official mission

HERE/NOW exists to increase and diffuse knowledge
involving the intersection of Dance and Music.

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LOCATION: Open Flight Studio (OFS) 4205 University Way NE / 98105
SEATING: 730-8pm
SHOW: 8-945pm
ENTRY: $8 suggested donation
BEVERAGES: inspired selection of healthy cans and bottles
MERCHANDISE: packaged DVDs of past installments

(Please read Legal Notice at bottom of right column prior to attending. Thanks!)

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Installment 4 (3/6/10)

|select image for enlarged version|

Pictured above standing (l to r) are Christopher Hydinger, Kelly Sullivan, Ricki Mason, Selfick Ng-Simancas, Catherine Cabeen, Izaak Mills, Greg Powers and Mark Collins and sitting (l to r) are Joan Laage, Ellie Sandstrom, Dave Knott, Aaron Swartzman, Jim Kent, Wilson Shook, Christopher DeLaurenti and Stuart Dempster.


Is it possible for anyone to really taste food that has been prepared by someone else? Or is the process of preparing that food so inherent to the sum total experience that the only one who can actually taste it is the one who makes it... the "intimate creation" perspective a vital aspect to the perception of its taste? Or is it the exact opposite... the only one able to objectively taste food that has been prepared by someone else being anyone BUT the one preparing it... the "distal consumption" perspective the vital aspect?

'Effort' was present the evening of March 6th. Which isn't to say that it wasn't present the previous three installments... it certainly was. But for whatever reason it decided to make itself known in a more pronounced way this time around. It most evidently took the form of "conceptual integration" as it related to the manner and the degree to which each Dancer and Musician interacted. Where Installment 3 appeared to flow with the defined arc of a single evening length work, Installment 4 flowed like eight completed vignettes, each with their own distinctly defined arcs very satisfyingly patch-worked end-to-end.

It's also interesting to note that a musician dropped out at the last minute. Not the day of, but close enough to it that a replacement participant was incapable of being unearthed. So, I, Christopher Hydinger, became the eighth musician. Keep in mind, I am of the mindset that if you present/curate you do not also participate. This is just my personal philosophy but I tend to stick to it religiously. So, to realize that I was being beckoned without alternatives was at first upsetting. Then I began to slowly realize, to accept, that I was in fact going to be a participant and that I'd better do my best to pull an angle together so that in the midst of some of the most respected artists in Seattle and beyond (Stuart Dempster...c'mon... he's credited with introducing the didjeridu to North America for goodness sakes. When's the last time someone you know introduced an instrument to an entire continent?) I would be able to give folks a taste of what I like to do when I'm not designing gardens, creating various kinds of artwork, practicing breaking every last graphic design rule and curating like mad to make the next HERE/NOW a reality.

This is where the 'effort' element seems to come from. And this is why I included the bits about food. This installment was a lot of effort for me personally. Both in the curation and production and then ultimately in my eight minutes with the Ellie Sandstrom art-train express. So, I am questioning my own observations, my tasting of the installment... were the dancers and musicians all really projecting as much effort toward creating an eight minutes filled with as much personal and connective energy as they all appeared to be, or was it just my "intimate creation" role? Did I become unwillingly initiated into a perspective exclusively capable or completely incapable of experiencing the evening?

Regardless, there was a lot of trust, conviction and vision in all eight duets. Not to mention audacity: where else would you get to see Stuart Dempster and Ricki Mason perform together?! As I remember saying on several occasions that evening, "Only at HERE/NOW, folks... only at HERE/NOW."

You know, I think it's about time I mail The Randomness family a heartfelt thank-you note.


The fourth installment marked the end of the first year of HERE/NOW. Wow! One of my favorite outcomes of the program’s format is the electric anticipation between the audience and the artists. After names are drawn from each of the two hats the audience cheers for the selected artists. And once the duet ends a louder applause follows, creating an air of support and celebration for the spontaneous act between music and dance. The fourth installment followed suit.

I would title the fourth installment, Dynamic Minimalism. I observed choices to 1) interact with instruments in a non-traditional sporadic way which contrasts my expectation of how one would usually play an instrument such as the alto saxophone, double bass, tuba and cymbals and 2) introduce objects from the everyday environment such as pine cones, radios, Dixie cups, a conch shell, whistles, squeaky toys, pennies, bubble wrap lined envelopes and cell phones. There was a sense of experimentation and curiosity with the natural, the familiar and the ordinary. These elements, along with the brass didjeridu, produced a rich environment that is minimal and playful, quiet and voluminous. I observed movement choices influenced by somatic impulses, burlesque, folklore, butoh, capoeira, Modern and ballet dance vocabularies interplay with extreme emotions such as overwhelming joy, anguished suffering, naïve playfulness, graceful calm and relentless passion. When the music and dance met: sparseness met nuanced flow, wise experience met feisty technique. Each duet charged by its unique mix.

In general, I have observed four approaches to spontaneous dueting consistent to all of the installments so far. Artists: 1) synchronize into a reciprocal dialog: a desire to actively communicate through relating either by physical proximity and/or shared impulses, 2) agree to be in side-by-side solos that inadvertently influence one another through a sonic and visual feedback loop 3) communicate differently: one seeks relationship while the other seeks to be in a solo and 4) combine all of the above; a surprising weave of invitations, disagreements and unions.

One of my other favorite outcomes to the program's format is how the duration of each duet leads the artist to go beyond what I perceive to be their comfort zone. Regardless of how the duet began, in the last two minutes individually known patterns begin to drop and I think they begin to attune to one another into an interconnected experimentation.

In June, the second year of HERE/NOW will begin which I’m sure will continue to open my perspective about music, dance, improvisation and collaboration. I can’t wait!


The evening's duets in chronological order:

1. Aaron Swartzman (D) + Wilson Shook (M)
Kelly Sullivan (D) + Dave Knott (M)
3. Selfick Ng-Simancas (D) + Mark Collins (M)
Ricki Mason (D) + Stuart Dempster (M)


Jim Kent (D) + Christopher DeLaurenti (M)
6. Ellie Sandstrom (D) + Christopher Hydinger (M)
7. Catherine Cabeen (D) + Greg Powers (M)
8. Joan Laage (D) + Izaak Mills (M)

If you attended this installment take a minute and share your thoughts. What did you feel was the most engaging moment of the evening? Whose duet resonated with you the most? How did you hear about HERE/NOW and why did you feel as if you wanted to attend? Were you familiar with any of the participants? Did the evening serve as a catalyst for discussion amongst friends?



  1. hey guys

    i think this is an incredible idea and format. thanks for having me. it was fun and overall an unforgettable experience. i loved reading the thoughtful words. seeing pictures of past performers somehow makes me jump forwards 50 years, re-viewing these pictures in admiration and awe.


  2. It was such a delighteningly surpriseful event in concept, place, participators and audience, heaping gratitude to all. dk