Posted by: Bill Tracy | March 14, 2011

My Name Is

To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.

Who knows! It was 6:15 Saturday evening, and as I went out the door, I sent this email message to a friend:

“I’m off to a dance performance at the high school. Who knows!”

The response was, “Who knows what?”

I had no idea what to expect. Who knows if it’s worth sitting through. Who knows if I’ll be able to take pictures. Who knows if I’ll take five pictures or 700 pictures? Who knows if it will be ridiculous. Who knows if it might be wonderful.

Chemistry

What you see here is that intangible they call "chemistry." It's what made Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall an incomparable screen presence. Such a wonderful thing to see!

So, now I know. I took 700 pictures, and I’m posting some of them here. I never got a chance to sit down; I had to stand behind the camera steadied on a small wall in the back of the auditorium. Most importantly, the show was wonderful and far better than I would expect from a high school production.

Actually, it wasn’t even a high school production. It was a production by one senior student that fulfilled the requirement for her “Senior Project.” She created her own dance company, named herself “Artistic Director” and created the total production out of whole cloth. I suspect at some point in the future, the artistic world is going to be seeing a lot from Ms. Alex Kunesh.

“Write about what you know” is an old dictum for writers. Ms. Kunesh did exactly that. Her production took us through a high school experience familiar to most of us in the following scenes:

Hallways

Freshmen

Moving On

BoysBoysBoys

Rivalry

Nerds

Flirt

Hallucinating

Alcoholism

Addiction

Prom

First Love

In Memory

Just Friends

Layers

Contemplating

Together

.

Cheerleaders

Following is the program description:

A hallway is a concrete home, an entry, steps to life outside your own four walls. It paves the road to the next step. Stepping out into a hallway or any world as a newcomer, an outsider, inexperienced, is a terrifyingly extraordinary experience.

.

Dance

Placing oneself in a completely different comfort zone creates opportunity for a fresh start or an incomparable setback. As we enter this new world we are given names, cliques if you will: the jock, the cheerleader, a rival, the nerds, a flirt, so typical and yet so familiar.

.

Men Can Dance

These halls make way for stories. Just as amazing as the memories may be, there are moments that haunt us. A first trip, that wasn’t to the grocery store, that led to another, or one sip, that became irresistible. It often can take hold of us from the inside out, a pull that has no tangible evidence.

.

Relationships

We grow together, we learn together, and some are lost, to their own grief or an unstoppable virus. We become infected by love and excitement, work to determine the definition of our relationships, pause for a night of perfection, photographs, and your first.

.

Drugs

It is these hallways that pull us apart and load each of us with layers that in the end we must shed to find our own true color. Some move on before a companion can join, and others we will never forget.

.

Upside Down

It is here that we become one whether we realize it or not. These experiences can tear us apart but bring us together just as well. We graduate from uncertainty to found.

.

Getting Together


One day each of us will discover our name.

.

Purple Haze

Art, I believe, must always speak to us in story. Whether visual art or performing art or literature, if a story does not emerge, it doesn’t work. Ms. Kunesh has been schooled well, not only in the physical aspects of dance but in the power of story. Her teachers should be very proud. As the story unfolded in this dance performance I was pleased not only with the fact of story but with the depth and honesty of it — just as art would demand. To me, that goes well beyond the range of a high school student. But then, it was so many years ago that I was a high school student, who knows!

Many more images of this performance are available at:

http://wetracy.smugmug.com/Society/Perform-Arts/16175868_5vjv4#1214747475_rPAB3

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Responses

  1. These photos are fantastik! As usual.

  2. I think you did great! Do more, you will get better and better each time!

  3. What a wonderful tribute to a great talent and a very lot of hard work. I have experienced that dance chemistry and it is like heaven. Or what I imagine heaven to be. Nothing quite like it. You captured it so well. I was recently also delighted at a very well done concert by Junior High students. Have I just forgotten or is this generation far surpassing ours. To your photography and the dancers – BRAVO!


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