Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Oct 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Midwinter Night's Dream

ae dreamONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Cid Pearlman and an international cast bring a piece of Estonia to Santa Cruz in ‘From Estonia With Love

It all began in Estonia. Cid Pearlman was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching at Tallinn University for the 2009-2010 academic year. She spent the long winter instructing and researching, but most importantly, collaborating with five talented dance artists, three Estonians and two Americans: Tiina Mölder, Rain Saukas, Helen Reitsnik, Alexis Steeves and David King.

Two years later, Pearlman has organized a California tour in order to bring these creative forces to audiences in Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Los Angeles. And after much hard work, “From Estonia With Love” will make its long-awaited debut on May 17 and 18 at Motion at the Mill.

“From Estonia With Love” is sectioned into four distinct parts. As the producer and artistic director of the performance, Pearlman is presenting two pieces, one with a Santa Cruz-based cast, and one with an Estonian cast. Guest choreographers, Tiina Mölder, Rain Saukas, Helen Reitsnik, and Alexis Steeves, will also be presenting work independent of Pearlman’s direction.

The first piece, “catch-as-catch-can,” which made its premiere in 2006, will be performed by dancers from Motion Pacific Studio's resident dance company, Flex. “It is a piece about flying and falling,” explains Pearlman, “a post-modern contemporary punk-rock folk dance with really big juicy physicality.” It will feature an original score by Jonathan Segel, well known as the violinist and guitarist for local band Camper Van Beethoven, and a longtime collaborator with Pearlman. Music selections are predominantly instrumental throughout “From Estonia With Love,” with the exception of a vocal piece in “catch-as-catch-can” by Pearlman’s brother, Rafe Pearlman.

“This is what we do in winter,” Pearlman’s second piece, was born out of the collaboration in Estonia and will be performed by Mölder, Saukas, Reitsnik, Steeves, and King. Centered on the way in which Pearlman and the cast got to know each other, the production was constructed to highlight the uniqueness of each dancer. “I make work that really privileges the individual,” says Pearlman. “I’m not interested in [my dancers] being characters or furniture, but rather being themselves within the work.”

Pearlman’s productions are known for their partnering work, and “From Estonia With Love” is no exception. “People are rolling on each other, and touching each other, and looking at each other,” she says. “It is an extraordinary way to get to know people.” Each of the show’s four segments celebrate contemporary post-modern dance styles with instrumental accompaniment.

Pearlman felt it was imperative that her collaborators have a chance to share their work with California audiences. “It’s my job to help promote them as choreographers, not only as dancers,” says Pearlman. “They have ownership over their work, people should see it, and they should experience who they are without being mediated through my choreography.”

The third piece of the production, entitled “How quickly these accidents,” is the result of a first-time experimental collaboration between Saukas and Steeves. “We didn't want to avoid our general attraction to humor,” Saukas says of the piece. “Not taking ourselves too seriously became a guiding principle both in the process and in the performance.”

The final piece is a premiere, choreographed by Estonian dancers Reitsnik and Mölder, called “Facing Forest,” which draws inspiration from the trees, swamps, and bogs that make up the Estonian landscape. “I don’t like to generalize, because each person is unique, but Estonians in general have a deep connection with nature,” observes Pearlman. “This piece really speaks to that.”

The scope of “From Estonia With Love” is immense, thanks in part to support from the Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, and the near 200 donors who contributed funds to the project. Pearlman’s motto—creating art for community and communities for artists—resonates throughout the production.

“An international cast really exemplifies this community’s deep-seeded wanderlust,” says Abra Allan, director of Motion at the Mill. “This deep desire to travel and explore other cultures continues to serve this community well with ongoing artistic collaborations being born regularly between local and international artists.”

Asked what aspect of the U.S. tour she is most looking forward to, Steeves replied, “Touring the work and refining the ideas we are proposing through performance … and, of course, sun.”


“From Estonia With Love” debuts at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18 at Motion at the Mill, 131 Front St., Santa Cruz. For more information and tickets, visit santacruzdance.com. PHOTO CREDIT: Reio Aare.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Dean Steeves, May 15, 2012
Thank you for this delightfully thoughtful preview. I will be attending both Santa Cruz performances and you have whetted my appetite mightily.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Reflecting Glass

Composer Philip Glass’ first trip to Big Sur was by motorcycle; little did he know that he’d establish a music festival there six decades later.

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wurst Case Scenario

Venus Spirits releases agave spirit, Renee Shepherd on planting garlic, Sausagefest 2014, and wine harvest in full swing

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

Santa Cruz  |  Unemployed

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”