Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bayou's State: Dinner, dance and ecology

Bayou's State is a dance program about the Louisiana coastal wetlands that also includes a cajun dinner and--I'm pleased to announce--my photography!

Pictured above is Andrea Burkholder, dancer, choreographer and cajun chef extraordinaire. She has roots in Louisiana and has brought her exciting program to share with the Milwaukee community. For while one of the themes of the program is the sinking Mississippi delta another is building community and finding common ground.

Two dinner/dance programs: 
April 16, 6:00 pm and April 17, 5:00

Location: Danceworks, 1661 N. Water Street, Milwaukee

Buy tickets: Danceworks

Reservations required! 
(It is a dinner, not only a dance, after all. Gotta know how much to cook.)

Here is Burkholder's description of the program:
Choreographer and performer Andrea Chastant Burkholder explores her Cajun heritage as she travels through the declining Louisiana coastline, and it’s swamps and marshlands via an aerial net, bungee cords, and trapeze. Bayou’s State, an original aerial dance/theater piece reflecting on Louisiana’s coastal land loss as it relates to the local culture and environment.

With a focus on the creation of community and finding places of common ground, Andrea begins the evening by offering everyone a traditional Southern Louisiana dinner of homemade gumbo, red beans and rice, greens, and cornbread. Ingredients are provided by Springdale Farm, Rolling Meadows Sorghum Mill, and other local farmers and gardeners. Andrea and her Cajun father, Lafayette, LA native, Lloyd Chastant, will prepare the dinner and serve it at Danceworks, just steps from the Milwaukee River.

The dinner will be followed by a 50-minute performance event that will include storytelling, aerial work, dance, theater, and photographs as set design by Eddee Daniel. Inspired by her own family history, bayou travels, and readings, Andrea navigates the issues of rising coastal waters, disappearing marshland and barrier islands, man versus nature, and increasing water salinity. She uses Louisiana’s experience as a metaphor for the many places where waters define a way of life, but are being threatened.

I was delighted when Andrea approached me to collaborate on this remarkable program. Her set designs were inspired by my construction fence series of photographs (above right). In order to make a connection between Louisiana and Milwaukee, she has asked me to display prints from my Kinnickinnic River project series during the dinner portion of the event. She also has asked me to participate in the audience talk back after the show each night.

I hope you'll join me and Andrea for this dynamic presentation.

For more information, go to Andrea's website.

Sneak preview:
Kinnickinnic River Channel, 2015

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