Project Description

SPARKS INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT BLOG #5
July 24, 2020

It’s Always About Time

Paula Kramer

. . .

“Time is something I’m not a part of, anymore.
It’s a rushing river sputtering and splashing past me.  I feel these prickly seconds, spiky minutes
pounding past my face.  And I’m stuck on the shore. Where did Wednesday go?  Probably the same place 3 o’clock
this afternoon did.” – e
xcerpt From Three Dancers, Three Visual Artists, Two Filmmakers and One Composer, a collaborative short film written by Sheila Cowley and created for the Sparks Project.

Tony Palms – Distorted Map of the World made of onion and garlic skins, and teabags from cups of tea.

John Cage, innovative and sometimes controversial musician and composer, said that the one thing that musicians and dancers have in common is time. Merce Cunningham, famed choreographer and dancer said that when you get stuck, get a collaborator. Cage and Cunningham were life long collaborators and they produced timeless work that still resonates with artists of all types.

The Sparks interdisciplinary project is way out of the expected pathway that we imagined and had hoped to follow. But this forced sheltering is providing time to work experimentally and collaboratively with artists who are making a virtual leap into this new partnership. Our artists are using the present time and place constraints to create new work, in new ways, for new audiences in new places.

Visual artist Tony Palms has been experimenting with materials found around his home, like onion skins fashioned into a stunning image of a globe of the earth laid open and distorted.  Ana Maria Vasquez, also a visual artist, offered the idea of a labyrinth that gives the impression of ancient times as well as present and timeless pathways that can take us into the unknown. Carrie Jadus will of course, surprise us with her always deeply evocative work.

Composer Tom Sivak is on his way to creating a Word Jazz score.  Dancers Helen Hansen French, Jessica Obiedzinski and Fernando Chonqui are creating solo works that will be integrated into Sheila’s script and Tom’s music. 

Director Jim Rayfield and filmmakers Eugenie Bondurant and Mary Rachel Quinn will be working on a storyboard. Tom Kramer will be, from a safe, social distance, providing stills for the film and for PR. And two offstage actors will give voice to Sheila’s poetic words.

Script writer Sheila Cowley is always there, sharpening words and giving us visuals to spark us along. And for me? I am choreographing work that may be used for bridges between segments and for a finale.

This is a lot to coordinate and I sometimes think of the phrase, “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Don’t Ask!