I’m surely not the first to notice the awkward terrain between youth and the experience of fully ripened age—they even named one of the least appealing historical periods the Middle Ages, after all. For the artist, it’s the middle ground between the up-and-comer and the lifetime achievement recipient, with a decent body of work under one’s belt but without the burnished credentials of decades to define one’s craft.
So why not celebrate it, goes the reasoning behind the Right Here Showcase, two weekends at the James Sewell TEK BOX highlighting six local performing artists who are at a middle point in their careers. The fest, devised by local multi-disciplinary jack-of-many-trades Paul Herwig, is envisioned as the first of its kind in an annual evolving series.
photo by Bruce Silcox
It’s also a night featuring a welcome array of performance styles presented end to end. There are three different contemporary dancers—Rosy Simas, Deborah Jinza Thayer, and Vanessa Voskuil (who earlier this year created the large-scale experiment The Student)—as well as theater-of-movement specialist Kym Longhi (director of the amazing Herocycle of recent years, exploding the mythic side of Evel Knievel), puppeteer Bart Buch (maker of the remarkable Ode to Walt Whitman, which played here and in New York), and the Butoh dance of Gadu Fukasawa Schmitz.
Deborah Jinza Thayer
photo by xavier tavera
I’ll embrace the notion that one’s middle years are to be celebrated—one can’t be new on the scene forever—but only as long as the journey is embarked upon with the same sense of discovery, perhaps even stronger, as that of the latest arrivals. The Renaissance, after all, came just after those Middle Ages.
The Right Here Showcase • The Cowles Center, 11/14–23 • thecowlescenter.org