This week wonderful Company member Melissa Coleman-Reed shares her adventure this summer with the World Renowned Siti Company in New York:
Twyla Tharp once said:
But this summer, I did run away. Sort of. I packed my best stretch pants and tank tops and tabi socks. I left San Diego to make some art and learn more about where sit-stand-flail-fight-soar-see as an artist in the world. I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the 20th anniversary of SITI Company’s summer intensive held in Saratoga Springs, New York. This phenomenal program offers 60 artists (be they actors, writers, directors, musicians...) one of those delicious, rare, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are often hard to put into words, once you return home to your family and friends.
The daily breakdown at Saratoga goes something like this: Mornings of hard-core training in Suzuki and Viewpoints. Afternoons of classes in dramaturgy, speaking, movement and... dun-dun-dun... Composition. Evenings of symposiums led by Anne Bogart, the SITI Company and this year, members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner-SoftServe-BadCoffee-and-WineWineWine all matched with beautiful conversations as you begin to grow amazing relationships while training/brain-storming/performing with incredible people. Some of which, time will reveal, will become lifelong friends and loves. All the while with Stravinsky and The Rite of Spring (our focus and inspiration for the workshop) pounding/crashing/ swirling everywhere. On your lips-in your ears-all inside your bones. I’ve often been asked about my experience since my home-coming in August, but I tend to mostly start & stop and splutter & gush and ramble & ramble about what it feels like to live for a month, as I like on say, on Planet SITI (which is not at all like Planet Terror... although some days...some nights... things can get a little bit wild, a little bit dicey).
One of the gifts you do get from being in this month-long whirlwind are the revelations -- maybe not the biblical kind but... the lessons you learned, the things that have inspired and changed you in bits or tons, sometimes they don’t show themselves immediately. Instead, they start to unfold, unravel from within, through the passing months. One of the things that keeps sticking out in my mind mostly, right now, as we here at Circle Circle work to develop our next piece, Street Art Prophets, is the phrase “the call to adventure.” This phrase was talked about quite often as we worked to build our weekly group compositions in Saratoga.
In life, each of us are the hero or heroine of our own experience. You are sometimes presented with these opportunities to step outside your everyday world. Venture to some new corner of life you’ve yet to explore. Learn something, perhaps. Lose something, perhaps. Gain something, certainly. Then come on home and share what you have learned with the people you love most. Do you say yes to this adventure?? Are you Alice and do you nibble that little cake that says, “Eat Me” or drink that little vial of potion that says, “Drink Me.” Are you Neo and do you pop that red pill? Are you willing to see what happens if you live just a little bit on the edge of your everyday life?
We here at Circle tend to eat that cake - and- drink that potion (and in many forms) and happily. In “popping that pill,” we are hope for some phenomenal, new magical journey. And in keeping with this theme of answering the call to adventure - after our mega-successful Love Roulette fundraiser, Katie asked me if I would like to write for our next show. I lept at the chance. We have just had the initial reading of the first drafts of scripts by writers, Wind Woods, Delia Knight, Katie Harroff and me. After hearing each piece, I really believe our show will invite you, the audience, to answer that call. To go to a place that is fraught with beauty & trouble, poetry & heat, darkness & dreaming, discovery & choreography, and static & romance.
Through our interview style that we use to connect with our chosen community for each project, I have had some fantastic and frightening adventures with a small cluster of graffiti artists who live here in San Diego. I am struck by how readily --The Call-- pulsates in each of them. Compelling them to make art religiously, through tagging with paint or stickers or stencils or even removable pieces. They keep their eyes open. They are always listening. They see new places in the world to Put Up, to leave their mark. To Write. To Tag. They are willing to go to places where most people won’t. Sometimes in the dead of night. Sometimes to alleys or rooftops, to towers or under bridges or hell, even literally, underground. There is a daring to live, to be seen, to express. Put up your name or colors or your picture or your shape. Let people see you, meet you, in their world, as they drive to work or walk to the gym or go shopping or eat at Pinkberry.
There is a huge sensibility of daring, to be mighty in that briefest moment that it takes for you to leave your mark. I believe nearly every artist I know, in each of their varying crafts, strives for such freedom and such cojones. I am so excited for you to join us in November for the next leg of Circle Circle dot dot’s journey, as we show you a peep hole into the lives of these Street Artists who I know, have shown me a new way to work, to be in the world.
Now, in the words of Mr Kushner
as we excitedly dive into creating our next show:
The Great Work Begins
The Messenger has arrived.”
or in our case Prophets & Messengers, plural.