New act/re/act podcast has been released!

Hey all - my new podcast, appropriately called "act/re/act", has been released. The first episode is a wonderful interview with Stephen Nachmanovitch, who is an improvisational-based musician and author of the book, Free Play (see below for full bio) . We get into some of his thoughts on the improvisation process, as well as how he connects improvisation to daily life. It's good stuff - listen to it here or subscribe in iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or our podcast host Podbean.

Stepnen Nachmanovitch performs and teaches internationally as an improvisational violinist, and at the intersections of music, dance, theater, and multimedia arts. He is the author of Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. Born in 1950, he graduated in 1971 from Harvard and in 1975 from the University of California, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness for an exploration of William Blake. His mentor was the anthropologist and philosopher Gregory Bateson. He has taught and lectured widely in the United States and abroad on creativity and the spiritual underpinnings of art. In the 1970s he was a pioneer in free improvisation on violin, viola and electric violin. He has presented master classes and workshops at many conservatories and universities, and has had numerous appearances on radio, television, and at music and theater festivals. He has collaborated with other artists in media including music, dance, theater, and film, and has developed programs melding art, music, literature, and computer technology. He has published articles in a variety of vields since 1966, and has created computer software including The World Music Menu and Visual Music Tone Painter. He lives with his family in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is currently performing, recording, teaching, writing, and has completed a new book, Five Minutes Old. 

find more about Stephen Nachmanovitch at http://freeplay.com


Watch This Space

It has been a long time since I've been active on this blog, but that will soon change - to a degree. 

I have a new project coming this fall (2017) which re-ignite "act/re/act". 

I'm not quite ready to announce it, but soon.... 


River Meditations by Brian Harris

Here is a second video Brian Harris created as part of our Scenic Route performance along the Potomac. It is basically me rolling around on a large rock. But, it's really cool. Mostly because of Brian.

Scenic Route: River Meditation from Brian Harris on Vimeo.


Scenic Route by Brian Harris

The company has created and performed versions of Scenic Route a number of times - twice on the Billy Goat train along the Potomac River in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. This video - by the amazing Brian Harris - was the second time we led a hike/performance along the Potomac. It was a beautiful day with a lovely group, and the event lasted almost 3 hours.

Here's Brian's remix of the event:

Scenic Route from Brian Harris on Vimeo.

with myself + Kathryn Harris Banks, Stephanie Yezek, and singer Allison Hughes.


Ad Libitum - Brian's Video

As an artist who has collaborated with numerous other artists I have many relationships which I cherish for their depth, longevity, and frankly, success. One of my favorite collaborators over the last number of years has been with Brian Harris - a video artist, composer, photographer and web designer. Brian and I have known each other for over 20 years, but we began collaborating artistically a little over three years ago. He came to my performance of "Ad Libitum" at Joe's Movement Emporium and recorded the show. He then went home, edited the video, composed original music, and created something unique out of our performance. On one hand it documented the performance, but in another way, and more pronounced, the video is itself a work of art which stands on its own. Brian has gone on to record and remix (as it were) a number of other performances, as well as creating one video which we spent a day and a half recording on site. Over the next couple weeks I'm going to be posting Brian's videos on this blog to showcase his wonderful work, as well as remember some of the work the company has done over the last couple of years. Enjoy!

This video is from the first work Brian remixed for us - Ad Libitum, an evening of structured improvisation developed from various meditation and mindfulness practices.

Ad Libitum from Brian Harris on Vimeo.

with Kathryn Harris Banks, Keira Hart Mendoza, Carrie Monger, Stephanie Yezek


a long and winding road

Last weekend The PlayGround presented Acts of Arriving across metro DC - starting in Mount Rainer traveling to Brookland, then onto Meridian Hill / Malcolm X Park, and finishing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We performed in each location, then walked to the next location. It took the whole day, with over 7 miles of walking and 3 hours of dancing. It was a long and winding journey through the city.

In January 2012 we started rehearsing for this day. In that time we have rehearsed in numerous studios, on-site many times, toured locations in the freezing cold and the heat of summer. We have researched our personal genealogy, histories of neighborhoods, stories of people who migrate, and the meaning of home and community. The company has created movement, spoken word texts, videos, while David has composed some amazing music. As individuals we have gotten married, had a baby, changed jobs ( a couple of times), and I even moved to Milwaukee (!). We have gotten to know one another in new ways, were introduced to locations in the city some of us were unfamiliar with, and each of us grew, in many ways, as an artist. The journey has been full, if somewhat long and winding.

We arrive at the end of this journey excited and grateful about what we offered. In many ways it is a culmination of many works and performances the company has created over the last number of years, and at the same time, it is unlike anything else we've created. It is playful but complex, multifaceted yet direct, formal and informal, highly structured with room for spontaneity, and approachable while being challenging. As with most of my work I hope it is welcoming without being simplistic, and visceral with a touch of poetry.

As with the end of any long and winding journey there is deep satisfaction, with a little sadness and great gratitude.

If you weren’t able to join us (or even if you were) here is a video montage of our Mount Rainier performance by Brian Harris - with dancers Kathryn Harris Banks, Anthony Barbir, Valerie Branch, Daniel Tehmann Tejos, Abigail Wallace, trumpeter Joseph Teachey, with music by David Schulman. I’m around as well:

Acts of Arriving from Brian Harris on Vimeo.


The Places They've Lived

Throughout the process of creating Acts of Arriving we offered creative workshops at locations across Metro DC. One of the activities we asked people to participate in was in listing all of the places they lived, starting with where they were born until present day. This video is excerpts of people's responses.

Acts of Arriving: Places The've Lived from Daniel Burkholder/The PlayGround on Vimeo.

The photo at the beginning is of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 
and the map at the end is one we used for our creative workshop at Monroe St Market in Brookland. 

for those of you unfamiliar with Acts of Arriving:
Acts of Arriving is a multi-year project in which we engage question about place, community, and the creative act of making a home. We offered four workshops in Mount Rainier, MD, Brookland, DC, Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, and at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We will be performing at all four locations on Saturday, October 18, 2014. 
More details at: www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org