July 2018 Update

Photographer: Julia Barstow

July 2018
Update of The Quarry Project

Summer is in full swing as are the plans to bring ideas and scenes into the Wells Lamson quarry for development. Here are the salient points since last I wrote:


  1. Amy LePage, my choreographic partner and I had three June days of creating material for three scenes involving the bed, the house and chairs.  This week, we work with five dancers, expanding the ideas from June. Over the next four weeks, rehearsals will continue off-site.
  2. A through-line of the project is couples in relationship: what do they need; what works for them; what doesn’t; what are they saying to each other, to others; what does compromise look and feel like…that sort of thing. For this summer, we will be developing three duets.
  3. Dave Severance is creating the music, working with a band of five for this summer’s iteration.
  4. Stefan Jacobs will bring new lighting – battery driven LED theatrical lights – to try out on the stages. He will also capture a quality recording of the band to be used in the film of 2018.
  5. Six more stages will be constructed and installed in the quarry by mid-August.
  6. Dancers and musicians will be on these stages with sets and costumes for the last two weeks of August to adapt the material to the very different environment of the flooded quarry.
  7. The last week of August will be devoted to filming and photographing this year’s creative work.
  8. John Thomas, historian/researcher/narrator for The Neighborhood Project and The Bus Barns Project has come on board. We are excited about our continuing collaboration.


  1. We held our first house-party in June at the home of Pat Robins and Lisa Schamberg who have been assisting me with so many aspects of this complex project. There were 25 people in attendance, most of whom know my work and with whom I have a long history – a perfect group to hear the first public announcement of the project.
  2. The Quarry Project did not get funded by National Dance Project (NDP). We were ranked 22nd of the 37 finalists with a strong project and application. Twenty artists received funding, including well-known choreographers familiar to you. The touring aspect to this grant was the sticking point for the panel – and challenging for me, too. I was encouraged to further explore the touring idea come fall and if the piece can be adapted in a comprehensive way, then we could re-apply to NDP in the winter.
  3. Meanwhile, Creative Capital, another national granting foundation, invited the Quarry Project (and 999 others) to submit the full application having selected it from a field of 5,000 applicants. Out of the next pool of selections, 10% will be invited to take the final step, from which 46 projects will be funded. We will know by the end of the summer if we are in the 10%.

Any support you can give for this Development Phase is much appreciated. You can donate online or send a check to Cradle to Grave Arts – PO Box 8 – Chelsea VT 05038.

Here is a clip from last summer in my neighbor’s pond when I invited 12 dancers to come test out the dynamics of the prototype stage. Lots of laughter and splashing interspersed with discovering how to dance on a moving, super-responsive surface.

Once this summer’s development work in the quarry is complete, you will hear from me again with new images and ideas. We continue to be grateful for your interest in contemporary art and its capacity to shed light on new pathways.