Last weekend, I was involved as an accompanist with the American College Dance Festival Association’s regional conference, held right here in Milwaukee. There was a lot of preparation and buzz within the UW-Milwaukee Dance Department as the conference drew near, and the conference as a whole, seemed to be a great success. I had a fantastic time meeting some new people, both musicians and choreographers, and shared some great moments of collaboration.
One of my highlights of the whole event was accompanying alongside Terrance Karn (percussion) for Ananya Chatterjea‘s Contemporary Indian Dance workshop. As I would expect of a regional conference, participation of staff and faculty from several different colleges and universities, automatically involves collaboration with individuals you’ve never met; creating exciting new opportunities to learn and interact spontaneously. In my experience, this opportunity has sometimes been successful, and sometimes not. This particular case was one of immediate connection, relaxed, but enthusiastic interest, and a great desire to fill the room with joyful, positive energy. I must say, I don’t recall a time I experienced impromptu music making in a dance environment that was quite like this; I was literally “buzzing” when it was over.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe there is any documentation of the class (audio or video), so this will simply have to live on in my mind as one of the most amazing experiences in recent years. I give great thanks and appreciation to Terrance Karn, Ananya Chatterjea, and the entire class of dancers for the incredible memories.
Another highlight was accompanying one of the Adjudicator classes; this one by Bill Wade of the Inlet Dance Theatre in Cleveland, OH. I enjoyed Bill’s words of wisdom on the relationship between performers and audience members, and Dominique and Joshua’s demonstrations seemed to stun us all. I felt the particular Live patch I was using for the class was just the right thing to keep the students engaged in the “assignment” for the moment. I plan on putting together an audio sample of that patch in the near future.
Until next time… cheers to more collaborative opportunities in the future!