Collaborations to Ignite New Community Partnerships with Music and Dance

Year: 2019-2020
DanceForce Member: Nancy Long
Artists: Nancy Long; Kyle Barrett Price
Community Partners: Caroga Arts Collective; Glove Theater, Gloversville NY
Audience: 380
County: Fulton

“Collaborations to Ignite New Community Partnerships with Music and Dance” was designed to bring together the Caroga Arts Collective and Utica Dance students and guests in a groundbreaking project in Fulton County on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
In March 2019, the planning process began between Kyle Barrett Price, the artistic director of the Caroga Arts Collective (CAC), and Nancy Long, artistic director of Utica Dance. The CAC already had a comprehensive plan about the programming that would take place at numerous locations throughout the region during their five-week festival in Fulton County. The Glove Theater, a hundred-year-old vaudeville theater (which had been rarely used in recent years) was chosen for the performance and Kyle presented a list of pieces of music that were under consideration for the festival. A program of varied pieces by three composers–Ginastera, Shaw and Vivaldi– were agreed upon for the dance/music portion of the program.
In May 2019, Kyle traveled to Utica Dance for an open studio showing of one completed piece, Winter, by Nancy Long which was danced by students of Utica Dance. On July 26 and August 2, Nancy traveled to North Hampton, MA to work with dance collaborators Jeff Bliss and Casey Loomis on their piece, Underside, to the music of Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte. Once a structure for the piece was formed, Casey and Jeff worked independently to set the specific parameters for the piece that would be performed as a structured improvisation. On July 14 Nancy met with the newly appointed President of The Glove Theater Board, Bryan Taylor, to tour the facility, and on August 7, Nancy returned to Gloversville to meet with Bill DiPaolo, Entertainment Services, to determine what could be done within the space.
The Glove Theater had only recently received a Certificate of Occupancy, and had not yet addressed the technical needs for the theater. It was clear this was a opportunity to show the potential of the theater to the commununity. After clearing the space of debris and cleaning the space, dance flooring, LED lights, board, speakers, and rigging were loaded in and installed in the theater on Tuesday, August 13. Later that day, Nancy attended the first read-through of the music by the festival musicians. A reporter for the local paper, The Leader Herald, had interviewed Nancy and Kyle and published a preview article on Wednesday, August 14, the day all the dancers and musicians, including eleven students and two guest dancers and twenty string players finally met for the first time in the Glove Theater. Tempi were adjusted, sound levels checked.
On the day of the show, August 15, a final dress rehearsal was conducted and the doors opened for the free concert and within a half hour, every seat in the building was filled. The first half of the program consisted of small chamber works by the musicians alone and for the second half, the dancers took the stage in the three pieces prepared for the occasion. In the end, the audience gave the dancers and musicians a standing ovation and spoke enthusiasically about the joy of seeing the theater come alive with music and dance.