Leah Terada and Miles Pertl are world class dancers from the Pacific NW Ballet and Seattle Dance Collective. Miles’ sister Sydney Pertl had works in the April Gallery exhibit at Vashon Center for the Arts. An idea hatched for them to choreograph a dance that moves through the exhibit that Sydney would video. I was asked if I wanted to provide the music and I jumped at the chance. I’ve collaborated on music for dance in the past, both with my wife, Ronly and with my old friend Dominique Gabella (who I miss dearly) for the Next Stage Dance Theater. I showed Miles and Leah a song I had in the works. It was the first of a few I had in mind, but they immediately said that it sounded perfect, and away we went.

I assumed it was going to be an instrumental, and got Dianne Krouse involved on clarinet, and Annie Roberts on cello. The next day I was on the phone with Miles and mentioned that the song has lyrics (although not finished yet). He asked what they were and I spoke a few over the phone. He said, let’s do it with lyrics! The plot thickened. I immediately called my bandmate Rebekah, and she jumped right in.

One thing I love about the creative process is how a deadline can make stuff move along. I finished the first draft of the song that night, and was tweaking the lyrics right up until the video shoot. Some synchronicity ensued, where a lyric about “flying or falling” just happened to correspond with Miles lifting Leah. We rehearsed it on a Wednesday night and filmed it the next evening. The audio was recorded live on a Zoom device with 2 external mics to enhance the cello and clarinet. I did some minor editing in Logic Pro and passed it to Miles and Sydney who dropped it into the video.

I told Sydney during the filming that she was the third dancer in the piece. She had her camera on a gimbal and moved alongside the dancers throughout the space. What a joy it all was! I feel very lucky to have been a part of such a wonderful project. And I’m curious about where it will go next. It feels complete, but still malleable in some way. The song will take on a new life when Saint Ophelia starts playing it… but also forever have the spirit of this dance, exhibit, and moment woven into its fabric.

– Joe Panzetta

Dance:

“We’re All In This Together”

Movement: Leah Terada, Miles Pertl

Cinematography: Sydney M. Pertl

Music:

“Saving Grace”

Rebeka Kuzma – vocals

Joe Panzetta – guitar & vocals

Annie Roberts – cello

Dianne Krouse – clarinet

Words & Music by Joe Panzetta all rights reserved

Lyrics:

There’s nowhere to begin
No front, nor side
Nothing you can trace
You can’t follow a wind
It’s way too wide
But here’s the saving grace

Along the way you might have chance to say
something you feel that is true
And I might realize it’s no surprise
I’m really not that different from you

Am I flying or falling?
Take the mask from my face
something is calling
where’s the saving grace

You can’t follow a wind
It’s way too wide
With nothing you can trace
There’s nowhere to begin
No front, nor side
But here’s the saving grace

Along the way I might have chance to say
something I feel that is true
And you might realize it’s no surprise
I’m really not that different from you
Yeah, along the way you might have chance to say
something that you feel..
And I might realize it’s no surprise
It’s just what you feel…

Am I flying or falling?
Take the mask from my face
something is calling
here’s the saving grace

It’s just what I feel
It’s just what you feel

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