Tuesday, November 8, 2011
An Artistic Adventure: Day 5, Alligator
This post is from Barbara Parker.
On day one of filming, dancer Elena Damario was afraid to walk into the swamp and dance in the cypress dome. She vehemently did not want to be eaten by an alligator. On day five of filming, Elena led the female dancers as they raced into a cypress dome to swim.
The Everglades have the power to transform.
Here, cypress domes become cathedrals as sun shines through leaves and branches, reflecting stained glass patterns on the water below. Mangrove trees morph into tunnels as branches grow toward one another with light beckoning from either end. As Marjory Stoneman Douglas phrased it, prairies of glades turn into a river of grass.
The same is true for humans. When you visit the Everglades, you leave a different person than the one you came.
Today, we transformed dancers into alligators.
Our location: The road toward Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook; Everglades National Park
The dancers: Sarah Braverman, Christina Ilisije, Elena D'Amario, Steve Vaughn and Eric Bourne
The music: "You Woke Me Up" from Andrew Bird's Useless Creatures
We had snapping jaws, angled limbs, and, on more than one occasion, complete submersion. The hesitation that was present on day one as dancers took their first steps into swamp water was completely gone.
Today, our dancers were transformed into alligators choreographically. But all of those who watched them fall deeply in love with this place over the past week know that, in their hearts and in their minds, the transformation was even more profound.