Vulnerability connects us to moments that are strung together on life's timeline. The inspiration behind Ethereal Abandonment is much like the layers the of Candace Casey's multimedia photographic series of the same name.
“There is something about ruins that calls to us to come explore, look closer. There is at once a sense of discovery and a feeling of long ago. A slipstream of hope. In the accumulated debris are the seeds for tomorrow, the roots of reclamation.” - Photographer Candace Casey
The project began in 2015, while I was in Candace's studio looking at the images and they reminded me of the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. We collaborated in creating a book, writing a one line story and title to go with each piece. As I started working on this project, I got more and more interested in the layers of Candace’s work. She goes into abandoned places, take photos, then inserts images into them to create the story that she feels is underneath the decay and sometimes graffiti.
The images spoke to me, I saw movement, I heard stories and I wanted to create more. Seeking a muse, I found them in Candace’s work. Lucy and I were talking about possibly working together when Paul Granjert, a local filmmaker asked if I would collaborate with him to create a dance film. We brought Lucy on to this project and shot what is now the trailer, at abandoned houses in Highland Park. That film has now been accepted into the Stockholm’s Dance on Camera Film Festival.
Part of this inspiration for the play comes from working in the auditorium at Ebenezer that we have been slowly updating and we overlook Trumbull School, which has been closed for 5 years now. When I look at it, I can hear children playing and I think about how the neighborhood has changed since it closed.
Just a neighborhood over is the Uptown Theater. Once you learn about the history, you long for the days the theater was active creating memories for all who walk through the doors. This show is a love story about the theater and the artists that created it.
Lucy and I met while participating in a choreographer's festival that ran for many years back in the late 90's and early 2000's. After branching off and doing our own thing for over a decade we reconnected in Natalie Rast's Ballet classes. We started catching up on life, our jobs, or artistry and that led us to working together in a variety of professional levels. CDE has produced festival and concerts that RE Dance Group have presented work in and joined us in efforts to fundraise through Aramark and our football season stints at Soldier Field. We just came to realize that we had a lot in common in regards to running our companies and we were trying to find ways to support each other's work.
The layers of our work are unfolding throughout the rehearsal process as we create Ethereal Abandonment
The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Adler gently joins artistic forces, even to the point of making the exposed-brick walls of the space speak with a wizened sense of melancholy.
"I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest-- I too awaited the expected guest." T.S. Eliot
The first danztheatre piece I ever create outside of college was an adaptation of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. I fell in love with the poem in undergrad at Roosevelt University. Reading it the first time, I felt it read like a Shakespearean drama. After graduating grad school, I was eager to start working on a full length evening theatre piece, but what? I thought back to The Wasteland and this was it. I was calling me. The first workshop production was in 2001 and then in 2002, restaged the adaption along with an installation piece, Death's Dream Kingdom (also based on Eliot's work). From there, we toured The Wasteland in Chicago and in Canada. I've always wanted to restate and work the piece and now, 13 years ago, here we are.
Technology has changed. I've changed. The themes of The Wasteland have not changed. When I first did the piece, we had a slide projector and very minimal lights. Now, we are using a video projector, original illustrations from David Sarallo and our lighting is still minimal but illuminating.
T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, will be restaged and revisited with a cast of four illuminating “the lost generation” of post-WWI European society and the human soul’s search for redemption using Adler’s unique style of danztheatre that blends together dance, theatre, music and video imagery into a visceral theatre experience.
Written in a stream of consciousness, it seeks out what humans are looking for, a constant connection in life. Once we accept our future, there is an inner calming that happens to our soul.
The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Adler gently joins artistic forces, even to the point of making the exposed-brick walls of the space speak with a wizened sense of melancholy. When the shadows of the four ensemble members unobtrusively get superimposed on, say an image of a dead tree facing a treacherous sea…conveys in a tactile, aesthetically gorgeous way, the mystical power of fragmented moments weaving through our minds.”
Get your tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/606715
$15 in advance (includes the performance of Still Small Voices)
At heart, I am a storyteller.
As a child, in my grandmother's backyard, I would create for all of her friends a "theatrical spectacle" of dance, song and storytelling that would travel from a swing to an apple tree to the prairie field next to us.
It is no wondering that I grew up to be an artist that tells stories through dance, theatre, music, and now film.
My inspiration is the world around me and all that I see. I believe poetry to be the essence of language. Dance is the essences of movement and film captures life in its visual essence.
Love is the essence of living and creating art from this place, allows me to be a conduit of creativity expressing this. One of the love stories in "Touch" is inspired by my parents, Johnny and Karen, and how my father knew he was going to marry my mother from "the moment he laid eyes on her." Loss is apart of love. Longing for love is a theme in touch but the moment we understand that we as humans are all interconnected, we are no longer alone on this journey.
"Mirrors" is a reflection of our need for connection to self, others and what guides us in this world. Rumi, in the 13th century wrote, "Man & Woman Arguing" about a couple's disagreement over money. I believe his words still ring true in many households today. Rumi is a poetic storyteller and the reason his words have inspired me and countless others, is because they are timeless.
Good storytelling is timeless. Come be apart of the story of "Touch" and "Mirrors" opening May 17th! Buy Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Executive Director, Founder and Storytelle
It starts with a song randomly played on my iPod. It causes me to pause because at that moment while in the creative process of a new danztheatre piece, it speaks to me.
I'm currently, exploring what it means to "touch" someone both metaphorically and physically. Everyday we have the power to change the world through our connections with others.
Listening to Joy Division's Atmosphere, the lyrics are representing one aspect of touch. The last time. Walking away in silence, once we face the illusions that we have created in our lives. The touch is no longer soft, but hard and cold like the bleakest days of winter. Although this song will not be used in the performance, it is the inspiration behind a monologue and a physical duet.
The eyes say it all. It is a point of pure vulnerability to allow someone to look into them. They are as the cliche' says "the window to the soul." You may wonder what they see. This is vulnerability. The place were artists create from reflecting what they see in the world around them.