Lauri Stallings - From Here To There & Back For A WhileSunday, May 30, 2010
"I've been afflicted for some time with belief that man can fly" Orville Wright
It was on Wednesday that on an impulse I decided to call Artemis (Arty) Gordon who is head of the dance program at Arts Umbrella. I wanted to tell her how I had enjoyed the end-of-the-year dance show (of all the classes from the beginners to the Senior Dance Company) held at the Gateway Theatre in Richmond.
The first thing Arty told me was, “Guess who’s in town? It’s your favourite dancer Lauri Stallings.” It was in 1996-1997 when I last photographed Lauri Stallings who was dancing at Ballet BC. Arty told me Stallings was in Vancouver to choreograph one of the segments of Dances for a Small Stage to be held from June 16 to June 18, I immediately became most excited. I had followed her career in the US from the Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago to her present collaboration and part of the Atlanta multifaceted arts organization called gloATL
At that point I did everything under the sun to secure a photo/interview with Stallings. It seemed it was not to be. I contacted Emily Molnar the head of Ballet BC. The reason I did this is that this 22nd installment of Dances for a Small Stage while having a slew of famous local and international choreographers (Stallings is one of the international ones) the dancers for all the segments will be dancers from Ballet BC. You can credit Molnar for achieving this great coup for dance in Vancouver.
After a few emails I got one of those that put me into a Saturday morning melancholy. I was glum and sat in front of my TV and watched war movies (the US Memorial weekend) on TCM to keep me distracted. That last email from Molnar said something like, “While Stallings would love to see you she is in town for such a short time that she cannot manage an interview with you. She says it isn’t personal.” That last statement really plummeted me into depression.
One of the most fantastic delights of photography is to photography people more than once and especially when time has passed. I was shattered because of what I had missed.
It was Saturday evening that I received:
Thank you for your email. I appreciate your desire and also want to respect Lauri's time and wishes.
I went back to her today with your thoughts and she has kindly offered to meet with you at 6:30pm at the Dance Centre by the Ballet BC studios this coming Monday, May 31. She will need to be somewhere by 7pm but is happy to meet with you for 15-20mins. Lauri leaves first thing on Tuesday so this is the only time she has available.
I hope this works for you. Please let me know.
Have a wonderful weekend!
My melancholy dissipated and it was rapidly replaced by the stress and worry as to how I was going to photograph Stallings.
The answer as to how I will photograph Stallings tomorrow Monday will be featured as a blog a few days before Dances for a Small Stage 22 begin on June 16.
Since this Sunday blog is being written on the evening of tomorrow I can only tell you that it was an exciting session and the photograph will be a killer. Meanwhile here are some pictures I took of Stallings in 1997 in which we explored the idea that ballet dancers were not swans but real people. And as a teaser of what those who might think about going to Dances for a Small Stage (and have some silly reason for not going) there is this which is raw footage of Stallings rehearsing her work, Citizen, with the New York City-based American Ballet Theater (including the dazzling Argentine ballerina Paloma Herrera) for the 1998-1999 season. And there is this video of the premiere performance of Zoot, Ballet Augsburg, April 23, 2010 at the Augsburg Opera House in which Stallings examines America’s 1040s “social exchange” with the Zoot suit to be found here.
More Lauri Stallings
And More Lauri Stallings
And Even More Lauri Stallings
And Much More Lauri Stallings
And I found this
And Some More
And Even More
Have I written about anybody else?
And the end for a while