Through the incredible images of Jason Bucklin and brief descriptions of the scenes, we’re excited to share the story of our performance with Partnership Resources, Inc.

Upstream Arts was thrilled to share, together with Partnership Resources, Inc., our collaborative performance on Wednesday, August 21. After 12 weeks of working together creating completely original material, the artists of PRI and Upstream Arts showcased a remarkable evening including dance, music, painting, rhythm, songs, and theater.

Each scene came out of weeks of improvising together and was created by the performers based on the thoughts, feelings, ideas, and experiences that they each wanted to express. The result was a vast array of conversations between bodies and drums, music and motion, paint and voice, by turns tender, joyful, serious, and hilarious.

Enjoy a few of the highlights through the following photos by Jason W. Bucklin Photography:

After an opening dance that introduced all of the performers, one of Upstream Arts’ Teaching Artists and one of the artists from PRI performed a conversation through movement, taking turns posing and responding to each other’s living statues.

As part of a Poetry Orchestra, one of the Teaching Artists conducted four other performers in a rhythmic chorus with the lines “I need space. I need respect.”

Performers then followed each others impulses, moving based on the other person’s drum beats and making rhythms inspired by the dancing.

Using dance, performers formed an ensemble, following each others movements like a flock of birds.

Performers conversed through a new medium: paint. Collaborating on the same canvas, each performer made choices about their paint strokes and responded to the other’s expressions.  

During a theatrical scene, performers talked over each other, each eager to share what they wanted to do without listening to the others, until one of the performers drew their attention, advocating for her desires as well.  

One of Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and one of the artists from PRI shared a microphone, conversing through a wide range of wordless sounds.

As a grand finale, the ensemble came together for a song based on one of the poems that they collaboratively wrote during the residency. With lines like “I’m three times happy at a dance party with a loose spaghetti love song”  and “When I’m told no it’s a hard blizzard on a cold dark moon,” the performers danced and repeated the chorus: 

I need space. Why? It makes me feel good.
I need space. When? Someone gets close.
I need respect, like when my dog says Hi.
I need to be close to my friends.

The audience responded with a standing ovation and overwhelming comments of appreciation for the talent, joy, and self-expression of the artists.

Thank you to everyone who came, who celebrated, and who supported this beautiful community of creative makers.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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