Sunday, October 11, 2015

Building a dance floor with recycled materials

Whoo Hooo!!!! Delirious is the first dance company to be in residence at Materials For The Arts!!!!!!

I'm a huge fan of MFTA as they help keep stuff out of landfills by accepting donations from companies, museums, stores and individuals, and then recycling the donations to non profit organizations, teachers and artists for creative projects. They also offer workshops and classes to help people see and experience creative reuse up close.

The MFTA artist studio is a room with a cement floor covered in carpet.


Cement floors are the worst thing if leaping, hoping, jumping, chugging or skipping, as a hard, un-resilient floor results in shin splints, tendonitis and arthritis. Carpet also sucks to dance on, as it can cause painful floor burns.  
So we built a dance floor.

Sarah Schetter (Technical Director/Carpenter) figured out how to creatively re-use shipping palettes and re-purposed wood to build a "sprung" dance floor.

Sarah Schetter designing the dance floor.

Selecting wood from the MFTA Warehouse



Framing out the floor


I initially wanted to layer strips of car tire over the palettes to give an extra cushion and spring, however was having difficulty getting tire rubber. MFTA had boxes upon boxes of rubber cellphone cases (for an obsolete cellphone size), that we considered using, however decided it was going to be too labor intensive to unwrap, and staple hundreds of cellphone cases to the palettes. Then Sarah had the brilliant suggestion to use carpet - MFTA had rolls upon rolls of plush commercial synthetic carpet that would give a needed 'spring'

I learned the hard way that if I plan on using a product in the MFTA Warehouse, claim it immediately. When the residency started there were several 4x8 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood in the warehouse, however when I was ready to use them for the dance floor, they were gone. As a result we purchased six sheets of plywood to surface the floor. 

The initial plan was to paint the floor white, however we lucked out as BRIC was getting rid of old grey marley that was used for the Celebrate Brooklyn Stage. The marley was marked up and moldy in areas (I didn't know that marley could get moldy), however after a lot of scrubbing and cleansing, it looked like new!

What excites me is realizing that a dance floor does not have to be an expensive endeavor and that it is possible to build an affordable dance floor anywhere!!!!

Entrance to the dance/artists studio

Many Thanks to Harriet Taub, Michael Kaiser, Omar Olivera, Kwame Belle, Nakeshia Betsill, Miguel Vasquez, and the entire staff and volunteers at MFTA who made the residency a wonderful, productive and supportive experience, as well as to Andrea Haenggi for the initial inspiration of using palettes to create a dance floor.

Resident T-Rex

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Alternative Pleasure Pop-Up Gesture Store

The Alternative Pleasure Pop-Up Gesture Store is conceived and created by Andrea Haenggi. The store sells gestures and experiences that engage the customers in spectatorship, participation and sharing. Ongoing energetic exchanges are king. The store currency is Gesture. It questions value, display, consumerism, presence, exchange, gender and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence in search of connection and creation. Location: 1067 Pacific People at 1067 Pacific St. Brooklyn, NY 11238

On Sat. Sept. 12, 2015, I sold PORTRAITS and STYLES at the Pop-Up Gesture Store. The best part were the exchanges that customers gave in return. 

I embellished a bike helmet, and in return she outlined my chair with a circle of juice from a black berry that was growing wild at 1067 Pacific St.

I received a hairstyle in exchange. : )



Searching for objects to put in a lovely textured bouquet that she made in exchange. 

She wasn't sure what to do in exchange. In talking I found out she is a writer and editor, and suggested a word that described her experience, which resulted in "Serene". It was truly a tranquil, joyous, untroubled moment in time. 

I asked him to find a plant that resonated with him and he pulled up an entire plant, which I transformed into a mohawk. He presented an awesome "peep-show" in return!

Making spontaneous shared magic.

The interior of the Alternate Pleasure Pop-up Gesture Store by Andrea Haenggi

photos: Julie Lemberger

Remembering Blondell Cummings (1944 - 2015)


I’m grateful that I got to know Blondell this past year. Partially from being on the Bessie committee together and hearing her thoughtful questioning and responses to work, and then being invited by her to show my work for Points of Reference at the 92 St. Y on March 27, 2015. I loved her concept to expand how dance is viewed and who talks about dance, by inviting people from different fields – law, journalism, history, religion, public relations – to talk about the work from their perspective.

Flashes of memories from our talks in preparation for Points of Reference:

Blondell loved the diversity of people in New York City. She lived on the Upper East Side and often travelled by bus to see a dance performance. We talked about how buses are a place where different cultures, classes and ethnicities briefly meet and navigate space.  

Her work was rooted in the black experience, yet dealt with universal themes of humanity. As part of Points of Reference we both felt it was important to show a section of the film Commitment to Portraits (1988) that was based on her work Chicken Soup.  She mentioned that several people interpreted Chicken Soup as a reference to domestic work and enslavement, however the inspiration for the work was being in the kitchen with her mother and doing chores. It wasn’t a black thing it was a human thing, that was performed by a black woman. 

She loved to swim, and went swimming practically every morning. It was how she stayed in tune with her body.

She loved traveling and through dance was able to experience the world.

We talked about hair. Blondell was looking for a new way to style her hair, especially with swimming on a regular basis.

Blondell talked about expanding the performance installation 30/30: Meditations on the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, she had worked on with students at the New School and Sarah Lawrence College.

We shared a bowl of beet, ginger, tumeric soup that Blondel had made. It was good and spicy with a strong kick. Like Blondell.

Ana "Rokafella" Garcia, Blondell Cummings, Edisa Weeks
Bessie Committee Meeting
June 2015


What more could you want in a dance than newspapers, screaming and panties!


Edisa Weeks / Delirious Dances was invited by Blondell Cummings to perform Manufacturing Consent at the 92nd St. Y Fridays at noon as part of Points of Reference. Manufacturing Consent is inspired by the writings of linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky, the dance Three Seascapes by Yvonne Rainer and the 'King of Musac' - Mantovani and his orchestra of cascading strings. It is a physical exploration of propaganda, pleasure and the creation of illusions. 

Points of Reference is a performance and roundtable discussion that explores the silent dialogue between the choreographer and their audience. Following the performance a panel of experts from the fields of history, journalism, philosophy and law spoke about the work from their perspectives. 

STREAMED LIVE ON March 27th, 2015

Dancers: Angel Chinn, Orlando Hunter, Devin Oshiro, Maxx Passion, Ricarrdo Valentine

Panelists: Tracy Austin, Dr. Victoria Phillips, 
Vanessa McKnight, Eyal Press

92nd St. Y
Buttenweiser Hall – 2nd Fl.
Lexington at 92nd St., New York, New York 

photos: Julie Lemberger