“Art as Action creates arenas for discovering, inventing and experiencing collaborative art in a dynamic community.” –Art as Action mission statement
This dedicated nonprofit organization is a powerful creative agent entrenched in community. Its Reconnect with your Body dance classes– for people with and without Parkinson’s disease— and Young Artivists program– guided multimedia art exploration for at-risk youth– are the group’s mission made manifest. According to Artistic Director Sarah Leversee, an artivist is “a person who changes the world by penetrating the collective consciousness.”
I witnessed artivism in effect on the afternoon of Sunday, November 20th, at Broomfield Auditorium in Broomfield, CO. Art as Action’s performance of body mind mystery (which debuted Saturday, November 19th at 7pm) is a collection of diverse pieces, chiefly collaborations. The unifying factor of the various artistic expressions and collaborations was a kind of joy: the type that is won, not given, and is richly layered with emotions and states of being that may seem to be joy’s opposite.
The dances of Joe’s Suite, a remembrance of and tribute to Art as Action’s Joe Ramas— also of Fractal Tribe— could be considered a microcosm of the performance as a whole in that we journeyed along the spectrum between intense sadness and uplifting release. To see Jill Leversee dance alone, in front of a video projection of herself dancing with Ramas before his sudden death, was to feel the razor sharpness of loss. To see Sarah Leversee smile and enjoy moving to the music during her solo was to be reminded of the depth of the beauty of a person I never knew.
It was a pleasure to experience live music and theater, spoken word and dance, and a capella singing all in one show. The cherry on top was the ensemble’s final piece, which featured Reconnect with your Body dancers. The pure surrender to the release available in dance shone on the faces of the group and had the audience on its feet, clapping and cheering. Whatever shape your creativity takes– or if you are interested in uncovering your creativity from wherever it has been hiding– Art as Action is an inclusive, welcoming movement that invites you to become an artivist too!
Jane E. Werle: At three months of age Jane E. Werle, unable to protest, was removed from Loveland, Colorado by her well-meaning parents. In 2004 she was able to rectify this error when she relocated from Massachusetts to Boulder for graduate school. One M.F.A. and a husband later, Jane works to further the arts in the Front Range as a writer (reviewer, interviewer, curator) and enthusiast (no-shame, first-on-the-floor amateur– despite some training– dancer). Jane is also a longtime nanny and a visual artist, taking one of these very seriously and the other as a growth experience. Every child she’s cared for has experienced some form of the SDP: Spontaneous Dance Party.