Invisible River An Aerial Dance by Alie Vidich
Strawberry Mansion Bridge, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
The weather was perfect. People gathered along the Schuylkill River early in the evening, and the atmosphere was festive. The river looked beautiful and the bridge loomed like a huge sculpture. At 8:15 the chorus, all dressed in white, entered and sang choral compositions by Elliott Harvey that were reminiscent of medieval madrigals. They moved in patterns choreographed to appear as apparitions among the picnickers.
As the chorus disappeared into the greenery, we became aware of two performersAlie Vidich and Evan Hoffmanswinging on ropes from the bridge 65 feet above the river. They luxuriated in swinging freely back and forth and repelling off each other as the ropes slowly lowered them down to the river. Exactly at sunset they became silhouettes and appeared to be standing on the water, and then they sank into the river and swam to shore. It had all been an early summer nights dream.
As an intern at Bearnstow (Mount Vernon, Maine), Alie Vichich had choreographed pieces that took place partly on the lake or appearing out of it, and that is where the seed for this piece was planted.
There was an after-party, with a DJ and lots of dancing and Alie talking about her plans for next year, of course involving the river. Alies goal is to make people more aware of the river and to have it designated as a swimming spot. With Alies determination, wed better bring our swim suits.