Sunday, April 27, 2008

Forbidden Drive on the rocks- 4/28/08

At the water's edge

Motion in stillness

Always shifting into balance

Multiple loci within and without, shifting connections across distances

Riding the edge of balance

Hold the space patiently, present, solid as the rock I stand on, ancient as the rock I stand on. Steady. High. The water rushing below sweeps everything with it, a formidable challenge to the balance. I sing the flow within me as I move into stillness.

Challenging the balance

All the elements intersect in me.

I recognize the power at the crossroads,

the delicate shift that opens other worlds

whirlwinds of power

Bells, rattles, sticks and stones

Rhythms resonate in the bones

Music singing with the stream, the wind, and the songs of the birds

Can I maintain the dance of balance in the everyday world of people?

Will they let it be?

What does my presence speak to you?

Will you remember?

Working on the far side of the creek with Shavon, high along the path, Jumatatu saw all of us, but was invisible. I never saw him. This reminds me that my first explorations in the Wissahickon involved trying to become invisible through harmonizing with the environment. So much of the work is about moving into resonance, fine-tuning energy, focusing in.

Jennifer Morley joined us. Like Jumatatu, she was working towards invisibility. Pepón has captured her image--- tall as the trees, reaching, grounded, resonant.

Photos: Pepón Osorio

Today's Performance is ON!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Next Performance Sunday April 27

The Spring Cycle continues this coming Sunday April 27 on Forbidden Drive just north of the Mt. Airy Ave Bridge. Come out and enjoy the park and Spring! The easiest way to get to the site is entering the park at Mt. Airy Ave.Walk down the path and turn right (north)onto Forbidden Drive. We will be along the path to the right.

Or ride your bikes from Center
City and get some exercise and fresh air! Performing with me will be Shavon Norris, Jumatatu Poe, Olive Prince, Noemi Segarra & Toshi Makihara.

As always the performance will be at 10:30 AM and will run for 45 minutes. It will take place rain or shine. Cancellations only in extreme weather. When in doubt check back here for last minute updates.

Photo: Pepon Osorio

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Feedback and photos from our friends

I am happy to publish these pictures the April 6 performance taken by my friend and colleague Karen Bond along with a spontaneous response poem from dancer and choreographer Leah Stein. I am grateful to Karen and Leah for witnessing the work and contributing to the blog. The personal responses are much appreciated.

From Leah:
Thank you for inviting me, in the Sunday rain,
to the waterfall this morning.
Ducks; big-billed and happy.
Thank you for the sounds of
rivers thinking.
Water circles, glimmer stone,
trunk shining wet.

Thanks for the moving stillness of tree-tempo,
poncho in the wind fluttering with the force of
branches curved and divided & solid and long
talking of fish and battles.
Careen. Triumph. Yield. Cast.

Casting into geological time.
Arching back and body deeply.
Stick stories emerge.

Purple fisherman! Standing tall.
On the wall above the river.
Catch. See the stick bearers.
That’s ok. He’ll keep fishing.
Far and near together.

Sunday morning glitter stone.
Shining wet ducks.
Purple fisherman unjostled.

An offering to endurance.
A song to awaken calm.
moving in between the everyday.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Yesterday's Performance

April 6 performance. Its spring. Warmer than its been for our performances, but still cold. Wet. Windy. I turn around the minute I step outside my house; I go back in for more clothing. It slows me down but its OK. Its important to protect ourselves, no use pushing the edge too far. I have been performing a lot the last few days. I have loved it, but I'm tired.

Other things slow us down. Its OK, its that kind of day. There are very few people in the park. We smile at the familiar faces. Its great to be out here, so quiet, so solitary, peaceful . I choose to stand on the the Drive today. Its self-preservation at work. I need to be quiet, simply holding the space, finding balance.

Noemí, Shavon, Jumatatu and Toshi perform by the falls. They share the wall with a fisherman, Mike.

Jumatatu works with a spectacular branch. Its like a small tree.

Toshi's music connects us across the distance.

Its interesting how the branch dances and fishing are alike in the stillness.

Mike seems to have caught a mermaid!

I find out later that the wind has knocked the dancers off their feet!

We are all dancing with the wind.

Photos: Pepón Osorio

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Today's performance is on!

10:30 AM. Livezey waterfall. Its a bit damp; best to wear a rain poncho and shoes with grip.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More branch dances this weekend

Anyone interested in seeing branch dances developed for the stage is invited to attend the the Temple University Department of Dance Faculty Concert this Friday and Saturday April 4 & 5 at 8PM in the Thomlinson Theater on Norris and 13th Streets. Tickets are $15 general admission/$13 students and senior citizens/FREE for students with OWLcard .

Toshi and I will be performing Balancing Acts, a duet created originally for the 2007 Philadelphia Live Arts festival. Reviewing the performance for the Philadelphia City Paper Janet Anderson wrote: “Best is Soto herself performing with Toshi Makihara, a human musical instrument, who prowls around her shaking rattles, ringing bells, banging gongs and beating the floor. This is primitive, adversarial and odd, and yet quite beautiful all at the same time.”

I am excited to again be performing with Toshi in a theatrical venue. We open the program so if you are planning on seeing us be on time.

Also on the program are works by Kun-Yang Lin, Kariamu Welsh, and guest artist Lisa Kraus.

Photos by Alan Kolc.