This weekend we had the incredible opportunity to make a trip up to Saratoga Springs, New York with The Vanaver Caravan to attend and perform at Dance Flurry (2014). Dance Flurry is a whirlwind of a weekend of workshops of world dances and music. We understood the word “flurry” to imply that it takes place in the winter season, but once we arrived we quickly realized it meant a giant “flurry” of people running in and out of PACKED classes of dances and music classes spanning the globe. The dancing and music-playing couldn’t be confined to the “classrooms”, you could find swarms of people practicing new dances in the lobby and convention center of the Hilton where the event took place, and one had to shimmy through narrow walkways of different collections of musicians jamming together during their lunch hour. It was truly a remarkable sight.
On Saturday evening, The Vanaver Caravan presented world dance pieces within their repertoire, and also included a tribute to Pete Seger, who was very close to the company. Before his passing, Pete and the directors of the company, Livia and Bill Vanaver, were collaborating on a show featuring his music as a tribute. We had the honor to perform many world dance styles to a collection of Pete’s songs, an African gumboot dance to “Wimoweh”, a modern dance to “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, and a soft-show and Lindy Hop to “Empty Pocket Blues”. The latter, was a duet crafted for the two of us in collaboration with Livia Vanaver. “Empty Pocket Blues” is a sweet piece, about a couple who never had much money or material possessions, but always had each other. It was an honor to pay a tribute in this way to Pete Seeger, a man so full of love.
To close the show, we performed “Hangman’s Reel”, a energetic and percussive clogging dance that got everybody clapping! It was the perfect way to end the show and a fantastic evening of Dance Flurry. We very much look forward to next year.
photo from our soft-shoe and Lindy Hop duet to Pete Seeger’s “Empty Pocket Blues”
photos from “Hangman’s Reel”, a clogging number with The Vanaver Caravan