Lovejoy Plaza And Cascade

key roles, from the city water department to those called on to close the streets. Landscape architects, architects, dancers, musicians, artists, community organizers, and a host of volunteers came together over a period of four years, with the final two years involving intensive event planning. Even the street people who spend their days on the edge of the Ira Keller Fountain Park were engaged with the process: A few days before the event, choreographer Johnson let them know that the space they occupy would be filled with dancers, musicians, and audience members. During the final public dress rehearsal I eavesdropped as these fountain residents mused and speculated about the deep metaphoric content of the work.

Through the love and attention of the dancers and community as a whole, the Portland Open Space Sequence has once again become enlivened.

Ira Keller Fountain

On the street corners bordering the Ira Keller Fountain, dancers—two to a comer and dressed all in white—skipped, rolled on the sidewalk, and spun around, signaling the special event. A crowd of spectators gathered on the steps of Portland's civic auditorium and every |x>ssible sittable surface (of which there are many). Musicians sat on chairs under a blue acoustical tent. Then, at the top of the fountain, a row of dancers emerged dressed in sky blue.

Anticipation and energy built as dancers moved toward the fountain's precipice. Navigating the fountain's rim, dancers balanced between inviting pools of water and a dangerous plunge to the platforms below. I Iighlighting the fountain's edge with their bodies, they remained frozen on the wall, looking, in unison, up toward the sky. As the dance progressed, dancers alternated between playful and ritualistic immersion in the pools of water and testing their bodies against the angular concrete in the interplay between dancer and concrete edges, music and roaring water, sun and shadow.

Recognizing that Halprin's fountain design is about community spirit and play, choreographer Mathern delighted in the challenge of connecting bodies to environment. "What is fascinating about the Keller space," she told me, "is the tension between the body as soft organic thing within these very angular concrete planes and lines and

CIRCLE 71 ON READER SERVICE CARD OR GO TO HTTPfflNFO.HOTIMS.COMI23489-71

0 0

Post a comment