May 23, 2016

Island City Waterways ~ Rhythmix & Epiphany dance the bridges of Alameda - Oakland




photos by Styrous®


On Saturday I was delighted to participate in an event that was creatively informative, entertaining, absolutely amazing and a hell of a lot of fun!      




As I was waiting for it to start, I noticed an old chap sitting down who looked like he'd just stepped out of Moby Dick. He was checking out the scene with what seemed like a little bit of amusement. I was entranced by him. I figured he was one of the colorful people I've seen wandering around Alameda, checking out the tourists (I saw a guy with a parrott on his shoulder a couple of times walking down Park Street). 

The "Old Chap"


It turned out the "Old Chap" was Ed Holmes, a former San Francisco Mime Troupe member. He lead us on a festive jaunt from the Fruitvale Bridge to the Park Street Bridge. Along the way he regaled us with the history of Alameda from Primordial times up to the present all the while accompanied by a joyous pack of Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater dancers, a taiko percussion ensemble and musicians.  


Holmes was the narrator for this performance, “About who are the waves of immigrants. Waves,” Holmes interrupts himself to add, “are an important metaphor in this production. The waves that have come through here since day zero.”   



(links to more images & info below)

From the Island City Waterways website: 

Island City Waterways takes an upbeat view of Alameda history. It’s not about the city’s current fights over soaring home prices, development and rent control. But the show’s director, Rhythmix Cultural Center Founder Janet Koike, says audiences can share their own Alameda experiences-both good and bad. “We also have a kiosk,” she said, “for people to record their own stories of how they got here.” The video booth will be at Rhythmix for the next few months, and the recordings will eventually go to the Alameda Library for preservation.

Island City Waterways is an event that takes an upbeat view of Alameda history. It’s not about the city’s current fights over soaring home prices, development and rent control. But the show’s director, Rhythmix Cultural Center Founder Janet Koike, says audiences can share their own Alameda experiences-both good and bad. “We also have a kiosk,” she said, “for people to record their own stories of how they got here.” The video booth will be at Rhythmix for the next few months, and the recordings will eventually go to the Alameda Library for preservation.   

Conceived and directed by Rhythmix Founder and Artistic Director Janet Koike, Island City Waterways traces the many waves of immigrants who settled in Alameda from the time of the Ohlone people to the completion in 1902 of the Tidal Canal, an event which made Alameda into the "The Island City" it is today.

Island City Waterways covered a half-mile path organized around four focal points along the city's historic Waterfront Trail. More than two dozen performing and visual artists, and nearly three dozen volunteers will guide audiences on an interactive journey taking inspiration from the natural and manmade landscape.

Koike invited award-winning dance maker and producer of site-specific performance Kim Epifano to contribute original choreography for the event, and she invited veteran actor and director Ed Holmes to serve as the event's lead storyteller in the figure of an "old mariner."

Other collaborators include painter and chalk artist Mark Wagner, video installation artist Alessandro Moruzzi, environmental artist Ginny Parsons, Rhythmix executive director Tina (aka Bean) Blaine, and the members of Maze Daiko, a taiko-based percussion ensemble. Local East Bay historians Eric Kos and Dennis Evanosky serve as lead outside consultants.

"Our goal is to offer audiences an art experience that transports them back in time in their own backyard," says Koike. "How did we get here? is the central question Island City Waterways asks."


Net Links: 





Rhythmix Cultural Works
2513 Blanding Ave
94501 Alameda , CA

510.865.5060




Styrous® ~ Monday, May 23, 2016  


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