Archive for the Dance Category

From an Island, #4 (Homage to Rauschenberg’s ‘Pelican’)

Posted in Art and Culture, CAPTIVA, Dance, Life and What about It, So&So&So&So, Theater with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by Louise Steinman

"Homage to Pelican"
No sense trying to sleep during full moon madness, the night after our “Homage to Pelican,” for me a joyful return to the zone of performer’s mind, the thrill of improvisation. And especially meaningful to be performing with Susan Banyas, with whom I danced and made theatrical mischief for many years as the expandable duo So&So&So&So.

To plucks and clunks of John Cage, Carrell escorts Lucinda up onto the chairs (Rauschenberg’s “Ancient Incident”) where she sings in soaring soprano:





Susan and I glide around on Bob’s black rollerskates (the very ones, yes, that he used in his 1958 “Pelican”, now with fraying shoelaces) adorned with our palm frond parachutes, gently propelling Lavinia and Kate off-balance (they are our Cunningham-Carolyn Brown muses), blue bicycles spiral on the grass in the distant lawn. I’m told an osprey flew over (cue osprey!)the performance during the final moment, wriggling mullet in his talons, illuminated by the sun.

And then there was the egret who wanted some ice:


On an Island

Posted in Art and Culture, CAPTIVA, Dance, Life and What about It with tags , , , on January 12, 2013 by Louise Steinman

“Odysseus asked to spend eternity making his way from a war indefinitely far in the past to an island indefinitely far in the future.”

I’m presently on an island. I’m sitting on the dock of the Fish House, reading The Lost Books of the Odyssey. A pelican drops scissor-like into the sea. A pair of dolphins are breaking and breathing and arcing in the channel. The same ones, perhaps who awakened the photographer who was sleeping here the other night, woke her at 4 AM. To be awakened by dolphins! That’s the magic of this place, Captiva, where I am in residence with a group of ten other painters, dancers, writers, performers.

Walking back through the jungle to our cottage at dusk from the dance studio with Susan, we’re talking about how we began making theater together years ago, returning to our sources. I’d just read aloud to her a poem by Robert Creeley, “Histoire du Florida,” about age, that ends: “Come out, while there’s still time to play.”

Then a bobcat lopes across our path, taking our breath away.

Captiva is where Bob Rauschenberg lived and worked for decades, and his compound—with studios and houses, lawns and jungle– is now, thanks to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, being opened up as an artist residency program. We’re the pilot residency (hey it’s a difficult job, but someone’s gotta do it), helping to tweak the studios and the protocol so that generations of artists after us will create here in these remarkable spaces.

Reading in Calvin Tompkin’s Off The Wall, about Bob’s trip to India, the sight of a golden sari trailing in mud made him realize: “that everything is relative, that everything is acceptable , and that you don’t need to be afraid of beauty either.”

which applies, I think, to this vision from the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, from yesterday:


After Pina (for Wim Wenders)

Posted in Art and Culture, Dance, Poetry with tags , , , , on January 21, 2012 by Louise Steinman

Balancing branches
on his shoulders,
a man stacking
chairs, three
stories high.
Slide on water, swim
for your life.
Leap for joy, generosity.
Why this

I wanted
to give her
I forgot I was shy.
My fragility
was my strength.
She told me to dance
for love.

He wears demon ears,
sits in the last seat.
She stomps
the pillow.
They thrust hips,
buttocks bulge
through shiny dresses.
Little dog nips his nimble
tapping heels.

Ah to be old.
Ah to be young.
Words can only
evoke. That’s where
comes in
again. At the edge
a cliff.
Very carefully, two floors
up…from the icy
the Traveler enters.

Dance, dance, or
else we are lost.

Under the flyway
on top of the glacier
restrained by a rope
with dirt.
does this yearning
come from?

O woman in the red
billowy dress,
dance for me.

Dance, dance,
or else we
are lost.

In the forest,
at the bottom
of the lake
in the mine shaft
hundreds of feet
the ground.
Tap chest
three times, nod
your head.
Give in
to gravity,
hold back. Unwrap
spring up

Dance, dance,
or else
we are lost.

January 14, 2012
-Louise Steinman

%d bloggers like this: