performed before a live, in-person, socially-distanced audience
September 18 & 19 2020 (plus added show: Sun Sept 20)
PS21 in Chatham, NY
Featuring: Doug LeCours, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, Tara Sheena, Meg Weeks Choreography/Direction: Catherine Galasso Assistant Director: KC Athol Music: Dave Cerf, Michael Galasso, Catherine McRae, Costumes: Karen Boyer Announcements: Tess Dworman Cinematography: Catalina Kulczar-Marin Trailer edited by: Catherine Galasso
This 30-minute work was created entirely on site in 6 days, thanks to a development residency at PS21, in Chatham, NY (about 2 hours north of New York City). The creative team quarantined together and all tested negative for Covid-19 prior to arrival. Audiences were capped at 50, seated in pairs and spaced 6-10 feet apart. The sound score played on 25 small radios distributed throughout the audience.
"Field Notes" was created with support from PS21, Magazzino Italian Art, Margaret Avenia of Columbia County Real Estate, and generous individual contributions.
PS21 in partnership with the Town of Chatham, PS21 and Crellin Park Trails presents
Field Notes: Outdoor Dances for This 21st Century
"Field Notes" is an original site-specific work for four dancers, first performed in the apple orchards at PS21 on the late summer afternoons of September 18, 19 and 20. “Field Notes” is uniquely conceived for socially distanced audiences, with spectators seated in pairs in the open air of the orchard.
We went with bold colors for costumes (designed by Karen Boyer) so that the performers would pop against the landscape even from a great distance, as bright colored shapes emerging from the grassy horizon, dueting with the trees. The team and I also decided that these should be characters from the future, outside of the current moment, incongruous with the natural setting. Possibly even time travelers, returning to earth from elsewhere. The music by Dave Cerf and Catherine McRae (all original compositions from our prior collaborations) was wistful and mysterious, playing through 25 battery-powered radios in low-fi surround sound. Tess Dworman's pre-recorded announcements welcomed the audience via radio as they settled in. With the announcements, it was important to me to strike the right tone; to provide practical and necessary reminders about mask wearing and distancing without patronizing; to keep it light but without mockery. I believe we accomplished this by creating a kind of radio DJ character -- affable yet direct.
We saw "Field Notes" as the continuation of a series called Of Iron and Diamonds, inspired by Boccaccio’s Decameron, which I began in 2017. This new piece, while connected to the earlier, pre-Covid chapters, was at the same time in direct response to the current moment of great uncertainty and uprising. It conjured a space of wistfulness, melancholy and delight, acknowledging the weight of this unprecedented epoch, without stating the obvious.
"Field Notes" falls within my larger body of work that includes nearly twenty collaborative site-based works for venues as varied and unconventional as an underground bank vault, a grand marble staircase, dilapidated houses and inverted theaters (audience onstage and performers in the seats), as well as traditional indoor and outdoor performance spaces and stages. My choreography is cast-specific and site-responsive, with nods to history filtered through a pop sensibility.
All photos above by Steven Taylor, featuring Doug LeCours, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, Tara Sheena and Meg Weeks, with costumes by Karen Boyer. All shot during the dress rehearsal of "Field Notes" on September 17, 2020, in the apple orchards of PS21, Chatham, NY.
socially distanced seating for COVID-19 SAFETY
Advanced reservations are required, and are issued in pairs.
Each pair of reservations corresponds to a seating circle outlined in field paint. Seating circles are spaced 6-10 feet apart.
The maximum number of reserved pairs available per performance is 25, not to exceed a max capacity of 50 participants.
Participants are invited to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. Sanitized chairs will be available to those unable to bring their own.
We recommend you bring water, a hat, bug repellent, sunscreen, and weather appropriate clothing. You are also welcome to bring your own refreshments.
Face coverings are mandatory for the duration of the event.
Please arrive fifteen to twenty minutes prior to show time to park and get acclimated.
Participants park at Chatham’s Crellin Community Park, 2940 Route 66, Chatham NY. Please use the back pavilion baseball field parking area, where there will be a check-in desk and designated signage for cueing, spaced 6ft apart.
After check-in, participants are directed down a path (a distance of 300 meters, or 5-minute walk) to the performance area, where a volunteer will direct them to a seating circle.
Participants remain seated for the duration.
The run time is approximately 40 minutes.
Bathrooms are available before and after the performance, and sanitized between uses.
Zoom prepping with Meg Weeks, Tara Sheena, Jordan Lloyd, Doug LeCours, and KC Athol.