The Peconic Landing community and the students of the North Fork’s Peconic Community School got a rare treat Wednesday, when the Colombian dance group El Colegio del Cuerpo spent the day working with the students and seniors on a collaborative dance project, capped with an improvisational dance performance in response to Peconic Landing’s sculpture garden.
El Colegio del Cuerpo, Spanish for “The College of the Body,” was founded in 1997 in Cartagena de Indias by Álvaro Restrepo (Colombia) and Marie France Delieuvin (France), both dancers, choreographers and educators, and their work has long included outreach to young people and the community at large.
The group is currently in residence at The Watermill Center, and is presenting public programs throughout the East End in conjunction with their residency, said Peconic Community School co-founder Kathryn Casey Quigley, as she and her students prepared for the performance.
On Wednesday afternoon, after a dance workshop with three dozen Peconic Community School youngsters and senior members of the Peconic Landing community, the troupe met in Peconic Landing’s sculpture garden, studying Sagaponack sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp’s “Sagg Portal Bench,” a stainless steel creation whose free-flowing lines evoke dance and wild brush strokes.
The dance company then enmeshed themselves with the sculpture, using it as a platform, a muse, a hiding place and a percussion instrument, mesmerizing the audience.
Mr. Van de Bovenkamp, who has in the past created sculptures used by Martha Graham’s dance company, was in the audience.
“For the dancers to trust the sculpture was well-built enough to climb on it was incredible to me,” he said after the performance.