At Star Mountain (2021)

Choreography by Lucia Gagliardone and Lydia Roe

Cinematography by Emma Sawyer and Ty Gagliardone

Editing by Lydia Roe

Sound design by Lucia Gagliardone and Lydia Roe

At Star Mountain is a visceral reaction to rural isolation during a pandemic winter, a resolution of fragmentation and distance through ritual, and a soulful project of friendship. Both the process of creating this dance work as well as the final product hold at its core a wrestling with the present moment and a resilience found in place. Over the course of two months, as the Vermont winter arrived, we improvised, organized, and dwelled in the field and between the trees on Star Mountain. As the only way to safely spend time together, the outdoor dance creation became a ritual for nourishing friendship and the placemaking became a form of healing. At times, we danced in the November drizzle; at others, we embraced 40 inches of December snow. We shot the film on the very first day of 2021, and the experience of dance, sunshine, and artistic collaboration ushered in this year on a truly wonderful note. The final piece reflects the contentment of that day, and the tranquility and reprieve we had come to associate with our time at Star Mountain. It also reflects the grief and gratitude that have become so heavily interlaced in the past year. We throw ourselves against the earth, taking an uncomfortable tumble down an icy hill and savoring the rest that comes at the landing. We join the old apple trees of an abandoned orchard, shaping our limbs in the negative space of their twisted structure. We find meaning in trying to move as if with one body, building on our decade of dancing together to tune in to each other across a distance. 

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