A magical evening with gloATL.
A young man, dressed in a black suit and green boots, walked across Peachtree Street and took a seat on a folding aluminum chair. This was at the intersection between 15th street and Peachtree street in downtown Atlanta; each of the four corners on the sidewalks were filled with spectators.
Soon the young man in the black suit and green boots, would stand up, walk with a vase filled with sunflowers to the building of the First Church of Christ Scientist, on the other side of 15th Street and started to dance a series of intricate movements. That was the introduction of the performance on Saturday July 23.
According to their website, Atlanta based gloATL "is a collaborative platform of exceptional contemporary physical performance". They were founded on July 2009 and this weekend we had the great opportunity to enjoy one of their free public performances.
To the rhythm of "You are my Sunshine", the show started. Dancers came out from different corners of the intersection, and in synch began to dance.
Sometimes we were watching a group of them on one side and then realized that something new was going on in the opposite direction.
We were dazzled by the beauty of the dancing, the shapes, the story and by the risks with traffic taken by the dancers. It was beautiful to feel that you were part of the spaces within which the story was flowing; sometimes the dancers passed so close to you, that you could hear their breathing and almost feel the warmth of their bodies. At moments, your eyes meets theirs.
The story was told within the four corners that are at the intersection of 15th street and Peachtree street; because of that, the dancers frequently crossed them and there were parts of the performance in which they stayed standing embraced in the middle of the intersection, or dancing between people and cars.
I couldn't stop but wonder on how they rehearse for these type of shows, or how much they have to improvise without losing focus on the story and how exhausting is to do almost two hours of dancing during summertime in the streets of Atlanta.
It was interesting to watch people and ourselves, crossing from one sidewalk to the other, just to get closer to the story, as the dancers moved from one place to another. Kids and adults were enchanted; drivers were confused and some others were impressed. I saw a man driving and taking photos from his cell phone at the same time. Another man was looking down from one of the office buildings in the neighborhood.
At the end, there was a happy atmosphere in the street. Some dancers left the "stage", while others remained; then they all came back and the public had a chance to greet them with cheers. The performers brought flowers, giving them to the spectators; we came back to our life with the memories of a magical evening and a beautiful sunflower. It was a great day to be in Atlanta.