November 29th, 2007 5:33 pm | by HEATHER WISNER News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Let’s Get This Party Started

3337Tahni Holt would like to invite you to a small, unusual party.

Unusual because you'll be performing at it. Holt, founder of the contemporary dance group Monster Squad, is South Waterfront's artist in residence this December, and the holiday timing gave her an idea. She's asked friends to send her their favorite party scenes from movies (holiday-themed or otherwise), and has been scanning these for activity she can build into a movement score for what she's calling The Party Project.

And that's where you come in. Holt is pairing Monster Squad dancers with non-dancers who still can, as she puts it, “sit or stand or skip or move quickly or stay completely still.” To pre-empt performance anxiety, she says, “Imagine playing a game with interesting rules.”

The plan is to put performers inside, in retail and condo spaces, and viewers outside, on balconies and sidewalks. Holt's collaborating musicians—Corrina Repp and Kate O'Brien-Clarke—will lead viewers, pied piper-style, from place to place. In the end, everyone will converge at year-round resident artist Linda K. Johnson's onsite studio for an actual party.

The project does two things: It brings people to a neighborhood that, as Holt says, “has the eerie feeling of being built on nothing” and gets them thinking about modern human interaction. “We see so much of our lives through screens now, through glass,” she said.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, from Holt is hosting a reception where she'll talk more
about the project and solicit participants, who are asked to attend at least three rehearsals.

The performance will be held Dec. 22, but ultimately, Holt is more interested in the process than the finished product: “The standard of excellence is people walking away from the experience feeling successful about it,” she said.

For more information, email —HEATHER WISNER

Photo of
local choreographer Tahni Holt (left) and Linda Austin (right) courtesy of
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