Tag Archives: CaroleZoom

Why Storm Large signs autographs and Mr. Scatter doesn’t

While Mr. Scatter lowers his head to the task, Ms. Large is charming and gracious with her fan base. Photo: CaroleZoom

It’s called, I think, charisma. The dress doesn’t hurt, either. One of the pleasures of being part of Friday night’s blogathon at the opening of Portland Opera’s Orphee was meeting artist and photographer CaroleZoom, who after chatting for a bit zoomed in with her camera (unobtrusively, I might add: good photographers have a way of being there but disappearing, creating a calm zone around their subjects) and later sent the results along. It’s not quite like looking through the mirror and spying Hell, as Orpheus does in the opera, but you can’t help noticing a certain physical disparity.

Mr. Scatter, lips pursed and head bowed to the task. Photo: CaroleZoom

Sitting between rock diva Storm and man-about-town Byron Beck was a little like being the shuttlecock in a game of friendly scatological badminton. The match had speed and competitive edge and affability: It was like David Mamet with a sense of humor.

You can see Byron’s wristwatch (a retrograde physical adornment, used as a timekeeping device in the days before cell phones) immediately behind Mr. Scatter, who’s the one in the retro green vest sweater. Leaning against the wall, in the even more retro argyle sweater, is PICA blogger Jim Withington, and that’s Portland Opera’s Julia Sheridan at the far end of the table in classic black. Portland Center Stage’s always elegant and always witty Cynthia Fuhrman flanks Ms. Large in the left (or stage right) foreground.

Years of sitting in the midst of ultra-noisy newsrooms allowed Mr. Scatter to absorb what was going on around him while simultaneously attending to his task. I was impressed by Storm’s graciousness as fans young and old, several of them starstruck, vied for her attention. Yes, she signed autographs. And she had a way of homing in on each person, asking questions, engaging them, knowing that you don’t talk the same way to a teenager as to a septuagenarian. This is celebrity, Portland-style.

Carole also snapped the inset photo of Mr. Scatter, which she labeled “Concentration.” When Mrs. Scatter saw it, she laughed. “That’s the way you always look when you’re writing,” she said. “Head down, lips pursed.” Mrs. Scatter concentrates at the keyboard, too, and every now and again breaks up in laughter over something she’s just wrought.

Enough for now. Mr. Scatter must hunker over his keyboard and write a review for his friendly neighborhood largish urban newspaper.


Photos: CaroleZoom

The Halprin fountain dance, one week later

I thought I was done with the Halprin fountain “event” or “happening” or “dance” — I still can’t quite name it — that ended the Time-Based Art Festival in Portland last Sunday (that would be Sept. 14). But I keep getting flashbacks of the performance, replaying little bits in my mind, thinking about some of the music I heard. You know what that’s like: Something more than random neurons firing.

I’ve had a couple of aids in this. The first is visual. Art Scatter received a very nice email from writer Brett Campbell, who was also very taken with the Halprin happening and said he was working on an essay of his own. When he completes it, we will link to it. This is right down his alley: He’s working on Lou Harrison book and Harrison was in the middle of the San Francisco milieu of Lawrence and Ana Halprin. But as a memory igniter, Brett’s wife, photographer CaroleZoom, was actually more important, because she sent us some images of the event. Quite beautiful ones, which explain the adulatory comments I heard about the first piece of the performance choreographed by Tere Mathern — which I was unable to see (I was late, it was too crowded). So, I’ve posted those here.

And there was the thread to the original post… Randy Gragg, one of the key organizers, responded a couple of times. Carolyn Altman, who was a Portland dancer/choreographer/writer, wrote in from Georgia, where she now lives, with memories of the fountains. Dance writer Martha Ullman West got things going and left us wanting more of her eye on the dances themselves.

And realizing that I missed Martha’s eye made me understand how inadequate the description of things in the original post was/is. If I could do it over, I would try to tell you how the dancers moved, more than simply saying it was “old-style” modern dance, carving space, attending to changes in topography and water flow, operating at scales tiny and grand, how they rolled and buckled and ran, the qualities in the momentary tableaux, the muscle groups engaged and relaxed, the dancers and the way their dance personalities emerged. The music would be harder for me — help us, Brett! — fleeting, sporadic, in search of original impulses to propel it, guide it, original impulses to communicate to us.
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