Penelope Freeh

Blue Lake Miss

Posted by on Jul 12 2014, in Uncategorized

I am home again and miss Blue Lake like a person. I used to say that about New York when I moved here from there 20 years ago. “I miss it like a person.”


Yes it’s the place but really, it’s the people. This summer experience, camp, is one I’ve been having forever. Since the age of thirteen I’ve gone away to summer dance programs, camps essentially, for anywhere from four to nine weeks. That’s a hell of a long time to be away, to hit pause on friendships at home in order to go away and dance. To then bond so completely with new friends that I had to walk through the fire in reverse. The story of my life, and it’s worth it every time.


The amazing thing about Blue Lake is that the Art is really forward. I’ve witnessed collaboration dreams turn into reality and private recitals give birth to lifelong friendships. There have been divorce, children born and lost, relationships entered into and violently ended, and yet all of it has happened in the context of artists doing what they do: their craft and teaching it. Put art nerds and brooding poet types together and it’s bound to get hot and sticky.


I am home again, deep into choreographing my third musical in as many months, Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. This work is extraordinary and bless my heart, I learned the show less than a week ago. It has a stunning score and subtle story with a Zen sort of ending, laced throughout with waltzing. Enter me and I am blessed to be a part of it. This production is with the wonderful Mu Performing Arts, an Asian American theater company, and will be performed at Park Square Theater in downtown St. Paul.


But tonight, Saturday night and literally the first moment I’ve truly had to myself since I’ve been home, I am missing my Blue Lake peeps. So I sent a group text, an SOS really, and received an instantaneous and gratifying flurry of replies. I too am missed. Apparently I belong in several places at once. How lovely, how, sort of, Zen.