We responded in late spring to a letter from Alexandria, a local DMTC Master’s candidate (who actually attended Marian Central) who, for her thesis, held a series of workshops for bereaved parents, using physical activity (or movement) to bring relief. The usual attack is via long drawn out sessions of discussion, which Bette and I both found useful after Sarah died, but this was different. There was discussion, but also a lot of breath work and physical activity. The last session, we played in a 12 foot loop of a diaphanous stretch fabric, which opened our eyes to play and remembering things. She also took some video of us acting out scenes from our memory.
Her thesis was turning these experiences into dance.
The dance was called Buried Treasure, and was part of a series of recital pieces from the students and staff of the department. It was a lot of fun, and the music was very good too. I always find new music when attending these things (just like working with Poms). And I was thinking, I should have invited Poms (and alumnae) to this – they would have loved it. It was a benefit for some scholarships for students, who were awarded them after the dance was over. Just like a Sarah clinic!
Afterwards, there was a nice reception catered by the Melting Pot fondue (chain) restaurant, with a fountain of chocolate martinis and chocolate fondue with fruit and Rice Krispies treats. We were able to talk to Alexandria, who was pouring (free) wine, and she told us she had reviewed the video for our physical presentation and used that to choreograph the dancers for her piece. A lot of thought went into it – amazing. She used the best line, “Everyone grieves in their own way”. If everyone remembered that, the trip would be a lot easier.
Update– here is the playlist — I love music for these things – artists have lots of ideas!
1. Savage Acquiescence / “Fade To Black” by Apocalyptica from “Inquisition Symphony”
2. a sublimer / “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi” by Radiohead from “In Rainbows”
3. Communion / “Journeying” by Steve Halpern from ?
more to come…
4. “Nobody knows the trouble i see” / trad. spiritual
4a. “Trampled Rose” by Alison Krauss from “Raising Sand” (unbelievable)
5. Buried Treasures / “Silent World” by Donna Lewis from “Now In A Minute”
6. Matters of Self / “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap from “Speak For Yourself”
7. moving through / “Guaranteed”, “No Ceiling” and “Rise” by Eddie Vedder from the “Into the Wild” soundtrack.
8. Beating / “Feedback”, “So Much Betta” by Janet Jackson
9. Euphoric – Inherent – Drive
11. Disquieted Front / “Biscuit” by Portishead from “Dummy” (Sarah had this album!)
12. Two Moons
13. Work, Play, Love
14. BESS in Hip Hop / “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson, “Dance and Shout” by Shaggy, “Track 1” by Dabrye, “Go Girl” by Pitbull