This weekend I performed my improvised solo Ascent twice at In-sight Dance’s Suite Summer Festival in Long Island City Queens. I extend a big tip of the hat to In-sight, who have made it their mission to raise the profile of dance in the borough, and do so through multiple community engagement initiatives and outreach projects. I personally found myself spending much more time in Queens than usual, shuttling back and forth on the 7 train for tech rehearsals and shows. Queens is a true community. It’s the sort of place where it just feels natural to invite the guys at the sandwich counter across the street from the theater to your show later after they notice you’re a noob and welcome you to the neighborhood.
The performances themselves were a thrill. It is a particular challenge (and opportunity) to improvise each night, and I love the presence it necessitates and conversations it invites. Many audience members came up to me after the shows to tell me how much they enjoyed the piece and, if they’d seen it both times, commented on new moments of inspiration or lamented favorite moments that did not make it in the second time. Additionally, fabulous lighting designer an all-around rockstar Tuce Y. enjoyed improvising the lights along with me. Do you know how awesome that is? Major shout-outs.
And, a particular bonus, fellow Jacob’s Pillow alumnus Yesid Lopez presented an exquisite duet in the same program and we got to reunite and scheme about heading up to the Pillow in a few weeks for Alumni Weekend. Anyone want to give us a lift to the Berkshires.
Major wolf-whistles and high fives to In-Sight’s artistic director and festival coordinator (and fellow JComm member) Leanne M. G-Bowley for an incredible weekend of shows.