While performing for the Festival of Ancient Plays in Siracusa, Sicily, I created a video blog and short written piece about the experience (which was formidable). Once again, dance brought me on a unique adventure.
A Postcard From Blakeley White-McGuire, Martha Graham Dance Company Principal Dancer
June 19th, 2012
It is rare for concert dancers to perform a two-month run of shows in an 8,000-seat ancient amphitheater on the extraordinary island of Sicily. However, ten dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company are here in Siracusa doing just that during the city’s 48th Annual Festival of Ancient Plays. MGDC Artistic Director, Janet Eilber, has choreographed several group dances and chorus stagings for two Greek tragedies; Prometeo by Aeschylus and Bacchanti by Euripides. Both of these works employ the unique movement vocabulary and the intrinsic animal qualities of Graham technique. These two successful, contemporary collaborations between theater and dance demonstrate that Graham’s singular movement language is completely contemporary, vital and an inspiration to both forms.
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This video by Steven Speloitis shows bits of The Martha Graham Dance Company rehearsing Maple Leaf Rag, which was choreographed by Graham with music by Scott Joplin. It is a fun dance which I have had the pleasure to perform many times with my partner, Maurizio Nardi!
The Dance Films Association selected me as artist-in-residence at the Art Mill in Jeffersonville, NY. There, I collaborated with designer and videographer Josh Higgason on a video performance piece titled Waterfall with sound score by composer, Chris Becker. Everything about this work was improvised and experimental for me. It facilitated a shift in my self-view as an artist by working in new-to-me ways with movement, nature, societal norms and performance art.
Sensing, feeling and responding to the force and temperature of the water allowed me to let shapes emerge. Initiated as a video dance project, in the process of doing it changed form into a meditative space of being in water. I would like to explore this kind of dance environment more as my body of work develops.