A new documentary film featuring the Carry it on… project filmed during Wheatland Music Organization’s 40th anniversary 2013 festival in Remus, Michigan is now available!
Wheatland Music Organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of traditional arts, commissioned the former directors of the Rhythm In Shoes dance and music company to create the multi-media Carry it on… project. The performances and workshops incorporated four generations and more than 70 dancers across Michigan as well as 20 professional percussive dancers and musicians from across the country. The dance on film involved an additional 10 artists.
Carry it on… was directed by renowned artist and dancer Sharon Leahy with original music composed by Rick Good from the Rhythm In Shoes company of Spring Valley, Ohio. Both are well known and abundant creators as dancers, musicians, actors, writers, educators and advocates of America’s musical roots. Wheatland Music has enjoyed a long, fruitful and trusting relationship with the duo that dates back to 1977.
Project development work began in 2012. During 2013 there were multiple residency trainings (nineteen visits at six different sites across the State of Michigan), a mentorship and newly choreographed work, new compositions, a dance on film and workshops for the public at Wheatland’s Gladys Wernette Classroom Building and during the 25th annual Traditional Arts Weekend held in May. Both children and adults took part in the trainings that benefited 12 Ann Arbor area dancers, 8 Lansing area dancers, 32 Mt. Pleasant and Alma dancers, 9 northwest Michigan dancers, 10 Remus area dancers and hundreds of participants that attended workshops. Dances were choreographed by Sharon Leahy, Becky Hill, Abby Ladin, Heidi Whitfield and Emma Young and new music composed by Rick Good and Sam Bartlett.
The Carry it on… project was supported by Wheatland Music Organization along with funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) and gifts by 40th Anniversary family, business and organization supporters.
The “collectors edition” DVD called Carry it on…Live! with an educational booklet will be available for purchase for $20 (includes shipping/handling) ordered from the Wheatland online store or purchased at the Performers Recordings booth at the 41st annual Wheatland Music festival September 5-7th, 2014.