Thursday June 14, 2018
The Vermont Dance Alliance (VDA) presents a full day of free outdoor dance performances Saturday, June 16, in downtown Burlington. The event, Traces: A Public Dance Happening, features 15 performances by dance artists from around the state, including Tara Pollock from South Burlington. Part of the dance “The Fates,” Pollock performs at 12:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park, in the grassy area across from The Echo Center.
“Since I am new to the area,” says Pollock, “I feel that dancing at Waterfront Park will be a way for me to embrace the community and share my artistic expression.”
Pollock became part of the VDA public performance event through several Noyes Rhythm classes she took with instructor Emily Mott, who choreographs “The Fates.” Created by Florence Fleming Noyes over a century ago, Noyes Rhythm combines a system of physical techniques and improvisatory explorations, encouraging awareness and fostering creativity. “I find the Noyes practice to be relaxing and fun,” says Pollock, “as well as a good balance of alignment cues and freedom to move organically.”
After graduating from medical school, Pollock moved to Vermont from Arizona last fall. A naturopathic doctor, she is currently doing her residency at the Champlain Center for Natural Medicine in Shelburne. Pollock notes, “South Burlington has been the perfect location for me to be close to both the office and downtown Burlington.”
Performing “The Fates,” with five other dancers, Pollock says, “We all play the roles of fate, of humanity, and of the earth, that is vulnerable to both.” Noting the group began rehearsing mid-May, Pollock shares, “It has been a wonderful experience! This is my first time doing a dance performance like this one and it has been fun to rehearse and experience the piece really come together.”
Choreographer Mott says “The Fates” piece “explores the beginnings of life, the weaving and knotting on the path of life, love of life, and end of life. The creation process and dance technique is based on a 100-year-old unique movement practice called Noyes Nature Rhythm. It uses nature and myth imagery to lead dancers and non-dancers through flowing exercises and deep improvisation to achieve relaxation, strength, and creativity.”
Describing dance as a healing and meditative practice, Pollock says, “I first found ecstatic dance when I was living on the Big Island of Hawaii about a decade ago and absolutely fell in love with the practice of getting out of my head and allowing my body to move and let go. Since then, I’ve enjoyed exploring different types of dance like African dance, Nia, Soul Motion, and more. I find that dance anchors me in my center and brings me a lot of joy.”
The VDA invites everyone in on the dance, to experience the movement themselves, by attending all or part of Traces. Before “The Fates” performance, the public is invited to join the Urban Dance Walk from 10 to 11 a.m. VDA founder and director Hanna Satterlee says, “We will practice moving together, with our environment, with other people, some contact improvisation, some dance activism!” To join the Urban Dance Walk, meet at the top of Church Street by 9:45 a.m. on June 16.
Other dance performances that day include a contemporary piece titled “Flowers and Vessels” at 11 a.m. at the fountain at Battery Park Extension and a hip hop number titled “Me Too” on Church Street at 3 p.m. For a full listing of all the free dance events, visit vermontdance.org.
Creating a dance event outside, one that is free and invites everyone, even passersby, to be the audience celebrates the VDA’s mission, “bringing dance to life.” Satterlee says, “Having Traces be a free event reminds us all of our connection to one another as humans and that our bodies like to move! We don’t need studios, or clubs or theaters to dance, dance is accessible, available, and innate to all human beings.” Inviting the public into a world where dance can look and feel like anything, she adds, “Dance is for everyone.”
Augmenting Satterlee’s sentiments, Pollock states,” I think of it as an opportunity to share dance with the public as a living form of art.”
All of Saturday’s public performances will be held no matter the weather. Responding to a query of what happens if it rains, Pollock says, evoking the timeless and sublime dancer Gene Kelly, “Then, we will be dancing in the rain!”
SOURCE: Carole Vasta Folley, The Other Paper