Editor's Note: We asked CultureMap staffers and contributors to recall their favorite moments of 2012. Nancy Wozny thinks back to a Montrose Boulevard happening that stopped her dead in her tracks.
"Stop the car, pull over, now," I screamed to my husband.
Poor guy, it's hard to be married to an artsy bossy lady sometimes. He was pretty sure the world as we know it was ending (earlier than expected) when his wife ordered him to stop at a mini mart — a sudden urge for a Big Gulp just isn't my style.
"What is it?" he hollered back.
Aerial dance is already a rarefied world, but to have it contained within the glass structure made it all the more so.
"It's Amy Ell hanging from the ceiling."
A large crowd had gathered to watch Ell and her airborne troupe Vault perform excerpts of Thread, a work I had seen in October in her studio. It looked completely different in this capacity. The dance totally occupied the inside space of The Photobooth on Montrose, Simon Gentry's studio and makeshift performance space.
The magic was larger than being able to see it from the street, although traffic near Westheimer had slowed to a crawl. It was the relationship to the audience that created an entirely new event. Aerial dance is already a rarefied world, but to have it contained within the glass structure made it all the more so.
Thread involves both aerial and ground work, with a set of suspended white fabrics hanging in generous loops, which transform into a hammock, swing and a climbing rope. An element of voyeurism felt present, as if we were witnessing some ancient ritual of the flying sisterhood.
Each dancer looked fully engaged in her task, seemingly unaware of the mob that had gathered to observe. The dancers, dressed in white, in a white room, with bright white light radiating out to the street, made for yet more layers of otherworldliness.
Much in my life has changed since moving to the Museum District, but I never expected to run into dancing on Montrose. I never did make it to event number three, and I have no regrets.