Glancing Back on 2021

Honkin’ Red High Heels
Black and Bluish
Bits and Pieces

2021 was a bumpy ride, to say the least. A wave of freedom to move about, was met with another wave of isolation. A collective sigh of relief, was met only by coughing through COVID all over again. It was a miracle to say the least, to have been able to work creatively this past year. With the start of the year premiering Honkin’ Red High Heels, a film we made remotely in its entirety, to working in person with my dancers and videographer this past summer, I felt the duality of life during this pandemic. Working on our new duet, Black and Bluish, was thrilling for me in part, as we were in a theater — not on ZOOM!! Meeting up with live dancers on a stage, with lighting, a tech person, a videographer, and a line manager, was refreshing to say the least. Dancers, Christopher Taylor and Selah Piett, (a new dancer brought in last minute after news of another dancer becoming injured), were quick to adapt and pull my crazy ideas together for their premiere. A newly found editor, Tareek Jones, was also an inspiring in-person work situation — what a treat at that point in time! We worked throughout the Fall in our own little Oz, pulling levers behind the curtain. Our new film short, Bits and Pieces, had its premiere, as well. Dancer, Annie Heinemann, was with me for an all day shoot, which ended up being a prophetic piece of storytelling.

Altogether, I consider myself lucky to have been able to work in these capacities, considering the many obstacles against me. I know I’m not alone when I say that. Any artist who accomplished producing anything at all, is to be congratulated! Now, with our current lockdown of theater, and cancellations of artistic productions galore, I am truly humbled to press PLAY, and look back at the ebb and flow of this past year! It’s been a bumpy ride — that’s for sure!

May this be a time to take stock in what we have, and pay homage to those known to us and unknown to us, who have lost their lives. May their memories live on in our hearts and minds forever, and may 2022 bring peace, and inspiration to us all! Thank you for your support of Adams Company Dance, as we move forward with hope for a healthy, and rewarding New Year!

Dancers featured in our 2021 projects: Annie Heinemann; Abby Marchesseault; Selah Piett; Christopher Taylor, and Evita Zacharioglou

Premiering Bits & Pieces

On August 26th, I set out to make a short film, Bits and Pieces, with my dancer Annie Heinemann. I missed the memo on what the film was going to be about, but relied on my inimitable “Jiffy-Mix” style to arrange the day by going from different site specific locations, where I basically shot from the hip. Our footage went into the can where it sat until I could find a new in-person editor. After I accomplished that, I went to work and created the trailer. Things were moving along, and then my life was put on pause after I learned the news of my sister’s suicide. Moving through the scenes after I started things up again, I was struck by the nature of the clips I saved. As an aside, I typically write poems about all my works, and so I thought I’d share the poem below which was written before I knew about my sister’s passing. Needless to say, this was a prophetic unfolding, and it’s my honor to dedicate this short film to her.

Bits and Pieces

October 3rd, 2021

Bits and pieces of a broken life… shades of memories, traumas, and old rusted cars that had driven too many miles…

A death, a gathering, cards and flowers — all part of a fine, nicely decorated package of a life, no longer breathing…

We cry, celebrate, crumble and sink into the long days of loneliness and grief that engulf each day, like a gull, swooning in on a clam shell, breaking its outer coating, and watching as the gooey insides seep out into the sand…

The meaningless chats with well-meaning friends turn the calendar pages, one month after the next — a dry, run-down sort of relationship, reminiscent of a stiff mannequin in a dusty storefront, where the same clothes have been on display for years…

The tiny hands and feet of a life that could’ve brought smiles and cheers on soccer fields, and birthdays filled with balloons and bows of brightly colored joy — lost to the ages along with all the others — middle aged, old and greying, and some just graduating…

Too many souls now mingling together in the cosmic sea of recycled energy — enjoying a laugh, a hug, and sharing bits and pieces on their lessons learned.

~MJA

Annie Heinemann in Bits and Pieces

Check out our photo album from the day!