Staying for the most part in my NYC apartment, I find myself dreaming of being out on the water, hearing the rush of the waves, the birds, and perhaps even experiencing a sunset with friends gathered together for an impromtu flamenco music and dance performance. Jammin' On Plum Island Sound, a short and oh so sweet video experience, brought me great pleasure and a lovely moment of meditative escape. I hope it does the same for you. - Christine Jowers
The Dance Enthusiast: Deirdre, can you tell us a bit about your film Jammin' On Plum Island Sound?
Deirdre Towers : The film came about because I fell in love with a photo in Dwell magazine of Dan Bates' houseboat anchored in the calm of Plum Island Sound near Ipswich, Massachusetts. The article explained that Bates had designed his delightful glass sided boat with a slide and trampolines extending the roof for his young sons.
I wrote asking whether he ever rented it. His wife Kerrie wrote me back inquiring about my background and why I wanted to stay on their houseboat. I explained that I was in the middle of working on BELL 8, a film project about the sea, and was looking for a location to film water in the early morning. She did some exploring, watched my videos, and offered their houseboat free of charge!
Nan Melville, my favorite photographer, Jared Newman, and myself went up to Ipswich that summer with the plan to perform for Kerrie's friends and family on the roof of the houseboat as a small gesture of thanks. The sunset was magnificent the night we stayed over and the party made an indelible impression on us all.
Four years later, my water project has evolved from the focal point of the sea as a dancer to exploring our internal sea changes - the mood swings that create an emotional wave.
IN SEARCH OF A BALM was edited during the quarantine, using footage from the films and multi-media productions I've made over the last 5 years.
In search of a balm from Deirdre Towers on Vimeo. Set to the Miles Davis "Solea," this blue print of the Bell 8 project Quark Tango....6' Apart uses footage from Deirdre Towers' BELL 8, BAREFOOT GUAJIRAS with Lea Torelli, VALENTINE with Sonia Franco & Raul Beatmac, and (BLACK) LIGHT filmed by Dikayl Rimmasch with Katherine Crockett and sculpture by Bojan Mitrevski. Clips also from Berta Jottar's VACUNAO and RUMBA, Lilo Mangelsdorff's BLUMEN, Lucija Stoljevic's LA CHANA, Cosimo Zitani's MAN'DALAS, and a still from Picasso.
Christine Jowers for The Dance Enthusiast: How are you? How is your family? And how are you handling staying at home?
Everyone is doing fine. Between editing the film and jamming with Jared, he on guitar and myself on piano, we have been quite content.
The Dance Enthusiast: How are you communicating with friends /family and those not in your home?
Picking up a phone is still my instinct, although we have gone to a few zoom parties.
The Dance Enthusiast: What are you doing about "moving" and "nutrition" at home? How do you stay in physical, mental, spiritual shape?
I am a bit compulsive about avoiding depression, which I experienced in my early 30s, Having zero desire to go there again, I immediately developed a project, alternately called Quarantango....while 6' apart, Quark Tango....6' Apart, and IN SEARCH OF A BALM that I hope acts as a creative outlet for others.
Still bent on understanding emotional patterns and rhythms, I have invited collaborators to join me in the exploration of highs and lows. I converted my website Belleight.com, formerly uploaded to promote my installation work, for this project.
The Dance Enthusiast: What keeps your spirit up right now?
The silence of NYC is so intriguing. I get a kick out of listening to all the sounds I rarely hear. Who hears their saliva slosh around when you eat on a normal NYC evening?
The Dance Enthusiast: What are you most looking forward to when this is over?
I have to admit that I am a massage junkie. I found a girl in a tiny nail salon midtown. Should I disclose her name? Ok... Coco. She has the most incredible touch and instincts on how and where to apply pressure.
The Dance Enthusiast: What would you like to say to your colleagues, your audiences, and our readers?
NYC is famous for its energy. That energy is still palpable. Without the din, without the bustle and hustle, we can be guilt-free about exploring whatever our hearts desire. Thank you for keeping that buzz going. Together we can create a tsunami of positive energy to help us get through this time.
Take a minute to find out more about Deirdre Towers: Bell 8 paid opportunity to create film during our Quarantine. Read about the opportunity on The Dance Enthusiast