad Depression but he only sees Denial. upon getting to close Denial notices Depression and rebukes him, Depression slowly breaks down as his world has been destroyed. Bargaining consoles Depression but his worlds already come crashing down. Exit Bargaining and Depression (depression exits while convulsing) Denial lays at the center of the stage again.

(Enter acceptance, color: white) 
Acceptance comes and stands over the lifeless body of denial. She starts playing with body in sort of a playful, comedish, morbid sort of dance that's a little disturbing but fun none the less. Denial is limp the entire time and eventually acceptance has had her fill of fun, she places the body back at the center of the stage.

(Enter Anger, Bargaining, and Depression to join Acceptance on the stage) 
Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance all stand over Denial's body as at the beginning of the dance. Each stage of grief exits the stage exhibiting physical emanations of the stage they represent. Leaving Denial alone on the stage as the lights go down and the image fades.

It was really fun to work on this project and I hope to find a video of this to share with everyone but for now you must live with my images and rough story of the events that transpired. In the end we wanted to leave the audience questioning "Why was denial dead?" and "Who did it?"

It was a great experience that I was glad to be apart of.  It was amazing to see the music, dance, and images blend so well together and tell a story.

Hopefully I'll get another crack at a project like this again soon.



Julia Barrete said...

hey i went through your story and all the images. you are terraform man. i mean you have really done a great job. i seriously want to see the video after reading this piece of work. please i hope you will fulfill me request. i don't know how did you manage this all? i think i should better start trying hard.

Jay Jacot said...

Thanks Julia, I don't know if a video exists I've been trying to hunt a copy down since last year.

It was taped at Dart auditorium now where the footage is is a great question.

If you click on the happendance link in the post I think they have some images on there sight to check out.

Thanks again for the kind words and in answer to your question...

I don't get much sleep...


Robert Forest said...

I really wish that I had had the opportunity to see this. You make it all seem so interesting! Just the way you laid everything out and the words you have written under your images evoked my imagination enough to the point where I almost feel as though I did get the chance to see it. Still, actually being there and hearing the music and seeing the real dancers... I'm getting shivers just thinking about it's beauty.