You Are So Lucky
New Year’s Eve 2016: Return of the Light
Alder Manor, NY

Ahh so light on documentation for such a colorful event! The FEW IMAGES GATHERED HERE (many here by light director Seej) do not capture the scope, spirit and beauty of the many performances, environments and interactions that wove into a tapestry of a single night…

Summary Role: Ritual Performance Director of Rites of Renewal, performer & sub-producer for the second You Are So Lucky epic which brought 1500 to Aldor Manor on New Year’s Eve December 31, 2015 deep into January 1, 2016. This event featured dozens of site specific installations throughout the upper floors of the mansion– greatly expanding access to the public and the cast of artists and performers. We, the troupe I assembled and the event producers and leads, crafted multiple rituals that moved through the space or happened at various moments throughout the night as well as “macro acts”– threshold acts at entry and departure, at midnight and so on.

Inspiration & Story:  Where are we? On the edge of time, in that moment, at that place, where old stories are recycled and new stories are born.

At the moment of the new year, a gap opens in the clockwork of the universe. Strange attractions overpower all rationale. Ancient griefs are burned, debts repaid, sudden gifts appear, prayers and intentions reach their targets, we get our assignments for the year ahead. We dance until we are entirely new.

Details: From the meeting point in Long Island City, amid a vast candlelit landscape, 15o0 traveled north on 50 buses, guided by a motley crew of punk bus matrons (led by Heather Woodfield). What are we leaving behind this year? What are we taking with us? Where are we? The destination is the Palace of the Return of the light.

I brought together seven performance teams to populate the space and co-choreographed macro moments with the entire team in concert with the wider production. The team was invited to work with archetypes, mythical notions, interactivity and to have a tangible gift that is offered. Some acts were mobile, some inhabited specific locations throughout the evening, some arrived at specific moments in specific places. I offer a toast to the cast– loved working with these old and new collaborators:

Character: Two lovers, sun and moon/ Katya Stephanov & Jessie Carrey 
Ritual: The Dance & Union of Opposites
Gift: Red Flowers
Home: Roaming
Collective Ritual location: The main entrance ground floor

Character: Minstrel/ Loki Kevorkian & guests
Ritual: The Origin of Laughter, The moment itself
Gift: Laughter
Home: Roaming
Collective Ritual Location: The Library

Character: Initiation Art / Garon Peterson & guests
Ritual: Worship of the Divine Feminine
Gift: Paint & Praise
Home: To be determined
Collective Ritual Location: To be determined

Character: Dancing Guide/ Kate Brehm & guests
Ritual: The Slow Dance
Gift: Dance, touch, movement
Home: Roaming
Collective Ritual Location: The rooms next to the library

Character: Faery Witch Alchemist/ Telah Quemere & Sean as bouncer
Ritual: The Longevity Elixir Bar
Gift: non-alcoholic & alcoholic elixir, chocolates
Home: Third Floor, Southwest corner, red room. 
Collective Ritual Location: Same as above, with regular visits from all cast

Character: The Lady of Waters/ Bisan Toron & Jeremy Slater (set design, Rosanna Scimeca)
Ritual: A return to the Waters & The reading of The Well 
Gift: Song, Water
Home: 2nd Floor Pool Room
Collective Ritual Location: Periodically, Bisan leaves the room to sing wherever she wishes 

Character: Courier for the Poet King/ agent mT & guests
Ritual: Story of the Poet King
Gift: Chocolate Elixir, one bite and you have the power to create new stories. 
Home: Roaming, storytelling with the Gamelatron on the 2nd Floor
Collective Ritual Location: The Dining Room

Details on agent mT performance of the Courier for the Poet King:  Three full performances and ongoing roaming encounters. For each full performance, about 50 people gathered in the dining room and we sealed all the entrances (sometimes with a great press of people trying to enter!). As many as possible seated around a grand table, the rest standing behind the seated. agent mT told the story of the lost man who arrived at this very palace and had to pass three tests to gain entry. To pass these tests he had to restore his soul with red wine and chocolate and the play of a child. Upon entering, he was crowned a king of the light and met his queen. All now who enter the palace are invited to partake in this sacrament. The courier and guest serve wine and chocolate to all and lead the guests to the chapel to meet the Priestess Queen.  


The Well of Grief
David Whyte

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,

turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering,

the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.

*the poem sung by the Lady of Waters and written at the edges of the pool