Stretch paints the sky in Boulder City, NV - photo credit Amstutz
I manipulate – what an inadequate term – while on stilts, equipped with a 20 foot long “fishing pole” to which is
attached a stroboscopic ribbon up to 60 feet long.
Beset, nay, near drunk with music, I dance with my pole and ribbon. This is an interactive performance, mind you. The ribbon caresses the sky, and my audience: a cheek here, a shoulder there, a small hand. With little or no
encouragement, children – and adults- reach – to reach, grasp and release the flowing colors.
The breeze is my friend, enabling spirals, figure eights, circles and more. The wind teases me as I dance over the
yielding ground. Near and far, left to right, forward to caress my , yes my audience. For they are mine. The fourth
wall? What wall? Backwards, dancing to prepare for my next attack, my dance, dare I say, love, covers the stage. One
performer covering a circus tent of volume, air and space, emotion and imagination. The colors flow, blend, separate,
rejoin as the speed and patters change. My audience, seated, leans in to experience all the better. Faces up
turned, some in joy, others in dumbfounded amazement. I am exhausted. The band continues, I continue, the kids are
eternal in their quest for the ribbon. I am determined to conduct the music to its finish.
Finally, the music is concluded. Drenched with sweat, my hair, hat, shirt, waist, soaked, saturated, I turn to face
the crowd. Silence, more silence – I bow, the applause begins. The band leader takes the mic, and I hear: “well,
we can’t compete with that”.
I am shocked. Competition ? No, not that. But I understand. You take a risk when you do something that is
outside of your audience’s vocabulary. “he was a good juggler” is how you compliment a juggler. But how do you
compliment the nearly indescribable?
Later I hear “hypnotic”, “mesmerizing”. Soon, soon please, I hope to hear “spiritual”.