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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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Installment 9 (6/18/11)

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Pictured above standing (l to r) are Scott Bell, John Dixon, Leyya Mona Tawil, Mark Johnson, Colin Pulkrabek, Dean Moore, Markeith Wiley and Mark Schlipper and sitting (l to r) are Rebekka Goldsmith, Devin McDermott, Peggy Piacenza, Mônica Mata Gilliam, Danielle R. Hammer, Alfredo "Free" Vergara, Eric Chappelle and Rosalynn De Roos.

Energy. Being the vessel responsible for containing this force is about as close to a thankless job as could ever exist. But it is an undeniably important one: energy always striving to break free of its vessel and the vessel always striving to keep energy within its shell, perhaps the ultimate struggle for balance, for a kind of neutrality, a peace. Recent events in Japan radically illustrate the fragility of this expand-contain relationship that energies have with their respective vessels.

Einstein captivated the world when he equated the energy of a body at rest with its mass times the speed of light in a vacuum squared. This mass-energy equivalence exhibits relativistic effects when the body is not at rest relative to the observer. Provocative then, infinitely leaned upon today.

I once watched a video online of a talk given by Bill Gross of Idealab. He presented his company's flower-shaped solar energy collector and Stirling engine redux. An inventor since his high school days, he concluded by talking about how we are very casual about our energy use in our day-to-day lives. And he allegorized this notion by pointing out that just the lights above the stage that he was on were equivalent to approximately 15 horses running at full speed. With this in mind, how much energy is required for each HERE/NOW installment?

Vessels in their eternal battle of containing/releasing the energy held within them. Bodies in motion relative to their observer. Management and allocation. Installment 9, more than any other installment so far, made me really think about the larger topic of energy... how it is employed and for what causes, how it is stored and why, what are the root factors causing it to be so fantastically present in some moments and so ominously void in others, how it is transferred, willing or otherwise, from one vessel to another.

Installment 9's vessels did not seem satiated idly containing their innards. It was very much an atomic free-for-all like that, a bulky birthday cake in celebration of honesty and creation.

~ Christopher


John Dixon responded to the lights fading in.

Markeith Wiley walked in wearing three jackets.

Peggy Piacenza felt compelled to directly address the audience regarding her artistic intentions.

Devin McDermott and Rebekka Goldsmith stared intimately at one another while standing toe to toe.

Danielle R. Hammer began on the other side of Dean Moore’s gong.

Alfredo "Free" Vergara began with a kneeling posture on the ground.

Leyya Mona Tawil verbally expressed excitement at having been paired with Mark Johnson.

Mônica Mata Gilliam stepped close to Colin Pulkrabek.


John Dixon emotionally engaged with circumstance. Memorably, the coos of his baby watching from the front row while in the comfort of its mother's lap made him laugh and he affectionately bonded with one of audience member Lila Hurwitz's boots.

Markeith Wiley took off his jackets in the style of stop motion animation to Mark Schlipper's deep electronic rhythms. After they were removed, he precariously moved low to the ground. His power seemed to take him by surprise.

Peggy Piacenza, dressed in all black with red lipstick, sang that she was leaving on a jet plane while holding an onion. She paused a few times in a pose reminiscent of the dying swan from Swan Lake. At one moment, she took off a layer of clothes and began to move in chaotic spirals. In this moment, she no longer spoke and Scott Bell's violoncello raged. I witnessed a dark comedy that was vulnerable and highly personal.

Devin McDermott and Rebekka Goldsmith slowly walked away from one another as the lights fully faded in. I observed a physical exploration about following internal impulse. She paired spacious and undulating spinal motions with precise, strong and balanced foot gestures. Rebekka's voice both led and supported her exploration.

Danielle R. Hammer's hand began to quiver to Dean Moore's quivering sounds. I watched her physically manifest his sounds. She trembled, inwardly collapsed and explosively jumped. There was quiet build to her explosive movement. The experience was cathartic.

Alfredo "Free" Vergara and Eric Chappelle engaged in a palpable dialog. The violin evoked lyrical, playful and folkloric dance styles. Alfredo's expression of contemporary b-boy power moves and low to the ground Capoeira-like motions inspired Eric to play the violin rhythmically. Together, they expressed a duet filled with curiosity, joy, grace and expertise. Memorably, some of Eric's twangy sections inspired Alfredo to pretend to be riding a horse!

Leyya Mona Tawil started her duet with an iconic rockstar-worship pose toward Mark Johnson. Her motions pulsed and vigorously shook while in that kneeling posture. She tried to move away and change this idea but persistently returned as if consumed by adoration.

Mônica Mata Gilliam and Colin Pulkrabek engaged in a flirtatious dialog. At one point, while Colin was standing, Mônica was in between his legs, moving them, as if trying to transport him across the room and simultaneously knock him off balance. Colin's trombone inspired Mônica to move in a social swing dance style mixed with abrupt leg gestures that were long and elegant. I laughed when she mimicked the trombone's sounds with wild facial expressions while wrapped in the studio's curtains, like she was trying to scare someone on Halloween.


Regardless of what was occurring when the lights faded out in each duet, it always felt like the ideal moment. I thought that there were three decidedly striking endings: Peggy (with puzzling eyes, searching the room while eating an onion), Alfredo (chose to freeze, referencing a classic b-boy move) and Mônica (trying to play Colin’s instrument while verbally expressing that she was there for him, like they had been through a challenging experience - and they had!)

After Installment 9, I walked away with many questions. How does the artist prepare to perform for an event that by definition does not seek preparation? How does this preparation impact their improvisation? How does an artist trust that they are already prepared? Observing the Entry, Evolution and End of each duet provided me with some interesting insights yet few if any conclusions. However, I was able to conclude that how an artist interacts with the unknown moment is a sincerely intriguing predicament.

~ Paige

The evening's duets in chronological order:

1. John Dixon (D) + Rosalynn De Roos (M)
2. Markeith Wiley (D) + Mark Schlipper (M)
3. Peggy Piacenza (D) + Scott Bell (M)
4. Devin McDermott (D) + Rebekka Goldsmith (M)


5. Danielle R. Hammer (D) + Dean Moore (M)
6. Alfredo "Free" Vergara (D) + Eric Chappelle (M)
7. Leyya Mona Tawil (D) + Mark Johnson (M)
8. Mônica Mata Gilliam (D) + Colin Pulkrabek (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?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

DVD - Installment 8 - NOW AVAILABLE!

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Please select quantity:


If you have a friend or family member who is a fan of Dance and/or Music you should definitely consider gifting them one or more of the HERE/NOW DVDs. They serve as living proof that very, very good things have the propensity to occur when one Dancer and one Musician are randomly paired and given eight minutes to improvise together, and also as a means by which to archive the Pacific Northwest's ever-vibrant Dance and Music communities.

They are respectfully packaged and authored and come with complete program concept information, contact/credit information, outtakes, a group portrait with the names of all sixteen participants and, of course, all eight improvised duets titled and chapterized making it easy to jump to specific performances or view the entire evening in chronological order. We've also decided to insert into each DVD case a neatly folded copy of the evening's 8.5" x 14" printed program detailing who was paired with whom in addition to engaging information about each participant in a part-bio, part-interview format.

We've worked very hard to make sure the DVDs have features that resonate with those that are fans of Dance and/or Music and we're always trying to think of ways to make them even better. We've also tried to make sure that our asking price ($16 + shipping costs if applicable) is reasonable, affordable and fair. (Note: all DVDs receive free shipping if being mailed to a destination within the continental US.)

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Christopher & Paige

Creative Directors | Curators