Everything in Its Place (2019)
dance performance with Wild Space Dance Company
Performed by: Katelyn Altmann, Brea Graber, Amanda Laabs, Mauriah Kraker, Lindsey Ruenger, Maggie Seer, Jimmi Weyneth
Choreography by Debra Loewen
Sound design by Warren Enström
Everything in Its Place is a site-specific dance performance created by Debra Loewen for the Echelon Ballroom in the historic Eschweiler building in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Built in 1912, the Eschweiler buildings (of which only one remains) were first an agricultural school. In the 1920s, they became a home for wards of the state. The ballroom was used first as gymnasium for the school and then as a chapel for the children's home. In the 1960s, the building fell into disuse and eventually suffered from extensive disrepair after decades of neglect. In 2016, the Mandel Group redeveloped the complex into apartments. Two of the three buildings were razed. The third building was renovated and converted into office space, the apartment complex's clubhouse, and a ballroom to be used as an event space. The ballroom has a tall, vaulted ceiling, with two balconies on the east and west sides of the room. Four large ribs hold the ceiling aloft, where two large skylights are set into the roof, facing north.
The piece was generated from improvisations conducted on-site by the dancers and myself, with Debra Loewen curating, driving, and organizing the materials we developed into the full show. Through our improvisations, we explored the space both physically and sonically, and created a work that weaves itself into the building's history and the room's unique architecture. For the sonic aspect of the performance, I improvised on bassoon, performed a creaky door, dragged my bassoon along a wall, and slapped, stomped, and brushed against a radiator. My performance also included movement throughout the space integrated with the dancers. See below for stills from the production as well as audio recordings of a few sections of the piece. The upper left photo is by Brea Graber and the rest are by Paul Mitchell.