Today, we take a glimpse at a project that celebrates the importance of libraries in our communities. Last month, the Sanspointe Dance Company in Birmingham, Alabama, presented “Life on a Shelf,” a series of dance performances touring local libraries, including branches of the Birmingham Public Library. But wait, it gets better! These dances were created to connect everyone—regardless of age—to the shelves and books in a library, and directly pulled inspiration from four subject areas.
In the press release for “Life on a Shelf,” the Project Director Michelle Knutson talks about the process of developing the library tour: “I first thought of all the kinds of people, regardless of age, that gather to read, explore book shelves, technology, research…the different sections of the library and then narrowed it down to four sections (poetry, research, children’s and non-fiction) to inspire choreography.”
From book shelf, into the hands of the reader and into our lives and imagination – this show is a thank you to the public service libraries provide for us all.
I know I would be thrilled to come across a dance performance in my library, and it turns out I’m not the only one. This review briefly describes each of four dances inspired by poetry, children’s books, non-fiction and research. Books as props, and inclusion of Dewey Decimal Numbers, add to the library theme in these performances.
Circulate through the poetry, research, children’s and non-fiction sections and celebrate with us the life and imagination we experience in books.
Sanspointe Dance Company has been invited to attend a Director’s Meeting of the Public Libraries of Jefferson County to perform and spread the word about the great work they are doing. They hope to schedule even more performances at other libraries as a result.
It was really neat to see art/dance inspired by libraries.
Sanspointe will be performing again at the beginning of 2014, and they have applied for a grant to bring back another library tour next summer. In fact, they are hoping to add to the library tour next year an introductory modern dance class for teenagers with an emphasis on “how to create dance art from your favorite library books.” This class would take place at the performance site (library!) on the same day prior to the show. I love this idea!
“Life on a Shelf” is a fabulous example of a library/community partnership. Not only does it bring performing arts into the library, but these dances are actually inspired by and created for the library. Does your community have a dance company that your library could partner with?
Learn more about the project and get a heads up on future performances here. I’m looking forward to it!
All photographs by Clark Scott unless otherwise noted.Pin It