It's always amazing out here on the river when seasons change. And Fall is my favorite with the fog coming off the river and colors changing. It's really very magical. Add some dancers with an incredible spirit for adventure and it just raises the bar. This project is important for many reasons, but it has been my muse for the past few months, reconnecting me tomy craft and adding a much needed fuel for creativity and purpose. I hope you feel a little of the magic in a few of my favorite images this last shoot.
In the second shoot of Dance for the River project, my focus on what this project means to me and how it will relate to the Yadkin River gets more fine tuned. This past Sunday, I worked with Helen Simoneau and two of her dancers, and while it was amazing to see what these dancers were capable of in such a new and challenging environment , it was also their first experience on the river. Will Scott, the Yadkin River Keeper, was along to help paddle canoes and experience one of the first shoots for the project.
I see this project as fine art meets environmentalism. My intention is to not only create images that reflect the beauty of the river and the human form, but to also bring attention to the fragility and environmental threats to our drinking source.
Words are not my medium, images are. I think Will encompassed the project best in his statement: " "Even though over 700,000 people get their drinking water from the Yadkin River, few realize the threats-from agricultural pollution to Stormwater runoff to millions of tons of toxic coal ash-that face North Carolina's second largest river basin. This project will give human scale to the enormous problems that face the river today."
This will be a challenging but important project that will blend our Arts community and local River community together. I can't wait until the next shoot! Here are a few out takes from Sunday, enjoy!
I'm excited to show off a sample of my new project "Dance for the River". I am collaborating with local dancers, UNCSA and the Yadkin River Keeper. I'm traveling the length of the Yadkin River and using dance to interpret the variety of the river and environmental threats to the river that is our drinking source. We "tested the waters" in the East Bend of the Yadkin, which happens to be our backyard! Ashley Ramsey is one of our neighbors, a professional dancer, yogi, and an incredible person!
Here are a few words from Ashley on her experience with this project:
There was always a process of giving up control and letting the river/environment
determine what was available. I had to accept that I could not move my body here in the
river in the same way I might move it in a studio in terms of both technique and
aesthetics. First I encountered feelings of uncertainty and acceptance. Then as I
gradually became more familiar with the anatomy and qualities of the location, I began
to explore, discover and embrace the unique experience and demands the environment
offered. Eventually surprises emerged as I began to realize how much risk I could take
or a particular way of moving that was unexpected. Stories began to form – once I was
a hunting aborigine with strong legs or a shaman. Another time I relived evolution as I
slithered up onto a rock, discovered the three-dimensional mobility of my spine and