Fluid Movement is back in the pool with `Postcards'

It's a loosely organized, all-are-welcome water ballet


August 04, 2005|By Erica Kritt | Erica Kritt,SUN STAFF

Go-go dancing, Jell-O salads and yellow raincoats will help transport the audience from Maine to Las Vegas in the course of an hour during Fluid Movement's latest water ballet, Postcards from the Deep End: The Flurry Family Vacation.

In 1998, Fluid Movement, a community-based performance art group, was founded. After a three-year break from its specialty of water ballet, Fluid Movement returns to the pool to tell the story of a family vacation gone awry.

Family Vacation chronicles the past adventures of the Flurry family in the ensemble's typically unconventional ways.

"The family goes on a vacation, and their car breaks down, so they have memories of past vacations and fantasies," said Stacey Mink, board president of Fluid Movement.

To create the brief hour of fantasy in the pool, it takes about six months of hard-working reality. "There are a lot of people donating time," said Mink. The show's scene directors were assembled in February to begin planning.

"I got a call saying Fluid Movement wants you," said Joe Burton, a first-time director. The seven directors, or G-7 as they are called, began their work. "There was a lot of watching Esther Williams movies and trying to learn some of the formations," said Mink.

Just about anyone can be involved with the shows.

"There are about 70 people in the cast, but it's more like 100 people - some do costumes and scenery," said Mink. There is no audition process. "We try to work with people who are not performers," said Mink. "We've been working with a lot of newcomers who have no theater training."

Newbie Mary Smith can attest to that.

"Swimming isn't a strong point," she said. Smith is an intern at Charm City Cakes and was influenced by a co-worker who was involved in the show. "I thought it would be fun - something new and creative."

The large cast is divided in a number of ways. Performers are assigned to one of the six vignettes - each under a different director. Burton directs the Niagara Falls scene, which is based on the memories of his character. "I'm a grandfather, out of it, crazy man," he said.

The diversity of the cast is a selling point for many of Fluid Movement's participants. "You see a lot of different people and body shapes; they're not fitting into everyone's perception of a bathing beauty," said Mink. That diversity is reflective of the community. "It's awesome - you have one of everybody in the pool and seven of everybody watching," said Jobi Zink a veteran Fluid Movement performer.

Building communities is what Fluid Movement is all about. "It's in a really good spirit," said Mink. "The park is a vital place, and we are bringing people out." Fluid Movement usually works in the Patterson Park Pool, but this year it is performing at Riverside Pool.

Fluid Movement also brings people together on a more personal scale. "I met my husband through Fluid Movement," said Zink. "Fluid Movement is the kind of theater where a 6 foot man and a 5 foot girl can play the same part."

Zink and her husband will be appearing in this production.

Fluid Movement's production of "Postcards from the Deep End: The Flurry Family Vacation" at Riverside Pool, 1800 Covington St. Opening night, tomorrow, is the Hot Dog and Beer Benefit; for $20, patrons will receive beer and hotdogs and hear performances by Secret Crush Society and Keyboard Man. Food is served at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7. On all other nights, tickets are $7. Show times are Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets can be bought at www.missiontix.com or at Atomic Books, www.atomicbooks.com. Concessions will be available. For more information, call 443-742-4942 or visit www.fluidmovement.org.

For more theater, classical music and dance events, see Page 33.

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