Monday, June 13, 2011

Tunic Travelogue: Part I

The Italian journey begins! Hardly seems real—today I fly Austin to New York and then to Milan for two weeks of performances in Italy. I love saying yes to projects, people, and creative ideas—and this past year, life has proved to be a wellspring of all three.

Just a year ago my friend Petr from Moscow suggested that I collaborate with clarinetist Cheryl Growden Piana and pianist Fiorenza Bucciarelli for a concert in Russia as part of the Embodied Sense in Motion conference hosted by Moscow State University in the fall of 2010. Cheryl is a Feldenkrais student of Petr’s and is a Bones for Life instructor, in addition to playing clarinet. Originally from Iowa, she is married to an Italian geologist and lives part time in Italy and part time in Moscow. Fiorenza is her Italian neighbor, and they have played many concerts together over the years. Also a poet and a visual artist, Fiorenza has begun to incorporate other artistic media into her concerts, and our Moscow collaboration included video projection of Fiorenza’s paintings.

After our whirlwind rehearsal process in Moscow and a very successful performance, we bade farewell, saying that we really must find another venue to present our collaborative work—either Italy or the United States. How amazing that a short eight months after our initial collaboration, we have booked four concerts over the next two weeks in Genova, Alessandria, Casaleggio, and just outside of Rome. For this short tour, we will also be joined by pianist Sylvia Gianuzzi, and will add a few piano pieces for four hands to our repertoire.  I will reprise the Victor Babin “Hillendale Waltzes” that I originally choreographed in Moscow, as well as a haunting piece by Italian composer Roberto Tagliamacco, whom I look forward to meeting at the Alessandria concert. Also joining us at the Alessandria concert will be Sylvia Colizzi, a mosaic artist and educator from Ravena, who was also at the Moscow conference.

So, I head to the airport, my bag stuffed with tunics (I’m costuming myself as well as the three musicians).  I land in Milan at Malpensa Airport on Tuesday morning and take a bus to meet Cheryl’s flight as she arrives at Linate Airport from Moscow via Rome. Together, we will take the train to Cheryl’s car and drive to her country house where we will stay for a week of rehearsals—first performance is a site-specific event in Genova. Updates soon!