Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Murder of Crows

Alright, so they are actually Ravens but I felt Murder needed to be in the title. I returned to Macabre Vignettes #3 / Snow on the last day of rehearsals. Black ravens circled ominously over the Voci Dancers as the worked out the kinks to their dance routine. Once again Leah Marke was offering constant suggestions and encouragement. Each of the dancers was given a filament line that would control the height of one and sometimes two ravens. As they loosened the lines which were secured to the stylized trees, one raven dropped quickly grazing Melissa Medina's hair. She shrieked in surprise and then laughed loudly. This routine is complicated by the fact that the lines often limit possible movement because they come down at obtuse angles. Every movement of the dancers affects the movement of the ravens. They had to balance a fine line, being puppeteers and dancers all at once. Dancer, Amanda Oost Bradberry, who is now pregnant wore a large ravens head mask. This was a stroke of pure genius, she is beautiful in the outfit, her distended belly and wide stance complimented the form of the head. With her arms over her head she resembled an infant in her proportions.

The staircase to the second floor was now enclosed and surrounded by an immense spider web. I had to duck to climb the stairs. Macabre found object sculptures were now hung gallery style against the back wall. It was a humbling and frightening collection. Downstairs Tamara's mom was seated on a green cushion and organizing strings of Christmas lights. Tamara was high up on a ladder draping fabrics from lines. The environment she was creating had taken on so much form and structure since the last time I sketched. I doubt she ever slept. I know the true magic will happen as she creates and refines the final ten percent.

For the final dance routine, Leah let me sit right in the center of the action. Genevieve said, "This is only because you are at the rehearsals Thomas." The action happened all around me. In the beginning the dancers were suspended from bolts of green fabric which hung from the ceiling I-beams. They hung from their hips dangling horizontally like limp dolls. Laughing, Leah was revolving uncontrollably until Lisa Nakayama stopped her. The large hunchbacked blue puppet walked around me reaching longingly in the air his sad expression registering resignation. It took three puppeteers to move him . Suddenly all the dancers were crouched around me and one got caught in a fearsome exchange with the creature. I of course was struggling to catch a gesture, or moment in the action. I already had one sketch under my belt however, so I finally relaxed and enjoyed the performance.

Admission to Macabre Vignettes #3 is $20 cash at the door, at Urban ReThink (625 East Central Boulevard), which used to be the Urban Think bookstore. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain time. They suggest getting your ticket early and then catching a bite to eat at any of the fabulous restaurants in the neighborhood.
Show times are:
December 11 (Today!) at 8pm and 10pm
December 12 at 2pm and 8pm

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

Thanks so much for are like family now! We're happy you could sit in the middle of the action! Its so refreshing to read your observations! We get so busy in the preparations, that its hard to stop and just watch! Thank you!