OLD POST ROAD
SUPER8 FILM COLLABORATION WITH TORI LAWRENCE & CO.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Like a lot of early home movies, my family’s 8mm film footage unfolds like a dream. It’s linear in the sense that we can track the passing of time. The seasons are constantly changing and people are aging, but the story is fragmented. It’s Christmas over and over again, unrecognizable faces appear, and the scenes come and go in a blur. Even those of us who are able to identify some of the who, what, where, when, or why are left stringing our own narratives together. I’ve watched the footage repeatedly over the past several years and each time I return to it I see something different. Sometimes it feels familiar, like déjà vu, and other times it’s as puzzling as a labyrinth. The act of watching it over and over again is like trying to remember a dream. When we dream we sew little bits and pieces of images together in order to make meaning out of them, but that doesn’t mean that they make sense and I suspect they’re not meant to. We are not meant to have all the answers, and forcing cohesion is like trying to sift fog. Instead, dreams are meant to remind us of nonsensical possibilities and the enchantment of not knowing. The more sense I try to make of it, the more illogical it becomes. The more I uncover the less I know—this is the heartbeat of my inquiry. Old Post Road blends my 8mm family footage with present-day Super 8mm film created in collaboration with Tori Lawrence, Ellie Goudie Averill, Brian Culbertson, and my grandparents Patsy and Grant Knapp. It unfolds, mirroring the way I remember my childhood—scattered and pieced together by seemingly unrelated events, people, places, dreams, and stories.
Filming is ongoing and will take place over the course of a year, stay tuned.
Tori Lawrence is a choreographer, filmmaker, and educator who creates site-specific multimedia performances and dance films. Her recent screendance projects have been filming and hand-processing super 8mm and 16mm analog motion picture film. Her environmentally-based work inspires an imaginative and sustainable way of looking at, thinking about, and using space. She's currently collaborating with San Francisco-based choreographer Sara Shelton Mann on a new performance installation set to premiere in 2021. Tori has been a dance lecturer at Middlebury College, the University of Kansas, and a guest artist at Franklin & Marshall College, Wilson College, Drexel University, and Connecticut College. She’s been awarded residencies and fellowships at Yaddo, Djerassi, Chez Bushwick, Ucross Foundation, Charlotte Street Foundation, Dance Ireland, and Budapest’s Workshop Foundation. Her projects have been funded by New England Foundation for the Arts, Dance Films Association, Vermont Arts Council, and Lighton International Artists Exchange.
Originally from the Midwest, Ellie Goudie-Averill is a dance artist and educator who works with dancers of all ages on technique and performance. Since graduating with her MFA in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa, she has served as a professor at Temple University, Bucknell University, the University of Kansas, Franklin & Marshall College, and Connecticut College. In the past, she has danced professionally for Susan Rethorst, Lucinda Childs, Bronwen MacArthur, Group Motion. Ellie is a regular collaborator and dancer with Tori Lawrence + Co. in dance films and site-specific works and has been with the company for seven years. She currently teaches at Keene State College and at the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought/Hawley Street Ballet in Northampton, MA. Ellie's dance reviews and other dance writings have appeared online at thINKingDANCE and BAC Stories.
photographs and film stills by Tori Lawrence, Ellie Goudie-Averill, and The Knapp Family