Renowned choreographer David Parsons commissioned by Wolf Trap Foundation to portray unique spirit of Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Everglades National Park.
Site-specific dance filmed in the parks this week for world premiere of Face of America: Spirit of South Florida at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts on September 8, 2012
-Photos, video footage, and interviews available upon request-
VIENNA, Va., Nov. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, staff from the non-profit Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, film crew from Blue Land Media, and the internationally acclaimed Parsons Dance company journey to four national parks in South Florida for the on-site filming for Wolf Trap's next installment of Face of America. The latest addition to the series, Face of America: Spirit of South Florida will shine a light on the unique aspects and diverse cultures and people of Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Dry Tortugas National Park and Everglades National Park through original dance works performed and filmed on-site in each of these parks amidst the wild and raw elements of nature.
Face of America is Wolf Trap's signature performance series, which uses the rich language of the performing arts to celebrate the diverse people, histories, and landscapes that exist in and around its fellow national parks across the country. Launched in 2000, the Face of America series commissions and films original dance performances in national parks to portray the spirit and essence of each one. The footage is then integrated with the live performances of dance, music, and storytelling, and presented on enormous screens at the 7,000-seat Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
"We are thrilled to partner with the National Parks in South Florida to shine a light on the many different faces of these special lands—from the diverse people of the region to the varied wildlife to the critical preservation elements. There is so much rich culture here and we think the arts can bring that out in a very unique and meaningful way," said Terrence Jones, Wolf Trap's President and CEO, and creator of Face of America."
Site Specific Works Reflect Each Park's Unique Aspects
Original dance works have been commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts from internationally acclaimed choreographer David Parsons. The performances will shed light on the different unique characteristics of each park.
At Big Cypress National Preserve, birds are abundant and therefore a theme of the performances on site.
While Parsons said he and his troupe did a good deal of background research in advance that was helpful, he added that most of the preparation related to choreography was perhaps…for the birds.
"We threw most of it out once we got here," said Parsons, in between takes at Big Cypress National Preserve. "Once we were on location we became aware of so many elements in the environment that were important, the arc of the sunlight, the water drops. Working in nature like this takes a lot for the dancers to pull it off."
"It's thrilling, exciting, an adrenaline-rush," said Steven Vaughn, a Parsons Dance performer.
"We are so pleased to be one of the parks selected to participate in Wolf Trap's Face of America initiative," said Pedro Ramos, Superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve. "Big Cypress is very mysterious and can be intimidating for some. What a great way to bring out the magic of this special preserve using the arts."
At Biscayne National Park, dance sequences celebrate the fish that inhabit the largest tropical marine park in the entire national park system. On Porgy Key, a solo dancer demonstrates the strength with which residents of this area combat hurricanes.
"Biscayne National Park is an extraordinary place. It is where the tropics meet the northern climate, where currents collide, and an area where people can visit and learn about the marine environment. This project is really a unique and different way to introduce new audiences to the park, and all of these aspects of it," said Mark Lewis, Superintendent of Biscayne National Park.
At Everglades National Park, performances will showcase alligators, an animal synonymous with South Florida, and the variety of activities visitors can enjoy on the wilderness waterway.
"Face of America: Spirit of South Florida will show the Everglades through a new lens, and help people to learn more about this special place. I'm confident the more people know about the Everglades, the more they will love it and feel compelled to protect and preserve it," said Dan Kimball, Superintendent of Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park.
On the final leg of the journey, dancers and crew will travel 70 miles off the coast of Key West to the remote islands of Dry Tortugas National Park. The performances at this location will celebrate freedom and highlight historic Fort Jefferson, which has served as an important safe haven for more than 130 years.
An Integrated Multimedia Artistic Adventure: Face of America: Spirit of South Florida
World Premiere: September 8, 2012
Face of America: Spirit of South Florida will be presented at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts on September 8, 2012 and will feature an array of integrated artistic components. In an evening-length work, Wolf Trap will capture the essence of four national parks through a series of connected vignettes, highlighting the natural and cultural heritage of this geographically and environmentally unique area. Mr. Parsons's dance will integrate the video artistry of Emmy Award-winning Blue Land Media, the music of Miami's GRAMMY-nominated Tiempo Libre and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird, and the images of acclaimed Florida photographer Clyde Butcher to create a multi-disciplinary celebration of the South Florida national Parks.
Face of America: Spirit of South Florida represents Wolf Trap's seventh installment of its signature performance series. Previous Face of America performances include:
- Face of America: Yosemite National Park
- Face of America: Virgin Islands National Park
- Face of America: Mammoth Cave National Park
- Face of America: A Celebration of Flight
- Face of America: Hawai'i
- Face of America: Glacier National Park
Past performances were featured in a 90-minute PBS Great Performances special, titled "Dance in America, Wolf Trap's Face of America™" showcasing the series and available online at http://video.pbs.org/video/1099370504.
For a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the upcoming Face of America: Spirit of South Florida, visit Wolf Trap's blog for live updates from Barbara Parker, Wolf Trap's Director, Operations & Artistic Initiatives.
To learn more about Wolf Trap's Face of America series, please visit: http://www.wolftrap.org/Learn_About_Wolf_Trap/Artistic_Initiatives/Face_of_America_Series.aspx
About The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, founded by Catherine Filene Shouse (1896-1994), produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally and internationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues, the outdoor Filene Center and Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and the Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. In partnership with the National Park Service, The 7,028-seat Filene Center annually showcases an extensive list of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theater, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns operates year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera Company, one of America's outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap's education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, scholarships, and a nationally recognized internship program that was included in Bloomberg BusinessWeek's 2009 List of "Best Places to Intern." As part of its ongoing commitment to protect and preserve the environment, Wolf Trap offers metro access and is a founding member of the Green Music Group. Terrence D. Jones is president and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
SOURCE Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts