Caroga Arts Music and Dance Commission: 27 Steps

27 Steps. Photo by Paul Valovic.

Year: 2023-2024
DanceForce Member: Nancy Long
Artist: Caroga Arts Collective
Community Partner: Utica Dance Inc.
Audience: 260
County: Fulton

27 Steps was an original immersive and curated performance piece conceived by musician/composers Kyle Price and Julian Muller in collaboration with choreographers Matilda Sakamoto, Jordan Morley, Nancy Long, Caroga Lake Music Festival artists and lighting designer Elliott Lester. 27 Steps was inspired by, and honored the life of, musician Jonah Poplove. Jonah Poplove’s poem provided the framework for the piece which created the illusion that the musicians and audience embarked on a train ride and stopped at 27 Steps where the cast, made up of 33 musicians, composers, choreographers and dancers performed the vignettes illustrating words of the poem.

27 Steps was performed twice before and audience in the old Sherman’s Park Dance Hall, that was built in the 1920’s and hosted great bands of the era, including the Duke Ellington Orchestra. New York City based choreographer/dancers, Jordan Morley and Matilda Sakamoto deftly created movement for the dancers and musicians to each of the 27 Steps. The Caroga Music Ensemble was joined by Buglisi Dance Theater dancers, Lindsey Phillips and Zachary Jeppsen in her iconic piece originally created in 1989 to the Elgar composition, Sospiri. The Utica Dance Ensemble, comprised of Maya Brown, Bailey Harrer, Sean Morris, and Violet Pedulla performed throughout the piece, including a lighter moment of swing dance to ‘Take the A Train’. 27 Steps blurred the lines of reality and imagination and spurred the conversation on love and mental health.

Since 2019, Nancy Long has brought DanceForce funding to the Caroga Arts Collective to provide the catalyst for collaborations in music and dance in Fulton County.