Tag Archives: Susan Tenney

Muzzle Not the Ox: Crowd Funding for the Arts

Something sudden swept over her? That phrase is from the title of Susan Tenney’s new collaboration with her brothers, a work that premieres in New York on June 5. But it wasn’t sudden. She’s done marvelous Tenney and Company collaborations for years. And she is crowd-funding the production on the Web, as is entrepreneurial actor/singer/composer Scott Langdon. 
Susan Tenney

Steven Mark Tenney wrote the script for Something Sudden Swept Ov3r Me (and the 3 is not a typo) with a plot that goes like this: Norbit Ufowatchin is a graduate student about to leave the field of Advanced Alien Artifacts, assume a prestigious residency, and write The Novel of His Life, when his professor entrusts him with a powerful device capable of changing planetary history. Who is the professor really, and who is his beautiful daughter?

It runs at varying times, a,Planet Connection production, from June 5 to June 16 at the Robert Moss, 440 Lafayette Street. Another brother, David Tenney, has provided music. Susan Tenney is raising money for the production through the New York Live Arts website.

In contrast, Langdon is looking to the far future for his productions, because currently he is in “Mame” at the Bucks County Playhouse with Andrea McArdle.  Some of his projects are faith-based, such as the wonderful one-man versions of “All Eyes on the Cross” and “According to Mark.” Some are secular, like a one-man version of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” that he toured to wide acclaim.  

For what he calls the Scott Langdon Project, he aims to “crowd fund” through Indiegogo. His goal: “to enrich the lives of all people, everywhere, by presenting audiences with transformative performing arts pieces through which people are challenged to see the world, and their role in it, in new and exciting ways” 
Potential contributions start at $10 and $25 (for which you get an old-fashioned, paper mailed thank you note plus a CD of the Dickens evening.)
Support your local artists and you get it back in delight. As my father used to say, quoting Deuteronomy 25, Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the grain. Just because actors and dancers love their work, they still need to be paid.

Tenney Takes It To New York

For the past several years I’ve been intrigued to watch the progress of Susan Tenney’s evening length dance, set to the music of Georges Delerue.  Delerue is well-known for such scores as Francois Truffaut’s Jules and  Jim, and he won an Oscar for “A Little Romance.” Enamored with his music, Tenney has based “Je me souviens…I remember” on his work. 

Every time I see “Je me souviens” it taps hidden emotions, in part because it focuses on a young girl, Cynthia Yank, who grows into a woman, Samantha Gullace. It’s hard to explain, but I have tried to write about it here, and here are the choreographer’s notes, and here is an article by Valerie Sudol.

Tenney has shown parts of this piece on various unprepossessing stages, including in the Princeton Ballet School studio (with dancers and watchers within arms reach of each other) and on the green at Palmer Square.   Now she is making the Big Leap to show it in New York, this Saturday (October 29) at 7:30 p.m.  

Try to get there if you can. It’s not often that a Princeton choreographer can gather the resources to present in Manhattan.  I’m looking forward to seeing the piece on a real stage at the Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison. The cast includes Gary Echternacht, Yoshie Driscoll, Alexandra Fredas, Anya Kalishnikova, Naoko Cojerian, Kelly Meir, Alexis Branagan, and Pam Pisani.

Tickets are $25 ($75 includes the patron reception), or $15 for students with an ID.  They are available on line or at the door. 

Tenney worked closely with the composer’s daughter, Claire Delerue, who offers an appreciation for the program notes. An excerpt: 

Great choreographers who use music from various sources other than the ballet repertoire  acknowledge the beauty and intensity of the emotions which such music conjures; creating dance around it, they give it renewed life and meaning. 

Therefore it is wonderful to know that Georges Delerue’s film music, which has made such a powerful impression on film lovers over the years, will also now create new emotional connections for audiences through it being danced to.
I thank Susan Tenney for having tapped into her superb creativity and found new, singular ways of making people vibrate to the sound of these beloved pieces of music.

Photo: Tenney, far left, with the company.
Post script: Another Princeton choreography takes her work to The City, but this time, Philadelphia. From Marie Snyder: I will be showing a new work  blending modern and Latin style dancing on Sunday at 9:30.  I think this is the first time a modern choreographer was invited to the Philly salsa fest…  so excited!!http://philadelphiasalsafest.com/cart/index.php?main_page=page&id;=13&chapter;=0