This January there were notable artists that passed on from this life. Their expressions gave us mile marker memories. “Oh yeah! I remember hearing that song on the school bus for the first time and being really excited.” When artists express themselves so vibrantly, there is an impression left on the souls of others. What impression are you making?
Twenty years ago I remember grabbing My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess out of the shelving bin at the Borders Bookstore. Just holding the book, realized Dr. Suess had passed and that this new book was relevant to being published after he died, I knew I needed to bring the book into motion. Dance class after dance class
started hearing the story. Soon songs matched in and a production was recorded. I was privileged to work with missions groups and have the story read in Russian and Spanish so the dance expression would be taken and performed for kids in Crimea and Dominican Republic. I wonder what expression this left on the kids.
My Many Colored Days was never choreographed. It was primarily an improvisation. Students learned the emotion within the story through an animal and a color. Then music that matched the mood/emotion released the students to use shape, space, and timing which they desired.
It’s been a number of years now that many generations have taken part in this improvisational exercise. I’m beginning to wonder if a more mature rendition needs choreographed. As you live there are seasons that come through. I’ve had the water years, the sleek grey tech years, the romantic era, and of late the brown bear caved years. What would it look like to the dancers if we expanded the 30-90 second segments and instead…selected a page for an entire piece. I think it might be time to plan a Many Colored Reunion event. Dancers could bring their own pieces and enjoy the evening of maturity.
There will be a day when our expressions hang in the air beyond our lives. The impression of Allison Prucha’s Orange Day, Anita Artzner’s Black Day, Lexi Reiman and Chloe Harley performing Blue Day. Those are some favorite for certain; but there are so so many more. Emma Martinez’ Brown. Genevieve Bodenshatz’ Red. I think 2016 will be a year of choreographing some of these expressions on dancers. These expressions make impact. I’m so glad Dr. Suess created them. I am so glad our art is left behind.