People dance on water, swing from ropes, channel 1950’s Italian movie stars while balancing on pottery wheels, toss hundreds of flowers and delightful insults from balconies, and transform themselves and the audience in an enchanted pine forest. Time suspends for an hour and a half and gives way to an awe-inspiring beauty, rich in humor and mystery, that literally transports both body and spirit in a finale that has caused local astronomers to call NASA and the UFO hotline!
Obie and Bessie awards winning composer Robert Een created the astonishing score for the evening-length production.
Created with PWDT dancers - Graham Brown (guest artist), Lindsay Gilmour, Vincent Hernandez (apprentice), Tzveta Kassabova, Yuka Kobayashi (guest artist), Kazuma Motomura (apprentice), Blake Pearson (guest artist), Sara Pearson, Patrik Widrig
Original concept by Laura Faure, director, Bates Dance Festival
Lighting design by David Covey
Costume design and construction by Melody Eggen
Visual design and construction by Michael Reidy, Amery Kessler, Ryan Raica, Nicole Wolfe, with Danny Goode and Yolanda Royster
Paradise Pond was commissioned for and performed in, on, and around Lake Andrews at Bates College, Lewiston, ME, in celebration of the 25th Bates Dance Festival, August 9+10, 2007. PWDT invited 25 BDF students, 25 BDF guest artists and musicians, 25 BDF Youth Arts Program students, and 25 community performers to participate in this epic visual feast.
PP Funding Credits - Altria Group • Bates College Museum of Art Synergy Fund • Davis Family Foundation • Harward Center for Community Partnerships • LEF Foundation • L.L. Bean • TD Banknorth • National Performance Network's Performance Residency Program (funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Altria Group and the Nathan Cummings Foundation) • New England Foundation for the Arts • Creative Connections program of Meet the Composer, Inc. • Argosy Foundation • the six New England state arts agencies • the National Endowment for the Arts
“A never-ending journey of surprises, I felt during the performance that I was conveying to the audience what the magic of dance is.” Christina Belinsky
“This beautiful experience truly was like entering paradise.” Kazuma Motomura
“The way you balance artistic whim and detailed planning, spontaneity, logistical awareness and lucky coincidence is incredible to experience and observe. Both of you are so generous with your energy, your words and your commitment to what you do and who you work with.” Annie Hewlett
“I haven’t ever been this happy!” Maggie Wilson
“What an amazing experience! Funny, strange, exciting, beautiful.
Everything felt magical, everything was brilliant.” Marisa Haga
“Paradise Pond was the most creative, transformative, visually
beautiful and successful production the Bates Dance Festival has
ever mounted in its 25 year history.” Laura Faure, director, BDF
“Magical. Without a doubt one of the top site pieces I've seen.”
Aimée Petrin, Exec Dir, PCA Great Performances, Portland/ME
“We saw it twice — and you made us cry both times!”
Claudia Lavista & Omar Carrum, choreographers
“Oh! My! God! What a gift. A transformative production.” Susan Hayward
“Majestic.” Joy Morgan
“Transforming, fabulous, inspiring, delightful.” Bebe Miller, choreographer
“If only life could always be like this. Every single
person there was literally awe-struck.” Karin Levitas