LAKE PLACID — “Geography of Grace” choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher’s new dance film premieres Tuesday evening at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
Before August 2020, Rea-Fisher, executive artistic director of EMERGE125, didn’t know the historic John Brown Farm existed.
“Originally, I was in the area getting ready to film the welcome video for FISU, the winter games,” she said.
“Those games got canceled, but I was originally supposed to do the choreography for the closing ceremony. The host country does the ceremony, and you welcome the new country, which was the U.S. and also Lake Placid. I was in the area about to film that video when everything shut down.”
Rea-Fisher was in Lake Placid with half of her company, and the other half was en route on a bus.
“The Lake Placid Center for the Arts said ‘Well, you’re here. Can we commission something from you? What do you want to make?’” she said.
“I was like, I don’t know. As I was looking for inspiration, I wasn’t finding anything that really landed with me. I kept finding things about the Lady of the Lake and all that. But that’s not what to make a piece about. Then somebody said do you know that the abolitionist John Brown, his farm is here in Lake Placid. I couldn’t believe it. I had been coming up for almost two decades at that point, and I never knew about the farm. No one mentioned it.”
LPCA connected the choreographer to Martha Swan, executive director of John Brown Lives!
“She took me on a tour and I told her I’m in this funny predicament in the sense that I came here to do one thing,” Rea-Fisher said.
“I’m trying to pivot on a dime but I have this idea that I think might work and off we went. This piece is finally premiering. You’ll see in the piece dancers because it kind of jumps back and forth between the reality of the descendant visiting the farm and going to the exhibits as one would and having these surreal moments where the farm comes alive through movement around them. But in those everyday scenes, the dancers are all masked. Everyone is masked because it was right in the heart of the pandemic.”
Read the full article in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.