Life has been a little overwhelming of late, so it’s taken me a few weeks to be able to sit down and collect my thoughts about this year’s INTERSECTIONS festival. Performing there was a fantastic experience and I want to take the time to share a little of what made it such a special event.
Artists, even when working in groups such as orchestras, or dance and theater companies, can feel isolated. It is one of the ironies of being a working artist that you are often too busy with your own projects to have the time (and money) to see other people’s work. To that end, one of the best things about INTERSECTIONS is that it brings all the artists together in one building. Walking around before and after our show, you could hear snippets of music coming from different theaters, classical mixing with jazz mixing with flamenco. In the lobby between shows you could pick out dancers and musicians talking with audience members, everyone making space for the small children running around with their families. The free cafe concerts in the lobby and art activities for children made the space a welcoming one for audiences of all ages and fans of all kinds of art.
INTERSECTIONS takes place at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H St. NE and all the staff there worked incredibly hard to make us feel welcome and to encourage us to support each other’s work. While each performance was assigned one of the four ‘roadmaps’ (Sound, Movement, Story or Family) everyone was very enthusiastic and interested to hear about what was going on in other roadmaps and other theater spaces. Meetings, parties, and off site events were opportunities to make connections and learn about music, dance and other arts traditions that were unfamiliar. Serendipitous moments abounded (possibly my favorite was listening to Victoria Vox and Christylez Bacon improvising music together).
My one regret was that due to my crowded schedule, I was not able to see more performances by my fellow artists. A huge thank you to festival director Mary Hall Surface, and everyone at Atlas for making this such a wonderful experience. I hope to be back again another year!