Think of your favorite color. Imagine it sitting right next to you on your desk. How does it look? Is there a definite shape, or are its edges fluid and boundless? What sounds does it make? How does it taste? How would it feel if you were to poke it with your finger? Most people do not have such a philosophical experience when someone asks about a favorite color. A simple question gets a simple answer. Vevret Dance founder, Loren Groenendaal is not most people. “I have synesthesia. Often when I listen to music I imagine colors moving,” she explains. “I also can feel color.”
Synesthesia is a neurological condition that links two senses. Someone without this condition may hear a song and the experience will be a purely auditory one. A synesthetic mind hears a sound and associates it with colors, shapes, or even flavors. Researchers of the condition have noted a connection between synesthesia and exceptional creative ability. Famous people with the condition include Edward Degas, Mozart, Stevie Wonder, and Pharrell Williams. But if, for you, a color is just a color, don’t consider a career transition out of the arts just yet. This weekend Loren Groenendaal is going to give you a multi-sensory celebration of color. Beginning Friday, May 23, and continuing the entire Memorial Day weekend, audiences of all ages will get a chance to see, feel, hear, smell, and even taste color with the presentation of Color FULL.
Color FULL has been a work in progress since 2011 when Groenendaal created a piece called “Installment 1 (Green).” She wanted to create a piece that focused on the visual elements over the narrative characteristics. “I gave myself the assignment of making a ‘sculptural dance’ or a dance that was a living moving sculpture built from the medium of a dancer and a costume.” Three years and five additional colors later, and Color FULL is a full length work. “My role in this concert went beyond choreographer to artistic director by working collaboratively with other artists to design all of the elements of the concert: choreography, costumes, set, lighting, and music,” she explains. All six color solos include original choreography, an imaginative costume, and live music inspired by the sensibilities of each color.
There are four chances to see the Color FULL. Additionally, each performance is accompanied by several special events which will enhance the color experience. These supplemental experiences include a creative dance class for kids, a Drink the Rainbow cocktail reception, and an artist talk-back. “I think attendees will be entertained, but at the same time, I hope to build some thoughtfulness about color and an appreciation for the different ways individuals perceive the world around us,” Groenendaal says.
Color FULL will be performed May 23-25 at the Mascher Space Cooperative, 155 Cecil B. Moore Ave. For a full schedule of Color FULL events and to purchase advance tickets visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vervet-dance-performs-color-full. Tickets will also be available at the door.