Musical family to tell the story of movement at SVAC
MANCHESTER >> A scholar and her musical family from Hebron, N.Y. will unveil the art of movement this weekend at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
On Aug. 20, Kimerer LaMothe and Geoffrey Gee will present "The Ever Unfolding Present," a singing and dancing performance about the importance of movement in life and what it means to be a human being. The couple and their five children will take the stage at the Southern Vermont Arts Center Arkell Pavilion Saturday night playing and dancing to original songs, inspired by the Broadway musical "Hamilton."
"It's a completely original concert of music and dance," LaMothe said. "After each song, it unfolds into a dance in which I explore movement and the ideas that are in the songs. I've never actually seen anything like this. I think this event is a joyous celebration of the power of movement in our lives."
LaMothe's family became infatuated with the "Hamilton" soundtrack and decided to include similar styles into their performance such as rapping or spoken word poems. LaMothe said she was inspired by the play's writer — Lin-Manuel Miranda — and how she connected American History with contemporary rap.
In college, LaMothe majored in religion and received a doctorate degree from Harvard University. She said she got into dancing in her late 20's and upon studying, realized Christianity, with what she identifies with, lacked movement in ceremonies.
"I was perplexed looking at religions around the world and they have dances as integral parts of their practice. I decided to study modern western philosophy and theology and to try and figure out why dance was marginalized within western culture," she said. "In this whole process I tried to figure out why don't Christians dance and it led me to realize that so much of western culture is based on practices of reading and writing. We learn to do so at such a young age."
She posed the question of how to think about the body constantly moving instead of making movements. This led her to write "Why We Dance: A Philosophy of Bodily Becoming," of which chapters will be featured in this weekend's performance. LaMothe is also an award-winning author of five books.
"I think, this event will encourage people to think and it will also move them to feel," she said. "It primes your mind, cuts your heart and will leave your fingers and toes wanting to dance."
Her children ranging from 7 to 20-years-old will sing and play instruments while LaMothe dances and raps and Gee plays the piano. The couple often performs at the Fort Salem Theater in Salem, N.Y.
Aside from performing, LaMothe teaches movement classes, gives lectures, and produces a regular blog for Psychology Today. Gee is a pianist, composer and sound designer who has produced five CDs including the latest "I'll Be There With You" (2009). With a concert of solo piano improvisations, Gee made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York on Dec. 12, 2015. He also serves as the Upper School Music Director at the Long Trail School in Dorset, the conductor for the Washington County Band and the pianist at the South Granville congregational Church.
The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Southern Vermont Arts Center on Aug. 20. Tickets can be found at brownpapertickets.com/event/2569839 or by calling 802-362-1405. For more information on the LaMothe/Gee family, visit vitalartsmedia.com.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.
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