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Stone Stairway Stories

January 31, 2015 · 7:30 pm9:00 pm

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Stone Stairway Stories is a performance piece by Carl Thomsen (dance) and Julie Cleveland (digital piano), which continues Thomsen’s decades-long exploration of the interface between dance, music, and storytelling. In this performance, the storytelling will come from the audience: the dance and music will reflect and respond to the experiences and memories of the audience, elicited through a series of questions, answers, gestures, and movements offered by those in attendance.

Carl Thomsen was the Artistic Director of Dancers Courageous Inc., a dance and theater company and school in Gloucester from 1995–2005. His previous shows have included Clear Away (1998), which told the story of a fisherman lost at sea and the subsequent healing of the community; Gift of Vision (2001), which looked at the life and times of Gloucester painter Fitz Henry Lane; and Silent Men Speaking (2006), a powerful look at the lives of three Vietnam veterans’ lives before, during, and after the war. Thomsen, after 35 years in theater and dance, is now a remodeling contractor but continues to do his own theatrical work. He also made his “legitimate” theater debut last year with Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe. He has three sons and lives in Essex.

Julie Cleveland is a pianist, teacher, and composer, trained in both classical and jazz piano and composition. As a free improviser, she’s been especially influenced by jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. Lately she’s been improvising on pieces from Bartók’s Mikrokosmos and is undergoing the somewhat daunting task of learning the piano solo of Mahler’s Adagietto, written for string orchestra and harp, on synth. She also plays the melodica and is working on tangos by Piazzolla and Gardel. Julie is a private piano and music instructor, teaching both kids and adults out of her downtown Gloucester studio (CapeAnnPiano.com). She’s grateful to the Trident Live Art Series for the opportunity to collaborate with Carl on Stone Stairway Stories.