A few months ago, Anam Cara Dance Company was invited to perform at a First Friday of the Art District on Santa Fe in downtown Denver. It was close to Valentine’s Day, and the evening was benefiting the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. We dressed in reds and purples and pinks, and danced on a red carpet in a studio with a vivid red wall behind us. Crowds packed in for each of our sets, and radiated their appreciation and delight. We didn’t even ~really~ mind the guy with the foot fetish, who took photos of our bare feet all evening. It was an evening of love, an evening dedicated to the heart.
The thing I didn’t know was that Laurie Maves, a Denver live artist, was busy painting us while we danced. I love this woman’s work, and I love the concept of a live artist!!!!! You have to check out her website, Laurie Maves Art, but I’m not sure any website or video quite captures the experience of being painted by her in person. Squashed into that small, crowded, really hot studio space, we danced with so much joy that night. And while we danced, Laurie turned each one of us into a lovely lollipop with a wavy belly dancer stick. The painting captures a memory of that night, being part of something really special. Belly Dancers With Love, she called the painting, and that’s what Anam Cara Dance Company is. And Laurie became part of our troupe for that evening, part of our sisterhood.
(The image or the link above will take you to the Fine Art America website where you can see a bigger version. It’s also on Laurie’s website, under her Shop. It’s quite an honor to see Anam Cara Dance Company on the same page as The Fray and Phish.)
When we finished dancing and Laurie finished the painting, she had each of us sign our lollipop stick.
I wrote in a post a few days ago about the icons and talismans in my own personal space. Belly Dancers With Love is one of those icons for me, holding all the joy of dancing with this special group of women.
Laurie dares to make her art while people watch. She dares to paint as a live performance. And I’m touched and inspired.