Updated: Sep 3
Thank you so much for joining us for the world premiere of PASSAGES by Greensboro Downtown Parks Artist in Residence, Activate Entertainment. Directed by Houston Odum, this performance is the culmination of three pop-up pieces exploring the ordinary, the everyday, and the little moments which pass us by. The resulting work is a beautiful, collaborative explosion of diverse artistic disciplines not usually found together. These include bboy and contemporary dance, juggling, handbalancing, live music, theatre, clowning, and Chinese Pole acrobatics. While the narrative is intended to be loose and interpretive, the subject matter of the piece is based on real-world observations made during the artists' time in LeBauer and Center City Parks. This festive work brings together artists from across the community, the country, and the world to tell a story that makes the audience more aware of the magic in the everyday moments we experience.
About Activate Entertainment
The Mission of the Activate Entertainment Project is to provide a meaningful, live experience that is accessible to the public. Our unique creative process empowers and brings together artists of all backgrounds and disciplines.
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Everything can become everyday. There is no such thing as ordinary. In fact, everything is ‘extra’ordinary. Who holds the answer to what tomorrow brings? Who’s to say it’s not you, or me? Who’s to say it’s not the person that we pass by on the street? These are just a few of the questions we’ve asked along the way as we have created artwork connecting us to one another and to our greater community.
“PASSAGES” is inspired by 3 ideas, 3 stories, 3 different groups of people all found in the parks. As we were developing the piece, the following concepts came to mind: childhood, change, and connection. In the final culmination, we have not only explored these concepts, but discovered how they manifest in our everyday life.
Part 1 is inspired by the kids which bring life and hope to the parks, running freely, playing games, and being open to the world around them.
Part 2 explores a pair of lovers that meet for the first time. What is it to see one person among many and develop a connection?
Part 3 draws attention to the people who we don’t quite know - people who wander, but people who in reality have the same goal as us. It’s about the struggle to reach a goal, but the fight to never give up.
Each part of the artwork plays with imagery and themes observed at our time in the parks, and beautifully colored flowers, like those creating the backdrop to all the lived experiences in these magical spaces, play a central role in the stories each of the scenes tell.
Planting your seeds
Over the course of this residency, we have planted a seed and watched it grow into the incredible performance you are seeing tonight. In homage to this experience, your program is a packet of North American wildflower seeds. We hope that you will plant these seeds in a space you find inspiring and that the flowers they bring remind you of the wonder of the world.
Planting instructions: Sow seeds into a prepared garden site of approximately 20 sq. ft, after danger of frost is past. Press seeds into soil and water regularly until plants are well established. Mix contains Rocket Larkspur, Purple Coneflower, Love-In-A-Mist, Lance Leaf Coreopsis, Shasta Daisy, Sweet William, Blue Flax, Globe Gilia, Black Eyed Susan, Virginia Stock, and Catchfly.
The multi-modal nature of this work would not have been possible without the contributions of key collaborators throughout this project's development:
Houston Odum - Director, Producer
Sean Mulcahy - Musician, Composer
Christopher Miller - Composer
Ledarius Parker - Choreographer
Faith Fidgeon - Dancer
Tori Purdy - Bboy
Dom Sebastian - Bboy
Ron Oppenheimer - Chinese Pole
Yuko Hata - Handbalancing on Canes, Contortion
Sierra Nicholls - Hand to Hand
Kevin Flanagan - Hand to Hand, Artistic Unicycle, Juggling
Jaleel Cheek - Dancer
Lucas Becker -Scenic Artisan
Aaron Dewitt - Pop-Up 2 Juggler and Hand to Hand
Jennifer Scheib of Happy Labs Photography - Photography
GLASBEAR - Video Production
Sam Hayes & Mac McClary of Infinity AV - Lighting
Amanda Miller - GDPI Director of Programs & Marketing / Residency Director
“Petite Fleur” - Sidney Bechet/Fernand Bonifay/Maria Bua/Jill Barber
“Waltz in Elm” - Norman Mackay
“Tout Le Monde Est Triste” - Stefie Shock
“Fishing Secrets” - Jeremy Moyer
“Violin Jazz” - Jazz Violin
Original Composition - Christopher Miller
“Padam…Padam…” - Jacques Ferchit
“Flower’s Song” - Feathersmith
Original Composition - Sean Mulcahy
‘La Valse D’Amelie’ - Yann Tiersen
Activate Entertainment would like to offer a special thanks to poet, Lavinia Jackson, for inspiring the spoken text throughout this piece, as well as Susan Schwartz for being an advocate of the company from its early beginnings. And, a big thank you to Greensboro Downtown Parks and its staff for their labor throughout this residency and its production.
Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc. would like to thank our Artist in Residence program supporters! This project and PASSAGES production would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our supporting partners: the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources; Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts; The Cemala Foundation; ArtsGreensboro; Weaver Foundation.
Support the growth of our Greensboro Downtown Parks Artist in Residence program, which works with local artists through paid opportunities to deepen and enrich their work in the community. This is a great way to ensure the legacy of impactful, Greensboro-based artistic development for years to come. Let us know how much opportunities like this mean to you! Dedicate your gift to the Artist in Residence program by leaving a comment on your donation.
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