When I hit the ground in NYC, I was hit by a culture-shock bus: wow, so many people! Ooh, colors! Where are the crickets? The subway moves so fast! Eww that smells gross! Ooh, Mendelssohn!! YES, I can still do ballet!!! YES, I can still dance down the street and on sculpture and buildings and in parks... ooh, new project idea :D
Once things got rolling, the last thing I wanted to do at the end of those packed Dance Omi days was tell you about them ;). So to catch you up a bit, I hereby present you with an illustrated account of the process. I can only hope the impression I provide gives some justice to the inspiration.
Dance Omi was amazing, intense, fulfilling, enchanting, transformational, rejuvenating and inspiring. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be there for three weeks and to collaborate and learn from some amazing and beautiful artists from around the globe. Ciao Belle and until we meet again!
Omi through Ross Willows' lens:
Omi through my lens:
Omi through friends' lenses:
Wrote a lot of words. They got deleted (technology...). Figured a couple thousand would make up for them.
Spent the morning touring the Omi grounds and climbing on the art. Spent the afternoon sitting on a sunny bench in a park in the historic district of Hudson, NY listening to a Brooklyn country band cover Bette Midler and eating a fat juicy KOSHER falafel (who knew they'd have a kosher restaurant out here?). And finished the day brainstorming our first collaborative projects and making a PACKED schedule for the next two days. This is going to be epic...
(It said "falafel and pizza this way" on the sign on the street corner. I took my bets and sure enough... ;)
And by about 10pm we can barely keep our eyes open. There's a lot of dancing, eating and checking in about who saw the doe and how many of her babies were with her. Sometimes we swim in the pond. It's a tough life, but somebody's gotta do it.
And as for shabbat, it was BEAUTIFUL! A joyously loud Kabbalat Shabbat and the fastest mincha of my life (is it ok to daven mincha after KS? There's no eruv so I had to finish before the sun set but I didn't think of that until I turned the page to maariv... and the mosquitos come out with a vengeance at sundown, apparently) out in an open field surrounded by trees and dotted with sculpture. I found a lovely book (Tales from the Town of Widows) written by a writing resident at Omi (James Canon) a few years back which kept me occupied while I waited for the candles to run their course last night and today enjoyed some lovely dancing with and by my fellow resident artists.
I arrived armed with Kedem, challah, candles and a siddur. Now all I need is some organic dark chocolate truffle from Trader Joe's and everything will be splendid. (In lieu of that, I suppose I'll just have to settle for a daily dose of fresh berries and sunshine. Sigh...)
As for a little business, now that the artists have all shared a bit about their choreographic processes and past work in workshops and salons this week, we're ready to start pitching collaborative projects to dive into (likely literally, we've got a bunch of ponds, streams, puddles and a pool). This is gonna be epic.
So this happened today: I woke up early to a gorgeous view, a hot shower, three types of coffee and dancers from all over (the world) everywhere. Not long after, we were running, tumbling, crawling, hopping and twirling down hills and across meadows. We blew the definition of "exploring the space" off this planet as we sprinted through fields, blindly discovered the art, architecture and natural landscape of the Omi grounds and eventually said hello to a couple of beautiful dance studios were we began sharing our choreographic processes with each other in a more familiar paradigm.
A long day of, quite literally, covering a lot of ground pairs nicely with a glass (or two) of wine and a queen sized bed. I think I'm gonna like it here... buonanotte!
For the first time in years, I opened my eyes as I was going to sleep and saw nothing. Pitch black. I'm not in New York City anymore, folks. Almost like being out in the country...
And so begins my journey at Omi International Arts Center. Let the adventure begin! (In a little bit. I figure it's probably wise to wait for some sunshine before running through the lush green fields...)