Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shadow Play

On September third, I went to Movement Arts Studio (1602 Philadelphia Ave, Orlando FL) to watch a rehearsal of a dance piece by Holly Harris. The two performers were Rebekah Lane and Ariel Clarke. Becky has an acting/puppetry background and Ariel is a contemporary dancer and instructor at Focus Performing Arts Center in Lake Mary. Both are representing Canvas Creative Movement Coalition at The Shift Unity in Motion.

Holly explained the premise behind the creative movement and dance piece. "A year ago I read through some silly fables from a book called, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day. A three-line poem in that book stood out to me called The Shadow."

'Once there was a man was was afraid of his shadow.
Then he met it.
Now he glows in the dark.'

"When Larissa asked me to present an experimental movement piece for The Shift, I immediately went to my idea board to find this poem. I thought I could lead an audience on an imaginative journey of sight, sound, and feeling through the art of creative movement. In the beginning of the duet, you see Becky reading and as she yawns she suddenly takes notice of her shadow for the very first time. She is connecting the black mass that is seen on the stage floor with the light coming from the lamp and it confuses and frightens her. One minute into the piece, her shadow is personified by another dancer, who at first alarms her but then reveals that she is simply an abstract continuation of her body and mind as they move in sync together. As the piece continues to develop, the shadow guides Becky into exploring the mysteries of the world that often go by unnoticed like a solitary shadow."

This rehearsal space is inside a huge warehouse with tapestries and gilded mirrors on the walls. Large blue fabric was draped elegantly over the long dancer's mirror. The rehearsal involved Becky and Ariel developing the first three minutes of the piece.One particularly memorable moment involved Becky walking in a wide arc ad Becky as her shadow matched her steps as she rotated on her hips on the floor. Movement was developed in a playful collaboration. Holly watched the dancers shadows to be sure everything worked.

Mark Your Calendar!  The Shift which involved pieces developed by six dance companies will be September 13th and 14th in the Goldman Theater in the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E. Rollins Street Orlando FL) at 8pm. Tickets at the door are $20.

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

No comments: