Penelope Freeh

Blue Lake Magic

Posted by on Jun 25 2014, in Uncategorized

I am at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Deep in national forest in Twin Lake, MI, this context is perfect for what needs doing now: rest, rejuvenation and mostly, contemplation. I am working of course, but here, somehow, that word feels lighter.


This time around I am teaching Ballet, Pointe and Yoga. Though unofficially trained in the latter, I teach a great rendition based upon my extensive physical learning at Core Power. The class here is comprised mostly of non-dance majors studying orchestra, band, choir, theater or visual art. They are thirsty for a physical and somewhat spiritual practice. It’s my final class of the day, and it is a joy.


Today, however, is the placement audition for our incoming dance majors. We divide them into two groups so as to give them the best possible attention appropriate to their level. We are thoughtful about this, and I know that I benefited from such distinctions at their age. Even if placed in a lower level I would rise to the top out of the sheer necessity to prove myself.


Nic and I are roommates again (year 5) and have our usual love/sibling relationship. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it. We push and support and art make. This morning he brought me coffee and my heart melted. Just now we decided that I will help him work with the students choreographically. Always a good and valuable thing, to audit and contribute to a process.


I need to get my creative house in order. For this reason I think it is good and fitting that this year I am not officially choreographing here. I will help but can reserve my stores for my own doings, Test Pilot specifically. My goal while here is to really get a handle on all the parts, from watching video of what I’ve made so far to creating the final schedule to communicating with Jocelyn and the powers that be at The O’Shaughnessy. This is my biggest undertaking to date, and I want to strike the balance of staying on top of my responsibilities, trusting that others will do the same and then letting go!


Friends are here, old and new. Last night’s bonfire launched this first session appropriately. Intimacies were reinforced with promises to find a time to sleep on the beach, a tradition begun last year. I shared my beer, a quick way to solidify old and make new friends. We caught up, traded gossipy stories and laughed and laughed. The new dining hall is less magical but really, magic is in the people gathered around the fire. Welcome to Brigadoon where time is mysteriously different, newcomers are quickly integrated and trees rustle overhead, blanketing like mist.