Red Wine and Frivolous Things
"Red Wine and Frivolous Things" is a musical comedy about the history and mystery of wine. Ancient wine Gods and Goddesses weave their stories of immigration, aging and becoming obsolete as they, with wine, transcend time,
This multi-sensorial experience blends the kinesthetic exuberance of aerial and land dances blends with art, music and wine tasting.
I am a dancer, choreographer, writer and "contraptionist". I like to design and build things I can dance on, in and with. I create environments that alter the audience's sense of reality, temporarily. As a bilingual physical therapist I have had the opportunity to work with and get to know injured migrant farm laborers. My mission is to create works that cause a gut felt reaction or recognition of something familiar and bring about a questioning of attitudes or beliefs.
One of my favorite ideas for a piece came during an appointment with my acupuncturist. He advised me that I was "under entirely too much stress and I should be drinking red wine and doing frivolous things with my girl friends." I laughed and then, while lying on the table with needles poking into me, I became inspired to choreograph a dance about two girlfriends consoling each other and drinking wine. They get so drunk, that the table tips, spins, flings them around and generally causes enough confusion that they can't discern whether it's the table or the wine that makes their world topsy-turvy.
I built a table with the capability to tip, spin and fling dancers around, and I choreographed "Table Whine". Audiences laughed at how they felt intoxicated while watching. Many incarnations of "Table Whine" have appeared Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Francisco, one of which was the opening gala of The Attic, deemed "the highlight of the evening" in a 2004 Good Times review.
That wasn't the end of wine for me. More dances with wine themes emerged such as wild yeast fermenting grapes, the snobbishness in wine etiquette, alcoholism, wine aging in barrels, grape harvesting, the conviviality and wisdom that wine inspires and a dance about Shezmu, the ancient Egyptian God of the wine press. I researched other mythological beings with wine attributes and I found threads of contemporary religions in stories of Dionysus, Bacchus, Geshtinana and Soma, (gods and goddesses from ancient Greece, Rome, Sumeria and India). I discovered that wine was a driving political, economic, social and technological force in world history.
And so "Red Wine and Frivolous Things" became a musical comedy in which Shezmu, Geshtinana, Dionysus and Soma transcend time and geography. The dilemma of immortality, that they can't die, causes them to create new identities as they migrate from continent to continent and century to century. Like immigrants of today, they suppress their old roots in order fit into the expectations of new societies. In various historical eras, each God or Goddess imparts knowledge to humans about winemaking and in return receives homage. They vent their anger at human's misbehavior by releasing the harmful effects of alcohol. By the twenty first century winemaking becomes too high tech and the gods and goddesses realize that in spite of their immortality they must glean their vitality from the energy of the people who believe in them. This leaves the audience wondering if humble people they know could be an immortal ancient God or Goddess.
The audiences' journey through this world of wine is enhanced by the costumes (which evolved from my historical research), by live music, recorded music, the collaborative choreography, with wine tasting by local vintners.
Veterans' Memorial Building
846 Front. St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|