Artist Statement

October 15, 2017 at Westside Trail

There is movement in the air, though we cannot see it. There is music in the valley, though we hear it not. The autumn wind sings; it dances. You can see it. You can hear it. We will show you the way… in the Valley of the Whirligigs.

Crossover Movement Arts Navigators – auxiliary members of the company — await you at two access points to the Atlanta BeltLine: 1258 West Fair Street and 1181 Fenwood Street. Select one and join us there. Perhaps you’ll be chosen to pull a rolling whirligig or play a noisemaker as we walk together into the valley between.

Up on the high hillside in their musical pergola, Messrs Bragg and Helton call our two processions to assemble, converging on the BeltLine within a spirit circle of whirligigs dancing in the wind. The Navigators sound the summons, spinning whirligigs overhead, and the dancers of Crossover Movement Arts emerge from their nomadic lodging in the green.

A raucous rumpus, a rousing roustabout, a boisterous bounce begins. We stir the air and stomp our feet, awakening the sky and the ground as we celebrate the season’s shift. We summon the valley’s dance with whirligigs spun on strings. We calibrate the wind’s music with whirligigs that sing.

As the ritual reaches its climax, we ascend the hill to the musicians’ pagoda, from whence emerges the fabled winged Sharkonocerous, bearing its bounty of limeade.


Artist Bio

Crossover Movement Arts is an evolving community of artists using movement, dance, visual arts, martial arts, text, and sound to create evocative performance art. We see performance as both a laboratory and a compelling ritual experience shared between performer and audience.

Blake Dalton founded Crossover Movement Arts to explore more ways to interact and create with artists of different backgrounds. Blake also uses Crossover as a vehicle to pursue interests in choreography and creative process, and to teach dance, Freestyle Poling, and martial arts. Blake is grateful for opportunities to work with many different groups in the Atlanta dance community.

Thomas Bell (co-producer, dancer) is the co-founder of the Decatur Book Festival; a partner in and co-founder of Chronicle, a brand narrative consulting firm; and founder and CEO of MineCart, an arts incubation and production company. Bell is former chair of the board of CORE, Atlanta’s premier contemporary dance company, and former board member of Emory Friends of Dance.

Blake Helton is a percussionist and composer. He believes that reaching out and finding new captivating sounds and inspiration is what it’s all about. Creating something out of nothing – letting it happen organically, like a stimulating conversation. Before you know it, it’s gone, so you need to dig it while it’s happening.

Colin Bragg plays guitar in a variety of musical settings. He studied classical guitar with John Sutherland, a disciple of Andres Segovia. In 2008 he was awarded a Hambidge fellowship in order to work on electronic music and composition (he mostly played guitar). Several albums on the Athens-based Solponticello label feature Colin’s distinctive guitar playing. He is currently a member of the 4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra, and often performs with his conspirator-in-sound Blake Helton as the Hidden Noise Ensemble.