November 20th, 2010: Studio Showing

SonneBlauma Studio Showing: In Remembrance - Gratitude to the nth degree

SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT PREVIEW by Elizabeth Schwyzer "Audience Participation Encouraged"

We had a great time!  Elizabeth's preview article really helped us get the word out so oodles of gratitude sent her way.  We were so busy that there just wasn't the time to get the word out in a bigger sort of way.  I keep promising myself I'll make a contact list of those who for sure need to get invited and have that where I can access it easily but that never seems to happen and I always forget to invite someone I know would like to be there.  Also, there is the factor that I hate inundating people with too much information and reserve event correspondence for the bigger gigs, so I don't send out to the whole tribe, but try and remember to connect with the SonneBlauma diehards. The studio is small and I'm always afraid that if I put it out in a really big way we won't be able to squeeze everyone in.

The perfect number of people showed up to play!

I love studio showings, they are my absolute favorite way of sharing the work. 

I firmly believe that the work of art isn't complete until the audience as witness is there.  I know as an audience member I usually arrive with a kajillion things on my mind, may be fatigued from a long day, long week, long month, long year, and am more often than not fully present.

I find that people are able to enter into the work more deeply when they engage in a studio showing process.  We like to give a feel for what it is like to live in a dancing creative beings body.

This time around we built in time for a pre-show meet & greet where we set out snacks, mingled, chatted while we warmed up, made time for hugs and saying hello.

Ray Tischer got the bodies warmed up with some Tai Chi inviting people to participate (or not) seated or standing.  Stephen Kelly led us in some vocal games and then I launched into my personal audience participation of making up a dance on the spot.  It involves the audience being a part of the creative process by engaging in choreographic games to source material and then they become a part of the art making process either as performers, providing sound for the dance with their voices, and this time text with readings from an incredible little book we unearthed when clearing out Stephen's dad's estate.  Written in 1850 it was a detailed description of how women ought behave in every situation imaginable.  When building the structure for the improvisation I began to direct, lets begin with the text spoken in the darkness and then went, oh, well, that will be hard in the dark won't it. We all got a big chuckle out of that until one person said "wait! I have a torch (flashlight)" and she went around to those doing readings to light the pages they were reading from.  When she said, I can't find where the readers are I asked the readers to rustle their papers and she went around to light up what they were contributing. 

What a hoot!

After that Kevin Deeley performed an excerpt from a piece I'm setting on Santa Barbara City College Dancers.  It was set as a duet, but James was out injured so he performed it as a solo.

I asked the audience if they wanted a break but they wanted to power right through and I followed that with a suite of 3 solos danced back to back.  22 minutes (maybe 24?) of really athletic movement. What a sprint!  The studio was a bit on the chilly side to spite the heaters so I started dancing in layers.  During the rolling transitions between one solo and the next I'd strip off a layer.

I then made a quick change and performed the last piece, a co-creation between Stephen, Ray & I in costume.  Yikes!  It was REALLY hard to get into when sweaty.

I was a bit nervous about performing the work in that it is very much a work in progress & is REALLY different than anything we've ever done.  More theater than anything.  I did VERY little dancing.  Just a small phrase at the end.

Glad we'll get to do it again at NECTAR.  The piece is called Elegy for a Clown.

Here is the original E-vite

529 E. Gutierrez, Santa Barbara, CA
5:00-7:15 Company Preparation
7:15-7:30 Meet & Greet
7:30-9:00  Studio Showing

Our Thanksgiving Gift to you! 

Munchies come with your effort to be there or be square (grins.)  Seating is limited to 20. 

Our studio showings are our favorite ways in which to share our work with the community.  We find that audiences are allowed to enter more deeply into the work in that they are exposed to the art making process.  It begins with the audience being engaged as both creator and performer participating in the creative process.  They get to view incomplete works and offer creative feedback, enjoy repertory, and new works are most often premiered in the studio. 

Peaked your interest?



Image from Misa & Stephen's trip to the Island of Samos during
SonneBlauma's visit to Turkey in 2008!  YUM!!

NOTE: Menu may vary depending on availability of local organic dance produce

Take a Seat!

Welcome to the performance table!


Water, flat or bubbly - or BYO mixed drinks
Building connection and the spirit of playfulness: Ray Tischer leads audience and company in a Tai Chi/Qigong inspired warm up.

Cheese & fruit wheel
Stephen Kelly leads the audience and company in a vocal warm-up

Mixed nuts
Audience/Performer improvisation: Exploration of setting the stage in unconventional spacings with audience as performer and performer as audience.

Soup n' Salad

Organic Explorations Using Seeds from the Audience's Memories
Misa Kelly leads in choreographic games illustrating one way in which dance vocabulary can be generated.  Audience participation invited but not required.  The invitation will be to share "My last memory of you."  You being any loved one alive and vibrant here on earth or alive and vibrant in some other shape in some other plaace.

Recipes in Progress - Menu Items will be Chosen Based on That Weekend's Garden Availability

Reviving Repertory.

Stephen Kelly (co-creator, musician, mover), Ray Tischer (co-creator, violist & mover), & Misa Kelly (co-creator & mover) work in progress.  A structured improvisation pulling from the most intriguing elements that have surfaced in the course of 5 rehearsals.  Ray & Stephen moving together, Misa & Ray moving together, Misa moving and playing the viola (ha, ha, ha!), Stephen & Misa moving with Ray playing viola.

SonneBlauma Outreach
James MacMahon & Kevin Deelen.  As a community service Misa & Stephen have been volunteering their time to work with 12 Santa Barbara City College students.  James and Kevin will perform a short duet from the work for 12 dancers that is presently under development. 

Fresh Out of the Oven
Santa Barbara Premiere of a brand new recipe: Whisk
Premiered at Max 10 at the Electric Lodge in Venice beach on 11/1.   Fun!  She danced in a bikini top adorned in duct tape and a fun skirt made out of Trader Joe's recycled paper bags, peach tulle, and red Feathers with hot pink trunks underneath.    The work was also taken down to Pasadena to be auditioned for the Pasadena Dance Festival 11/7. 

This is one of Misa's wildest works.  Grief as the present meditation it is a choreographic flashback drawing from bits and pieces of repertory and new inventions to create a vibrant new work.    Still very green and growing with a definite mind of its own.  Misa is still "getting the piece in her body" and discovering the soulful, spiritual, and emotional textures that are the heart of the work.  Whisk insists on taking Misa on an unpredictable journey as she continues to rehearse the piece and share it with her community. 

Dedicated to all the loved ones that have recently passed -  Fluffnik, Frank Kelly, Gerry Marr's Mom, Robert Muller, George Allen, Spencer Boise & James Buchanan.   That is a lot of loss!  No wonder this work is so charged!

One of our favorite "Tried and True" Recipes

Ranunculus: Dedicated to Hughes Morton and his family.   

(Premiered January 2010 @ Santa Barbara's Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara. Performed in the COOL New York Dance Festival, 5x5x5 Series at the Sylvia White Galery, SBCC Spring Concert - Behind the Words, UCSB Alumni Studio Showing, Fusion Dance Company's "Integration & the Monterey)          

Reviews of Ranunculus

Santa Barbara- Justine Sutton: NoozHawk 

Kelly is clearly a highly-trained and accomplished dancer, and yet unlike many, she is also capable of        projecting great expression. Between frenzied moments of leaping and tossing her body about wildly         while making guttural sounds in her throat, she would pause and give the audience such an arch look over her shoulder that the texture of the piece immediately deepened.

Some dance tells a story, some is abstract. This piece seems to present an abstract story, dreamlike — but one of those odd dreams where lots of strange, disjointed things happen and you’re afraid if you tell    anyone about it, you might sound kind of crazy. Perhaps it is an embodiment of the subconscious mind,     with all its twists and turns. At once tragic and heroic, innocent and all-knowing, the persona Kelly          presented here was as fascinating as the piece was gorgeously multilayered.

Los Angeles - Stephen Woodruff: DancePlug

"Here are some of the highlights (of the MixMatch Festival) ...
Kelly, a woman slight in stature, proved an overwhelming and formidable presence on stage in her work     which used her own vocalizations in a psychological journey. In the end she retreats into blackness with  a series of looming balances. It was slightly terrifying."


Misa & Stephen Kelly

Although Misa founded SonneBlauma and served as its sole Artistic Director from 1996-2009 her partner in passion Stephen Kelly has been with SonneBlauma from the get-go.  He served as one of the co-founders of SonneBlauma's 501 (c) 3 the Future Traditions Foundation and is presently Vice President of FTF.  He has created and presented many events with production assistance from Misa including: Raga Kings, Endangered Species I & II (co-produced with Juliana Bertelson), concerts at the Music Academy of the West such as from Chopin to Senegal and Stephen Kelly Solo Recitals.  Although primarily a musician classically trained Stephen with extensive studies in Indian music Stephen's love for dance and dancers became charged studying dance as a music student at UCSB.

Stephen has begun to take a more active role in the company as a choreographer.  In 2009 he became Co-Director of SonneBlauma and has begun sharing more of the administrative tasks.  In addition he is adding new works to SonneBlauma repertory.  Last year he joined Misa in touring works out of town taking his latest creation Lucky Ducks south to MAX10 and north to Monterey.  Presently he is co-creating a new work with violist Ray Tischer and Misa Kelly, serving as choreographic assistant to Misa in SonneBlauma's educational outreach program at SBCC, and is in the planning stages of creating a work specifically for SonneBlauma's SB-ADaPT Festival.   Well, Misa has talked enough about herself over the years so in interest of brevity we'd like to welcome SonneBlauma's newest collaborator, Ray Tischer, & share a bit about Ray.

About Ray