Harmony dancers to ’perform in the pond’Written by Scott McKimmy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Downtown workers and visitors will have the chance to enjoy entertainment perhaps unlike any other, where dancers take to the water as part of the show.
“Beyond the Dream,” one of three separate yet connected events of the Artists on the River Festival, features nine members of the Harmony Dance company in a “performance in the pond” in the reflecting pool at One SeaGate. The free, public event takes place at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m. on Sept 1, in the courtyard between the Fifth Third building and the Crowne Plaza.
The performance and setting are so inextricably linked, no other venue could serve as the stage, according to Carol Mahn, event coordinator. She said the reflecting pool offers a fun environment for the dancers, who use water as a prop. She put out a call for dancers in early spring, held auditions and began rehearsals Aug. 25.
“We could not do this performance anywhere else. It could not be put on a stage; it could not even go into another city that has a similar venue of a reflecting pool,” Mahn said. “The dances are created to take place on the granite walkways and into the water with what I like to call ‘choreographed splashing.’”
Thirteen visual artists will display and sell their works, with one piece by LisaBell, Mahn’s favorite painter from last year’s festival, to be auctioned to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio. As the audience gathers around, the 15-minute performances will begin accompanied by the reading of a poem by Ophelia Thompson as well as music ranging from new age to Gospel.
“It incorporates different styles of dance. It incorporates modern ballet, jazz, and it really maybe falls more along the lines of a lyrical type of performance,” added Mahn. “We can’t do things like turns and that kind of stuff. It’s a very strenuous environment to dance in, so the performances are short, but they’re very intense.”
The event originated in 1994, returning annually until 1999. After a seven-year hiatus, Mahn said she approached the property manager of the One SeaGate building about “having the space used again the way it was, I think, initially planned to be used.”
“He asked me a very important question. He said, ‘What would it take to bring other artists Downtown?’ From that conversation, the Artists on the River Festival developed. But it was really kind of all around the desire to do the ‘performance in the pond’ again,” she said.
For more information, call (419) 324-4705.