Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Save The Date for Washington D.C.

The Telephone Dance Project's next stop on the tour Washington D.C. and we want you to dance with us!

Friday, March 28th 

Improvisation Workshop with TDP 
at Dance Place 
3/28 at 6:30pm-8:30pm
$20 general/$15 students and seniors
Register HERE.
We'll explore some of the ideas we use to create our long-distance works.  Workshop participants will also get a chance to try out some of the movement we'll be using for Saturday's Site-Specific Dance Exploration at the National Portrait Gallery.

Saturday, March 29th

Self-Guided Tour of Dancing the Dream and 
Open Rehearsal of the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company
at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery 
3/29 at 11:00am-3:00pm
Join us any time between 11 and 3pm to take in the National Portrait Gallery's special exhibition honoring American dance throughout the 20th century as well as a glimpse into the preparations for Dana Tai Soon Burgess's newest work to be premiered in the spring.

Kogod Courtyard, National Portrait Gallery
Site-Specific Dance Experience with TDP
National Portrait Gallery's Kogod Courtyard 
3/29 at 3:00-4:00pm
FREE - let us know you're coming HERE
We'll take inspiration from what we've just seen, and some of TDP's methods of improvisation to create a work of art on the spot.  Join in the fun or watch as we lead a series of dances that you can be a part of by giving just a few simple directions.  Look, listen, and move your way into a deeper understanding of the art that exists all around you.

Salon-Style Performance with TDP and Guests

Brookland Artspace at 3305 8th St. NE 
3/29 at 7:30pm-8:30pm 
Invite with any donation
Put on your evening look, enjoy a glass of wine (donations encouraged), see the art provided by Catholic University Art Students and watch performances by TDP, Mountain Empire and more guest artists.  Performances will happen in an informal setting with dialogue encouraged.

You must be on the invite list to enter, but that's easy!  Simply donate below to our Indiegogo campaign, contact us personally, or join our Facebook Event.

We can't wait to see you!

Thanks for making this all happen through your generous donations.  Consider sharing or donating the price of a ticket for someone who otherwise could not right here:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

MA Performance Recap

The Telephone Dance Project has returned to their respective homes after their first weekend of performances and we've all had a chance to digest all of the magic of our first in-person rehearsals and performances.

To give a little background: before our MA performances, each of us was ensconced in our home states creating and practicing the phrases that were sent through the mail to us.  For me (Katie), I had created, written down, and sent my "D.C." phrase through the mail to Rachel in VA.  She read it, made her interpretation of what she read on the paper into a phrase on her own body and wrote that version down to mail to Eliza in MA.  Then Eliza repeated the process to send to Barbara in PA.  I couldn't wait to see how my phrase turned out by the time it got to Barbara.
Katie, Joy and Barbara discuss costume options 

 We had met each other at least once in person in the past to shake hands, share a cup of tea, and familiarize each other about the goings ons in our lives.  Our other meetings had only been through Google Hangouts and Skype to discuss logistics. So we were filled with excitement and trepidation about our first rehearsal as a group.  Would we mesh as dancers?  How would it look to put the phrases next to each other?  Would we remember the score (a framework used to put the phrases of choreography together into a "dance")?  Would it all fall apart?  How would the crowd react?

As the end of the week approached, we gradually descended upon Eliza's house in Northampton, MA as our schedules allowed and caught each other up on our personal lives over coffee, tea and wine.  On Friday evening, we had our first rehearsal together, running through our phrases, pairing up to see how our phrases came out "in the mail" and laughing heartily at ourselves and each other at how our words changed down the line into funny movements and strange combinations.  It turned out to be such a relief!  We were working easily together, the phrases were looking good, and putting them next to each other gave us all a lot of inspiration for our own hosted shows down the line.

We all jumped in feet first to Eliza's score which was a mixture of a tightly ordered set of events and an open improvisation section using verbal cues to jumpstart a new set of phrases.  Emphasizing how easy this collaborative process has been, we all came into the rehearsal having a good handle on the score because Eliza had proposed a menu of score options via email prior to our arrival that we could weigh in on.

Eliza and Barbara warm up in our first group rehearsal
Since this was our first time rehearsing together, we had to work on being "in" the space together by running through some improvisation activities and once we really connected and added just one more rule to pay attention to in our open improv section, that was the final thread that drew us close enough together to really get us synced up to read each other's movements and create interesting patterns in the chaos.

Our first performance happened at the Workbench Series in the Arts and Industry Lofts on Saturday night with choreographers Ailey Picasso, Claire Maurey, Sara Hook and Paul Matteson.  This was the first of many more Workbench showings to come.  You can find more about the series HERE.

Paul and Sara warm up before the Workbench Series
The space was that lovely kind of warm and inviting that you expect with artist lofts and there were plenty of chairs and cushions for the audience to pile onto.  We drew names out of a hat to determine the order of the show and as a result, we were able to watch all of the choreographic offerings unfold before us and greeted the audience on a warm stage.  After the performance, we had a circled discussion with the audience asking questions of us and vice versa.  The structure of our collaboration became the primary focus and it was clear that the individual voices we brought to the structure were a real point of interest.  Heartened by the thoughtful discourse and positive feedback, we headed into a small salon-style showing on Sunday evening.

Sunday evening's Birthday Salon was held in a neighboring studio in the same Arts-loft complex but in a smaller space with concrete floors and shared with choreographers Mountain Empire, Shaina Cantino, and Joy Davis.  The pieces were scaled down and modified to take the floor into consideration and there were breaks between each piece so the audience/guests could talk, buy more drinks and treats, and find another vantage point for the next piece.
Eliza surveys the treats

Shaina and Joy performing at the Birthday Salon
We kept the same structure for this show, but gave it a more "party" flair in both attitude and costume choice.  The smaller space, the second performance, and the actual party going on in the room gave it a more intense, slightly aggressive feel that was exciting.  We ended by fading into dance music and pulling people onto the floor to start a dance party that didn't end until 1am.  What a way to head into Monday!

Now as we're tallying up the travel budget for the MA show, we'll head into the planning stages for Washington D.C.  There are exciting plans to share once the ink has dried and once again, we want you to be a part of the show.  Just like our MA showing, we have special plans to make this event accessible to every income level.  An affordable Improv Workshop open to all levels, a Site Specific performance that you can come see and even hop into, and another free party where we are featuring some dance, visual, and possibly some music, and acting artists from the D.C. arts community.

In order to keep these events free, we need you to be involved in fundraising.  It's easy!  Consider it your ticket to the show, or a ticket for someone who wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise.  Plus, we have some nice incentives to reward your generosity.  If you can't afford to give now, share our campaign with your friends.  Word of mouth is priceless. VVV GIVE OR SHARE HERE VVV

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Performance in MA is in the Books

It's snowing out and we just had our first successful run of the Telephone Dance Project! You know what that means? Treats for our inaugural contributors are on their way and you can feel cozy, safe and secure that your dollars are doing good out there in that crazy world.

Next up is Washington D.C.! Get your very own fantastic treats by donating now and be a part of the fun! Stay tuned for a recap of the MA show and to where the next dance party is happening.


Rachel and Eliza rehearsing at Smith

Eliza makes sure the treats at the donation table are fabulous

We wait in the loft watching Sara Hook and Paul Matteson before we perform at Workbench

Sunday, January 12, 2014

First Show is Coming Soon!

We're getting closer to having our first rehearsal together before our first show in Massachusetts. In the mean time, we're all rehearsing independently in our own states. Here's what some of that looks like: 

Please remember to pass the word along about our project through our indigogo campaign at 

Thanks for your support and we hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Birthday Salon in Florence, MA on January 19th

Come see the Telephone Dance Project in a special Birthday Salon! 
When: Sunday, January 19 at 7:30pm
Where: Florence Arts and Industry Bldg, Studio 301, 221 Pine St, Florence, MA
Who: TDP, Mountain Empire, Joy Davis, Shaina Cantino, Guest DJ
Why: It's cheap, it's fun, there'll be drinks, art, dancing, and you!

The Telephone Dance Project turns the classic game of "telephone" (also known as "whisper down the alley") into a long-distance dance collaboration tool. Katie Drake (DC), Eliza Larson (MA), Rachel Rugh (VA) and Barbara Tait (PA) send dances through the mail, interpret them from writing into movement, write them down again, and pass their version on to the next person. These phrases are used to create an improvisational score, directed by each participant in their own home state. The dance will change with each performance and each new location.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Phrase Material is Generated in Each State

Each collaborator works independently to generate material based on the directives they receive in the mail. Click the link to see how Katie in D.C. plays with words and movement in the studio.

Performances in MA, NC, and PA are set!

The project that turns the classic game of "telephone" into a long-distance dance collaboration tool has performances happening across the East Coast, starting on January 18 in the Workbench Series in Northampton, MA.  

We’ll perform again the following night on January 19th in a Salon Performance at 7:30pm at Studio 310 in the Florence Arts and Industry Building in Northampton, MA in a shared evening of performance with Joy Davis, and Shaina Cantino. For more information email eliza.larson@gmail.com.

TDP has also been invited to perform on April 5th as part of {Re}HAPPENING, a fantastic improvisational evening of art and performance at the historic Black Mountain College in Black Mountain, NC.  We’re excited to share a night of installation and art making with over 80 artists from around the country.

Additional performances will take place on May 10th for the H-O-T Series in Philadelphia, PA, and TBD in Washington, DC.

See what we’re about HERE: https://vimeo.com/83334697

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's Here! It's Time!

Want to know more about what the Telephone Project is all about and where we're traveling to? Here's a fabulous intro video. 

Please share with your friends and consider donating what you can.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Campaign Season is Coming!

Check back soon for details on how you can support amazing live art through our fundraising campaign and get goodies at the same time.  

Why is it great to support live arts?
Because you become a part of the arts without having to wear a funny costume.

You get that warm fuzzy feeling inside from helping something good happen.

The enrichment that happens in a community where the arts happen. 

You get goodies from us.  

Communities that support the arts become more economically vibrant.

By supporting cross-community arts collaborations, you help artistic ideas spread faster thereby helping the art form grow and change.

You get goodies from us.

Your support helps us keep ticket prices low so that more people who might not otherwise be able to afford it can experience the arts.

Commercially funded art makes artists beholden to the vision of the corporation or business that funds them.  Community supported helps keep the artists' visions pure.

You get goodies from us.  And our undying appreciation.  

Thank you, and tell your friends!