What do you associate with Gwen Frostic
? Nature-themed prints, writings, books, or her nature preserve, maybe. All these are serving as the inspiration for a new performance piece called Chaotic Harmony
, from a duo of northern Michigan artists, to premiere this summer.
Choreographer Gretchen Eichberger of the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center
is co-directing the production with playwright Anne-Marie Oomen, and says the piece centers on the legacy of Gwen Frostic, using choral text, music and dance.
"Creating dances about regional culture is something I wish to center my work around," says Eichberger. "We all live in areas that have their own unique physical and cultural geography. This base provides us with a common heritage and framework for building economically and socially sustainable systems of living. I see our region of northwest lower Michigan as a critical place for the bioregionalism movement. The legacy of Gwen Frostic, a Michigan icon, is one that deserves a place of prominence in our region."
The musical compositions for Chaotic Harmony
are coming from Michigan trio Breathe Owl Breathe, while Eichberger and Oomen have rounded up a troupe of the region's most talented dancers and performers to put on the piece.
The thought behind the creation of Chaotic Harmony
came as a collaboration between Eichberger and Oomen, in honor of the tenth anniversary of Frostic's death.
"(Eichberger) wanted to honor regional women who were visionaries and risk-takers, and Gwen was sometimes overlooked," says Oomen. "Together, we began to reread Frostic's powerful meditations, which are oh so relevant to today's environmental crisis. In Frostic's reverence for the natural world, we found a kindred spirit."
A public preview will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on June 12 at Eastern Michigan University's Parsons Center in Lake Ann, and include a short lecture and Q&A session on the creation of the production. The premiere will come in August, at a to-be-announced venue in Benzie County.
It's supported by Gwen Frostic Prints, the Parsons Center, ISLAND, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Northwest Michigan Folklife Center and the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University.Writer: Sam EgglestonSource: Gretchen Eichberger, Northwest Michigan Folklife Center