Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Hello folks, my name is Miguel, and I will be working on an installation art piece for the lobby of the Rollins during the run of The Gyre. The exact piece is still a work in progress but I just wanted to put out there where I am currently headed.

I suppose what I really wanted to do was create something relevant while taking something already known and figuring it out how to make it new, for me. First I took what I had, the gyre. I think it was the initial discovery of the oceanic garbage patch that I was mostly drawn to. I have this picture in my head of a boat cutting through the gyre finding a waste land of our trash. The idea of wadding through those waters is so spooky to me. So an image of a boat dragging its way through our garbage was the image that replayed itself in my brain till it burned and ingrained itself in there. After a while I was envisioning scenes from Apocalypse Now; once again a boat ride. It was pretty easy from that point on to better see that most of our media, be it the news, films, and music have been pushing extra hard a recurrent theme of a Doomsday Scenario.----- Global warming. Polar bears on glaciers. Forests on fire. Smoke in the air. Bombs over Baghdad. Airports. Red threat levels. Green threat levels. Aliens. Asteroids. Disease.--- All of these things we filter daily. Paradoxically our world is becoming increasingly fragmented by an already fragmented world. The 'End of the World' is one of our most popular, popular culture themes ever. So then I felt I had the direction I would be going with this; apocalypse. I opted out of the optimistic angle. With that I had two components to the piece but something was still missing for me and that was it needed something old that can provoke an air of timelessness. A myth perhaps? What came to mind when I thought of boats and myths was the boat ride to Hades. And there it was. A mythical guide taking souls over to the afterlife by way of boat across a treacherous river. From there I threw in a few skeletons and an evil looking pelican and I had something I liked.

Here are a few images that I like or find inspiration in...

Renderings will soon follow...

Thursday, July 16, 2009


came across this on the ol FB today. It made me chuckle. Yay San Francisco!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


i am lost.

i am searching.

i just left a human gyre.

very inspiring.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'you had the power all along'

5E shows them the way. Makes them see through their own process. 
check it. 

Dorothy vs. Luke

This made me giggle and took me back to one of our early dramaturgy meetings. 

Monday, June 15, 2009


There was a PBS program about a scientist who had been observing these apes for years.  At some point there was a tragic disease that almost wiped out this particular tribe of apes - including ALL alpha males apes currently in that tribe.   20 years later the surviving apes' tribe had created their own social order where there were NO alpha males.  Any alpha male from other tribes that came in to this tribe were either repelled or converted to their social order.  The new tribe existed without conflict, living longer than other tribes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


First, once again - a big thanks to everyone's participation in our title search.  I am interested in dialogues, points of view and perspectives in all parts of this process and in the work itself.  I think it starts with our process as a group.  What do we all think and have to say?  I am grateful that you are willing to put your ideas out there and that we can create a process that we feel safe and invested to do that.

Thank you Colin for providing the podcast links.  Check them out.... lots of interesting stuff in both of these!

Also, Colin you put forth a very solid argument in favor of the title Gyre.  You nudged me back in that direction.  HOWEVER, in our prod. design meeting today (before I had read this) everything seems to have shifted.  FLUSH.

Ariel Dance Theatre presents 


 The Gyre Project, Part III

 so far this is maybe my fav way of including the language about "The Gyre Project"  

 other ideas?

 Sleeping on this -  but there seems to be a consensus coming in in favor of FLUSH.



Since I also spend a daily hour in a city park with Roscoe, I have to agree that making people responsible and to get them to pick up their shit, or their dog's shit, is very difficult if there is not a consequence.  Hence, cameras and a fine.  It is annoying, disgusting and actually unbelievable that people leave their trash, dog shit.... or clearly also their own shit, where they drop it.  HELLO?  

It reminds me of a child learning responsibility.  We learn through consequence.  If someone has never had a consequence for certain behavior maybe they will never be aware of it or change it.  I think the first step is maybe education & awareness - there are ways to bring attention to this, as a community, to inspire change.  

On the other side, what about more toilet resources available for those who don't have the luxury of having a home with one?

What about more trash bins, with signs in whatever languages are needed, that encourage cleaning up.  That promote that this is their park too.  Take care of it.  For you and for everyone else you share it with.  Look how beautiful it is!  

It comes down to awareness. responsibility.  How much are we willing to do to help those who don't have these things?  

It sounds hard to catch the owner of a dog who hasn't picked up the poop.  Maybe there could be poop patrol cops, who just walk around watching dogs poop and watch to see if the owner picks it up or walks away.  Maybe these folks have to have the threat of the ticket to WAKE UP!

Monday, June 1, 2009


2 podcasts we listened to on our way to and from OKC seem to have resonance to The Gyre Project


We've had conversations about cameras in the show and then there's the where do we put all our shit? conversation.   These 2 themes are the inspiration for this post.

I walk roscoe 5 days a week.  Regular locations are: lady bird lake by Holly Power Plant and auditorium shores.  A few weeks ago while we were walking by the first location, roscoe and I encountered undoubtedly human feces with soiled TP everywhere.   Then at the shores, you really have to watch where you walk, because you could step in it.  Not to mention another pile of human feces on the first street bridge.   All this shit hit home in the context of Gyre.

How does this relate to cameras?   It's an effective solution to this problem.  Cameras everywhere. Cameras. Cameras. Cameras.  All public spaces should have cameras.   Save that Alex Jones - big brother you're always being watched junk for the band campers.    As long as you are picking-up after your dog and not defecating in public areas, cameras are no problem in this context.  Connect the person who does not pick-up after their dog with the car they drove to the shores and send them a $350 citation.  That should clean-up the park!

London has cameras everywhere.  They find kids when they're missing and locate and thwart terrorism with these tools.

This is public monitoring, not private big brother monitoring.  

There is a public space vs. private space theme here that seems to connect to The Grye Project.


There is a perception that this version of Gyre needs a new name or a subtitle. There are no suggestions that are even marginally better than Grye

The rationale for the change is focused on two basic assumptions:  that ADT audiences might not come see a show that "they've seen before" and the work is so different from previous iterations that we have to change the title.  

In the first case, ADT hard core audiences will not be dissuaded from coming because the title is the same.  In fact, they might be more motivated based upon the previous runs.   We've never had sold-out multiple night, packed houses anyway.   Perhaps people have missed Gyre and regretted it and will be pulled-in this time.

In the second case, you could be putting-up Our Town at the Rollins and it wouldn't make it critical that the title change.  Changing the cast, what is happening with the script, how rehearsals are going - none of these components dictate that the title change.  Gyre refers to a circular movement, that  motion is our central production design theme.   Is that circular movement no longer a thematic element in the script, character development and choreography? Our show has developed way out from the North Pacific Gyre and Charles Moore, but Gyre is still the best title.

With much love and respect to everyone, the search for a new title is a distraction borne out of a vapid marketing concern and an erroneous semantic analysis that says that the newest version dictates that we change the title.

Gyre is a bitchin' one word title
Gyre started at the Blue, then the Off Center and now the Long Center
Gyre directly connects to the show as it is now and then
Unless a new title or variation comes up that is overwhelmingly better, we should suspend this effort to change it and continue producing a killer show.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Great rehearsals so far this week.  We are digging in and everyone is devising very rich nuggets.  I was struck by the magic of the movement inventions that came from answering the question, "where does it hurt the most?" and performing that with the list of objects as text.  There is something very powerful emerging with the idea of cataloging, taking inventory of stuff we accumulate, hold onto or discard.  The link Sonnet gave amplifies some great ideas behind this.  Also, using the same movement with a different text (we each wrote through Sonnet's direction) brought forth uncanny connections, first to the original movement invention, but also to each other and our developing "stories" that are occurring in our process. 

We discussed the ideas forming for the "container" and overall structure of the work. Also, individual stories (or myths) and characters that are emerging through our investigations.

They are all invited. They all don't remain on stage all the time.  The "gyre" is outside of, or surrounds, the space we are in.  The space can become many places including the gyre through video and light (also sound/music).  It can be taken over, changed, shifted, etc.  We discussed many ideas around how we first come into the space.  From above?  Is this possible?  Feasible?  I would like to investigate further.  Still pondering ways to use the verticality of the space.  We are all submerged.  

By the end could there be slowly descending streams of trash... or not trash.... things, objects???closing in on us???  It is finally revealed as the "gyre" - a place that is made, or has been formed, because of all our discard.

The 5th character, or element, is the earth, the forces beyond us.  This character is manifested through video, sound/music, and a voice.  The voice can be directive,  instructional, a therapist, foreboding, motherly, giving what is needed in the form it is needed.

Other notes I have from this discussion included:
The idea of treasures in the trash.  An image of a door or shoot that is open and someone is inundated by it all.  The squirreling of stuff. 
A character having nothing to get back to and figuring out how to create jobs or tasks that keep them there.

Something discussed with Nick and Sonnet and I - The trash in the gyre either sinks, gets broken down, or spins out.   

Sonnet recommends reading Bird by Bird by Ann Lambert

Other thoughts:  In a discussion with Steve last night he mentioned the four directions and the importance and meaning of them in Native American spirituality, myths, and prayers.  This resonated strongly for me and it felt connected to my continued thoughts about "measuring", with our body parts as the measuring tools.  Simple.  A task.  Trying to locate, or figure out something, information.  This comes from original investigations in 2006, perhaps it has a place somewhere and/or the use of the meanings and symbols of the four directions.

Here are a couple links I found with more details about the four directions:

A new burning idea:
In my desire to explore video in my work, I have always wanted to play with live cameras as an element.  It is where my first work with dance and video started (1987!) Yet, I  haven't really created the work that called for it... until now.  I believe this work calls for it.  It fits with our direction, and used wisely, will allow us to enter the 5th dimension of the work - the force outside us, the earth, the gyre.  It shows us ourselves through sometimes swallowing us. ????  Maybe we have 3-4 of those really small cameras, some off stage, placed to be picked up.  
(Yes, this was re-ignited by Teeth.)  

Here's the link about the rubber duckies spilled in the ocean:

This is a great piece about the "Story of Stuff"  It is 20 min. long but worth it.  well done.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

These links are great and I hope everyone takes a few minutes to check them out. Thanks Steve! The sound of the earth is amazing and totally contributes to our investigation of the sound and voice of earth in the work. The video's about the NP Gyre made me so sad I cried. I remembered why I am passionate about this project. Watching the videos I experienced a deep connection to the ocean and birds and fish, a deep love, and felt such gut-wrenching despair. However, it is really great that people who have the ability to reach large audiences are bringing attention to the gyre- called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is great timing for our project for sure. Or maybe this is how it is supposed to be and we are part of it.

I was struck by one of the headlines "Changing our behavior is our only hope". It is not possible to clean this up. This resonates with our work so much.

Three years ago it was "larger than Texas" and now they are saying 2x's as large! 

Also, 80% of the trash is plastic. I am reminded of the core inspiration that is connected to plastic. I would like to continue to include investigations connected to the plastic - through a combination of fact and metaphor.

Also, love the idea of being able to access real footage of the gyre to use in our work. Maybe connect to Charles Moore or David de Rothschild somehow. What if Rothschild is on his plastic sailboat journey through the gyre while we are working on/performing this? We could use his communication to the world through his blogs, maybe video footage - help bring attention to it. Maybe as part of the lobby art installation.

April 28, 2009 1:45 PM

From Steve:  The sound of earth from space.

April 22, 2009 3:02 PM

From Steve:  Oprah Shines light on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

April 25, 2009 9:15 PM

From Steve:  here are some correct links. :)

April 28, 2009 8:11 AM

I am excited to use this as part of our process! Thanks again Adriene.

Over the last couple weeks have been asking a lot of questions. Aiming to locate the specific questions we want to ask. What do we want the audience to walk away with? Identifying the core thesis of this work. Are we starting where we left off? What are we using, drawing, and developing from previous creations – including work in five2ten.

We have discussed using a classic story or myth structure to build from. Or maybe each of the four characters has their own story or myth as their underlying super-objective. 

Rather than developing invented characters we’ve discussed creating from the cast’s own resources, life journey, stories, etc. Also, possibly including wider points of view drawn from our community engagement workshops and interviews. More on that later.

The planet earth is a fifth character in the work. It’s presence and forces can be expressed through the music, movement, and video elements. We’ve also discussed the possibility of an actual voice. As part of the earth, the gyre is like a cancer calling for attention to its body and it is through our own healing that we contribute to creating balance.

Design: The gyre is not always present. As a metaphorical gyre the space can become any time and any place and constantly shift in a multitude of ways. Also exploration of sterile spaces, a science laboratory, large spaces like an airport, places of someone’s past. The gyre’s presence can be all through the video, eliminating actual trash on the stage. One possibility. 

Possible configuration:
A semi-circle thrust with four video surfaces – SR & SL behind audiences, US and the floor. 

Some questions:
What propels the work, breaking the meditation of previous work? Shifting and landing in situations, scenes. Humor.
Words: Taken, thrown, isolated, scattered, propelled, revolving, repeated spiral/circle pattern that changes. cycles, orbits, fluid, navigate, negotiate. Scientific.

Break from previous work where they all arrive and never leave. Maybe one person is already there. Another always passing through. or taking places of each other. or becoming people in someone’s past. more questions.

By way of what impetus does change occur? Conscious change through awareness. Unconscious change propelled by forces beyond us. Adaptation. Change by way of catastrophic occurrences or just a tap on the forehead? Do ideas of change live in the future, and hence always remain there? Action of change lives in the now.

Wholeness of being. Body, Mind, Spirit. What is the mind part of the earth? The intelligence of nature, perfect through imperfection. Instinct of animals. 

Healing means to make whole, bring into balance.
The symptom or altercation won’t “go away” but will no longer be needed if things are brought into balance. 

Fashion something new with the darkness. 

Transformation. Evolution. Continuum. Participating in creating balance.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

a place to post

Hi all, welcome to our blog
. This is a blog for our creative team. Post thoughts/ideas/images/questions as they come to mind and share! Or just visit regularly to keep in the inspirational loop. Anything and everything is welcome.

see you in the studio xxoo