SLEEPING BABIES | SOCIAL SCULPTURES

Photo: Kelly Holt

Photo: Kelly Holt

Sleeping Babies - Social Sculptures was a site-specific multi media performance adventure that took place at the outskirts of Burlington in late July, 2017.

It was a convergence of dance, paint, skate, sound, and space. A homage to site, to the act showing up, to the trick practiced again and again, and to the small gaps of time when creating is possible in the midst of a life in motion.


Because the site is often hidden in plain sight.

The creative opportunity, also.

Creativity asks to live in the space between now and later.
Just a gesture isn’t enough. It’s about being all the way in.

No applause, no prize money, no approval.
You can’t skate a little bit.

You’re in it.

It’s knowing that falling is the opposite of failing.

Gravity has your back.

Perfect is a construct.

That the reward is the constant flow.

Balance and off balance.
All the way in.

Then out.

Inspired by how Clark Derbes first painted an abandoned stretch of asphalt that served as an unofficial skate park for the locals while his baby napped in the stroller, the performance explored how the creative process thrives whenever you make time.

The performance took its cues from skaters: They make what they need, lean into the landscape, and shape it to the reckless beauty of play. They show up up whenever they can, work on their trick, then leave when the world pushes back in; the baby wakes up, the police come.

Playing off the act of painting and the motion of the skaters riding across Clark’s concrete canvas, the dancers in this piece became a moving canvas--ultimately lifting his art off the surface, to be experienced in motion and dimension. The choreography echoed the the decision to pick a line or a curve; the dancers moving in geometric lines, and sculptural shapes in space, and ultimately becoming living skate features.