1977 – Site-specific environmental/political performance event created for Theodore Roosevelt Island National Park. Choreography/Collaborators, Maida Withers, Brook Andrews, John Bailey; Stilts, Brook Andrews; Jean Isaacs (pregnant) and Patrick Nollet performed in plants as nature. Musicians performing in the mote, John Bailey. Premiere: Theodore Roosevelt Island National Park, Washington, DC. Airplanes coming and going from National Airport were used to “cue” dancers performance of set scripts. Airplanes were passing on average every two minutes. Aspects of Roosevelt’s life and values became the subject of the performance (guns and roses, etc). There were 20 dancers (including the Dance Construction Company) and 10 to 15 musicians, Rogelio Maxwell, on cello; others performing in the water mote on the island in a stretched fabric installation on stools. Steve Bloom drums?? Brook Andrews introduced STILTS into the performance that were later used in Laser Dance.
1977 is an accurate year; specific date in question. The parking lot for the Island was small and so many people could not get into the performance due to no access except crossing Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to access the park.
1977 Script/score for Sunday Maneuvers:
2:30 Preset: Kite in sky; parachute in place; trampoline in place; moat scene in place; stilts in place; individual props in place; megaphone in place; parking lot attendant in place with programs. Musicians in place near performance location. Dancers take positions on causeway to Island; one dancer in grove of trees in cotton dress; fabric sculpture over dead tree in area; Billy Sahm in Teddy Roosevelt statue.
2:45 Dancers begin, in silence, random progressive “Teddy Roosevelt Posture” accumulation of body parts along path to performance area. Arrive at entrance to Island.
2:55 Dancers HOLD “Teddy Posture” in silence until Billy Sahm get onto statue
3:00 “15 Musicians in Water in Mote” begin to play
3:05 *Dancers peel off from rear running (fast to slow pace) to “Teddy” line – hold until DCC dancers enter on stilts behind statue. Bob Buckley. “Dog Walker.” enters, walks to statue with dog on vertical grid, pulls dog and exits down the trail
*Dancers yawn beginning with downstage person sequentially – Dog Walker runs past downstage dancer
*Dancers easy jog forward (on bricks) or side (online) to “Square Dance” poisition (Billy Sahm down from statue) – Hold as DCC dancers enter on stilts
*Dancers turn to face any diagonal and lower to lie down on backs while DCC dancers travel to edge of brick squares and stop
*Dancers rise and turn to “Square Dance” position – Wendy Woodson counts 1 to 8
*Dancers perform “Square Dance” and return to original position and hold until sound of airplane (walk, walk, chassee, walk (fwd); 2 walks, 2 runs; run, walk backward on 90 degree angle; forward 4 leap steps repeat, jump (3/8th turn – 4 runs, step jump turn 1/8) Repeat 3.
*Dancers “Airplane Stance” on airplane entrance diagonal (lift arms side; open arms back; lift head diagonal forward while right foot is forward in 6th position; – Mary Buckley and Yvonne Baichich begin “Tag Game” and “Airplane Stance” (when dancer assume stance in front of you, you can choose to dissolve and go into chase or stand in front of someone else, until all dancers have exited.
*DCC dancers continue stilt improvisation, then exit to SL of Statue.
3:20 Bicycle event begins on cinder (outer) pathway
*8 Dancers enter one at a time and make circle run alone and then pick up the next dancer pick up each other – spiral into position left of Statue for “Finger Lick” (includes fall and roll & hand walk – hold 4th “Finger Lick” – DCC dancers walk across space on stilts stage left to stage right, exit
*Dancers complete “Finger Lick” – begin “T_H_E_O_D_O_R_E” – end in diagonal run through audience to “Military” (three-fourths around circle, enter cement area around fountain to circle center space)
*DCC dancers enter from behind statue on stilts imitate ‘military’ actions: march, fall, sixes, finish standing still between stilts
8 dancers perform “military event” around charcoal path and GRID area;
*Dancers group in fours and carry each DCCo dancer to position, lower stilts to ground on diagonal, rise and exit and march behind the trees
(Unless David Goff (cowboy at large) lassos Brook Andrews. If/When he does, run to brook and catch him and cry him off on shoulders
*Musician enter to right of statue to position, simulates response to “Statue-as-Conductor” and plays legato musi on viola – DCCo dancers enter through audience and improvise without stilts in the GRID
*Dancers choose two of the following options: “Finger Lick,” “Airplane,” “Tag/Chase,” “Airplane Fix,” “Repertory Phrase,” “Trampoline,” “Bench Cluster/Jump.” After approx. 7 minutes walk to position for “Diving Board” SR to SL
*Dancers perform “Diving Board” and DCCo dancers are forced out ahead of group dancers
*Musician stops playing, turns to audience, bows, bows to conductor, exits
3:40 Cameraman enters and sets up using black fabric over head
*Dancers enter one at a time in an exaggerated manner – perform gestures, comic posture, in place while Cameraman lights firecracker – BANG
*Dancers split and run to bridges – line up and perform “Processional” on bridges
*Adam and Eve (Jean Isaacs, pregnant) walk to center space, perform love duet, walk to statue and kneel; Billy Sahm with megaphone recites marriage vows; Adam and Eve cross to kiss; Billy Sahm shouts inscriptions – megaphone pronouncement in distortion
*Protest Segment: Billy shouting while dancers run to first tableau, run to second tableau and hold while DCC dancers walk in top of elevated water fountain – when 3 DCCo members have circled one then dancers go to original “Teddy Posture” and hold until cue to turn from Yvonne – turn to face status, slow walk backwards, increase pace slowly and turn to pedestrian walk out of sight
Artists and Collaborators
- Stilts Design
- Music in the Mote (15 musicians)
- Principal Dancers
- Community Dancers
- Musicians in the Mote