Grab an umbrella! It’s time to revive Gene Kelly’s gotta dance spirit by splishin’ and splashin’ through a refreshingly cool downpour!
About this project
I have been selected by East End Arts to design and perform a site-specific dance as part of the 2016 JumpstART program. The mission of the program is to use art to revitalize the town of Riverhead by making it a place that attracts new businesses and visitors. I am thrilled to make downtown Riverhead center stage for artistic pedestrian activity by using a little imagination to transform an everyday space into something quite extraordinary.
My imagination will come to life in an interactive movement installation called Dancing in the Rain. I will illuminate the magic of the walkway off of East Main Street by inviting the community to engage in a physical exploration of the alleyway.
This project is inspired by the iconic film Singin’ in the Rain where Gene Kelly hums his way down the street splashing in puddles as he turns his umbrella into a dance partner. To revive Gene Kelly’s “gotta dance” spirit, this dry space will be transformed into a wet stage by making a rain system that will cascade water from the rooftop. The public will escape the summer heat to share their fancy footwork under the refreshingly cool downpour!
Additionally, hidden messages will be revealed along the walkway using a biodegradable and temporary spray paint that is activated when wet. Quotes by Gene Kelly will suddenly surface when water hits the ground.
Music will fill the alley to energize the public with the impulse to dance! An array of colorful umbrellas will also be available for the community to spin under as they travel through the walkway. Children will slosh water about as adults reminisce of their youthful days of playing in the rain! These memories will forever change how the public interacts with this space. The town is also invited to participate in a solo performance that I have choreographed in honor of the event!
This lively interactive dance installation will have no cost to participants. I am collecting in-kind contributions to help offset the budget for the necessary supplies, equipment, and insurance fees for this project. The dance site will be made possible with funds from individual donors through this Kickstarter campaign! I am most grateful for your support, whether it be through donation, sharing the campaign page, or attending the event on August 11th, 2016!
I can’t wait to bring an exciting dance event to the community!
Thank you for your support,
Risks and challenges
Due to unforeseen obstacles, I have made adjustments to the original site design. For instance, I was unable to use water at the first property that I was interested in using for the project. Another hurdle was getting permission to access the roof without having to increase the budget to include a contractor’s fee. For both of these reasons, I decided to use outdoor patio misters.
There are also liability concerns that I have addressed and have taken the necessary precautions.
I am currently awaiting approval to use an alleyway that is town property. I have other ways of handling the production if I cannot get permission of this particular property; the alleyway next to Vines and Hops or the walkway next to the river would be suitable alternatives.
I will continue to adjusted my original concept to suit the needs of the site while staying true to the intention of the project.