Holding Us – 2007

Holding Us, Weaving Men, Women and Their Life Stories, Community Choreography Projects’ second large scale performance, opened in April, 2007. The two evening performances, held at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, N.C., played to an audience of 400.

Show Description

The performance features three works by Artistic Director Barrie Barton: An Unveiled Life, When Our Hands Meet and re-staged, Beyond We. The three works embellish the lives of women, men and the bond of relationship, exploring the highs and lows, the joy, challenges and purpose of community through vivid expressive movement theater, inspiring music, innovative poetry, witty comedy and silence. With immense courage and vulnerability emerging from the 40 performers, they dive deeply into the multifarious meaning of relationships with themselves, each other and the world. The fervor of synergy weaves an authentic tapestry expressing the creative, sacred and complex humaness.

Special appearances include local singer songwriter Bill Melanson,the savvy vocals of Mary Davis, the percussion tribe ‘Tonali’ featuring Billy Zanski, Daniel Barber, Sunny Keach and ‘Charlie’ and the auspicious Dove Lady Julia Gaunt  adds flight to stage. The poetry realm is colorfully expressed  with muscularity and vulnerability by poet/scholar Mark Prudowsky. In the lobby, painter Cheri Brackett is displaying her artwork inspired by the stories and lives of people who consult with her for counseling along with Linda McCane whose vibrant paintings invite the viewer to look deeper into our worlds. The dedicated cast of ‘Holding Us’ are a spicy eclectic blend of men and women who interpret their lives and experiences artistically and with purpose so we, the audience, can eloquently see our selves in each of the different scenario’s portrayed . And that is community at it’s finest.

The choreographic framework and method Ms. Barton uses, bridges the gap between process and product through a creative rehearsal process, improvisational structures, input of personal stories and movement styles from the participants. The process is as a community exchange, includes creative and personal inquiry, and culminates in a transformation of the participant through the personal and collective experience. A former dancer writes, “I enjoyed the dance. It opened me and it felt good. Your way of opening the group was very helpful to walk us into it gently.” Another performers states, “This dance experience has meant so much more to me than just creating a finished piece.  It has been about the journey . . . the journey of pushing my edges, of making friends,starting to open to a love relationship again. All I can say is: it’s wonderful to perform, but you have offered me/us so much more than learning to dance and work together.”

Original Works in this Show

An Unveiled Life, with a cast of 10 men, reflects the life events and multitude of steps taken  that propel men toward transformation into manhood. From the tragic to the humorous, from risks to renewal, An Unveiled Life allows us to witness men’s strength and courage right alongside their vulnerability and fragility.

  • Choreography: Barrie Barton with Cast Members
  • Multi-media: Stewart Stokes
  • Composer: Daniel Barber

When Our Hands Meet utlizes the life stories of 18 women spanning 3 generations expressing the tapestry of these women’s lives through movement and voice. The subject matter covers topics of solidarity and antagonism amoungst women, in our relationship with our world, with each other and within ourselves.

  • Choreography: Barrie Barton with Cast Members
  • Multi-Media: Tootie Watson
  • Composer: Chris Rosser

Beyond We illustrates fundamental elements of romantic relationship from tenderness to ambivalence, from anger to love. Ultimately, the work emphasizes the importance and relevance of creating relationships that co-exist within a larger community; hence, Beyond We.

  • Choreography: Barrie Barton with Cast Members

Cast Members in Original Works

  • Andriette Kinsella
  • Anna Booraem
  • Avtar Thompson
  • Barbara de Loache
  • Breah Livolsi Parker
  • Caroline Mason
  • Cathey “Lea” Motlow
  • Daniel Barber
  • Fred Strickhouser
  • Gayle Sovinee
  • Grace Shen
  • Ingrid Friesen
  • Jan Gillespie
  • Jennifer Stansbury
  • Jerry Collette
  • John Keretz
  • Josh Stansbury
  • Kent Joines
  • Laurie Tollman
  • Leanna Joyner
  • Lyna Farkas
  • Lynn Bowers
  • Mica White
  • Rainbow Teplitsky
  • Richard Camuto
  • Stephen Houpis
  • Teresa Imfeld
  • Terry Deal
  • Terry Kirkpatrick
  • Trish Howey

Featured Artist: Poetry, Comedy, Music and Media

  • Angela Holley
  • Bill Melanson
  • Billy Zanski
  • Charlie
  • Daniel Barber
  • Deb Morrow
  • Deirdre Jenkins
  • Ed Entmacher
  • Ellen Montieth
  • Julia Gaunt
  • Mark Prudowsky
  • Mary Davis
  • Richard Camuto
  • Sunny Keach
  • Tracy Munn

Benefiting Agency:

  • The Mother Love Program; YWCA received $800 from Community Choreography Projects