Reminisce: A Love Letter to a Time and Place. A Short Dance and Music Film

Year: 2020-2021
DanceForce Member: Nancy Long
Artist: Caroga Arts Collective, Jake Kruty, Hannah Straney, Elizabeth Szendrody
Community Partners: Caroga Arts Collective; Utica Dance Foundation; Utica Dance, Inc.
Audience: 394
County: Fulton

This project, made possible by funding from the NYS DanceForce, was co-conceived by Nancy Long and Kyle Barrett Price to mark the 100th Anniversary of Sherman’s, which opened as a bathing beach and a music and dance hall on Caroga Lake in the Southern Adirondacks in 1921.

Expressed in dance and music, the film follows two present day women who reminisce about the Sherman’s of their youth. They are caught of guard when the magic of the place ignites forgotten memories of their youth.

The project was conceived as an alternative to a live performance of music and dance during the pandemic. Kyle Price, Caroga Arts Collective Founder, Artistic Director, and musician, and Nancy Long, Utica Dance Artistic Director and choreographer, met remotely to define the parameters of a project that could take place without a live audience or live streaming. Together they conceived of a film that would celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Sherman’s AmusementPark, now the permanent home of the Caroga Arts Collective. Since Nancy had created several pieces to the music of Marc Mellits and Kyle had performed his music, his piece, “Paranoid Cheese” was chosen for its evocative and etherial nature. It was imagined that the short film would be part of the visitor experience at the Sherman’s Park or the local Historical Museum.

Rehearsals began in March 2021 at the Utica Dance studios with choreographer, Nancy Long and dancer collaborators, Hannah Straney and Elizabeth Szendrody. A stage version of the duet (without live music and actors) was presented at the Mohawk Valley Community College on June 22, 23, 2021. Cellist Kyle Price, violinist Kelly Talim and percussionist Garrett Mendelow created a sound recording the 6 minute piece that was the backdrop for the film. Videographer, Jacob Kruty of Restrogradestudiosnyc, then filmed the dancers, actors and musicians performing in various locales around the park. This allowed for the ambient sound of the rain, water of the lake, and the carousel to be part of the final acoustic experience while maintaining the integrity of the score.