Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good bye! We will be back!

Tomorrow is fairy day. Look for the “fairies” along the path from the Mt. Airy Avenue entrance to Forbidden Drive. (Directions below) The performance as always will start at 10:30 AM and end at 11:15. The path is inclined and rocky so wear good walking shoes. Sunglasses and insect repellent are also a good idea. Its hot, so bring water.

Photos by Lindsay Browning

Its been a wonderful year performing in the park. As I prepare for the final performance tomorrow it is appropriate to give thanks to all who have participated and made this possible.

The first rehearsal of OYWPP was June 30, 2007. Our final performance in the series will be tomorrow, Sunday, June 29, 2008. This year and project have been a gift. After having worked alone in the park for many months its been wonderful to share the work with a remarkable group of artists and to experience its widening influence with friends and audiences.

I want to thank each of the artists for their extraordinary presence, commitment, and contributions to the process. Noemí, my longtime collaborator of 13 years, I owe you so much. Your support has fueled my creative process and helped me to grow artistically and personally. Your transformation as an artist and woman continues to be an inspiration to witness. Your friendship has filled my heart and helped keep the loneliness at bay. I am excited and look forward to the new areas for collaboration that are arising from this project.

Olive and Shavon were the first to dance with me in the park, before the branches, when I was exploring gravity on inclines and hanging of downed tree trunks. Close friends, they have become my good friends and trusted collaborators. I am touched by the fullness of their artistry and humanity; wise Shavon, guardian and keeper of ancient wisdom, like a priestess aligning physical and spiritual realms; Olive, always ready for a challenge, like one audience member described her, a human rubber band, always pushing her body and spirit (and fellow artists) to the edges of gravity and balance.

Jumatatu, always present, always real, always deep, always soft, generous; willing to share a deep sadness from time immemorial.

And Toshi, so willing to work under any condition, your music is a glue through space and time, through the inner realms of experience and the physical world.

Thanks too to Pepón, who has so lovingly photographed us and fed us delicious meals after every performance. And to Gabe and Marcelo for helping carry equipment and branches and making the process a family affair. Thanks to Laura Zimmerman for videotaping and Lindsay Browning for your beautiful photos.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the audiences who have come back again and again, especially Judy, who has been to every single performance, dancing around the edges, reflecting back love. Bill, I can’t thank you enough for your support. We have missed you the last few performances and wish you and your mom peace and health. Brenda and Lisa, your kind and wise words of appreciation have lifted my spirit every time. Ken G, Laura F, Karen B and Lucky— your presence over time has been wonderfully supportive.

And I want to thank the enlightened funders who have supported a creative research project (what in heaven's name is that?) allowing for the inclusion of other artists in the work: Dance Advance, premier funder of dance in the region; National Association of Latino Arts And Culture NALAC Fund for the Arts for supporting my work even as I move away from Salsa; and Temple University whose Department of Dance, the Esther Boyer College of Music & Dance, and the office of the VP fro Faculty Affairs have contributed to the project allowing me to fully invest in the process of creative research.

Adios, ciao, au revoir, farewell, sayonara, hasta la vista! Its good-bye for now, but we’ll be back. I will continue my practice in the park; maybe you will run into me. I also plan to continue the blog at least for a while, as I spend time reflecting and working on the documentation. Noemí has been editing videos and has posted them on you tube. Check them out

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Directions to the site:
By car from Center City: As Kelly Drive is often closed during the summer its best to take 76 W to Lincoln Drive. Make a left on McCallum. Make another left on Mt. Airy Ave. Take Mt. Airy Ave until it dead ends. Park along the street. Look for us along the path.

By bicycle from Center City: Take Kelly Drive North to the end. Cross Ridge Ave and enter the park. Follow Forbidden Drive along the Wissahickon Creek. Turn right on the Mt. Airy Ave Bridge. Cross the bridge and go up the path. You will find us along the path.