“When you’re Encore, you’re Encore all the way from your opening move to the final hurray!” (sung to the tune of “When You’re a Jet”)
Last week, over 80 singers, dancers and actors all over the age of 50 came together at the Chautauqua Institution to spend a week exploring, creating, trying something new, honing old skills. The result was a week of fun and a performance of theatre scenes, original dance, choral numbers and for a grand finale, a re-imagining of a medley of songs from West Side Story.
This was my second summer with Encore Creativity for Older Adults teaching the movement classes and creating dances with these wonderful people. A highlight was definitely the equivalents dance created to text by the founders of Chautauqua warning against “idle pursuits such as drinking, gambling, dancing and theatre-going”.
Each year I also share some choreography with the participants. This year Cassie created a short solo for me that serves as the beginning of the research process for a piece about ecologist and writer Rachel Carson. I danced it on the porch of the Athenaeum Hotel at dusk one day. The experience made me hope for a full company residency to create a series of porch dances for some of the gorgeous homes on the campus.