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Say Logos Say Word at Legion Arts

May 19, 2007


I was awarded a National Performance Network residency from Legion Arts, a network presenter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was my second time performing at the space and in this place. Click on the links below for newspaper articles and pictures. One might think that Cedar Rapids’ population will meet me and my work with a complete lack of understanding. But that thinking is self-indulgent. Actually, it was performing in Cedar Rapids where I learned folk have plenty in common, what seperates us is our vernacular. For example, what I call “being ghetto”, in my first work, they call “being rural.” Sure there are intense differences, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate and honor culture, there are different kinds of culture, not only necesarily reserved to ethnicity.


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SAY LOGOS SAY WORD, though, is about ethnicity. That’s where it starts. Specifically, it’s about Greek-American identity. Universally, it is about being a first-generation American. Exploring the other-side of my hyphenated self. So we all could. I had the honor of working with a multi-disciplinary ensemble. Yako was on Bass and Beatbox. His musical direction lended to the present time, the Jersey side, the hip hop side, the here and now. Mavrothis T. Kontanis was on Oud and voice. His musical direction lended to the ancient times, evoked spirituality, and the ancestors. Asimina Chremos created dances and movement that were reflective of both fragmented worlds. Watch a logos dance on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR-lRiO1rC0

It was difficult moving from solo performance to working collaboratively mostly because I had to translate what I intrinsically knew in my own head, I had to think outside of myself. But in hearing the talents and offerings of this collaborative group I can’t do without it. I cannot speak these words without these specific sounds or consider how this poetry can be subtexually translated into dance. I was a solo performer before because I had to, but now as I and my career grow, I hope to seek and create more opportunities for joint ventures.


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During our week in residence at Legion Arts, that’s when we created the bulk of our work. My words and performance were set prior, but this was the first time the other artists and I worked in the same room. In 4 days anything can happen. As part of our service to the community we hosted workshops and developed work with young students. Johnson School of the Arts offers an art-based curriculum!

SAY LOGOS SAY WORD is the first draft of ODYSSEY TRIPPIN. The music and dance will inform my writing and rewriting choices. The experience also solidified this new developing work as a true ensemble piece. I want the opportunity now to hear other people speaking these words.

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