If you’ve spent any length of time with me or Cassie, you’ve heard about Sheboygan. We refer to it sometimes at Narnia–this place that doesn’t sound real until you experience it firsthand. Cassie and I, along with other Dance Exchange company members, spent a month there in 2010. We were in residence at the Kohler Arts Center, creating a new performance work with 60 members of the local community. (You can read more about that residency on the old Dance Exchange blog, DX on the Road). Returning to Kohler three years later was a delight, and full of many coincidences, chance-meetings, and connection-building of the sort that only happen when we’re here.
An evening I’ll hold dear for some time happened here: our last night in Sheboygan. We’d had a busy week full of early morning school shows, evening performances, and we’d just finished our final show that night. We went to Al & Al’s Steinhaus after promising Laura, the bartender, on our previous night’s visit that we’d be back to play her music from the show, which she wasn’t going to be able to see because she was working.
The Dance Exchange performers and designers, along with Cassie’s parents, got a table next to a group playing cards. Very quickly, a conversation struck up between our two tables, and we learned that the group had just come from choir practice from the church across the street. They practice on Thursday nights, and then come to Al & Al’s to hang out and play cards. We started talking about music, and pretty soon, our tables were trading songs back and forth. We shared “I’ll Fly Away”, they shared “Shenandoah”, and on it went.
As usual, the memorable experiences with Dance Exchange happen in the theatre, and more markedly, out in the world. This time, it was in a bar. But I shouldn’t be surprised–we were in Sheboygan, after all. Here are pictures from that night: