Growing up my mom shared her love of movies and musicals with me. She would save her earnings to take the family to local theater productions and movie musicals on the big screen. I so loved the dance performances by greats like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Although I never acquired the skill of dance myself, I have been able to use my gardening gifts to create gardens that reflect the art of dance.
Ten years ago my journey began with an invitation to work the entry gardens at the National Museum of Dance. Transforming these gardens allowed me the opportunity to visually demonstrate the close relationship of gardens with dance. Various areas within each garden reflect different dance styles and relate to choreography within the natural environment. The gardens have become a seasonal tribute to the enduring art form of dance.
How do Gardens Relate to Dance?
Gardens and nature have served as an inspiration for many art forms. A well-designed all season garden boasts flow and movement not unlike a choreographed dance. The natural change of seasons spring, summer and fall offer a sequence of “Garden Acts”.
Seasonal plant blooms have specific roles in the garden dance, much like the principles, soloists and chorus. Plant color, texture, size and formation can reflect the various styles of dance as seen in ballet, modern and Broadway musical pieces. Each unique plant element is like the dancers costume. Your eyes are directed to their bright or muted colors. Many garden accents “set the stage” for the dance. They can serve as the stage backdrop or symphony for the performances.
A Multi-sensory Experience
As with a dance performance, gardens explode with rich sensory experiences. They combine vision, movement and sound. The wind provides rhythm while water and wildlife such as birds and bees offer sound. Stop and listen in the garden. You will find the sounds of nature soothing to your ears. Rarely does one have an opportunity to go backstage at live dance performances to see the costumes and stage sets up close. But in the garden dance you can get close to experience the gift of the added senses of touch and smell. Different plants offer different textures to the touch. Flower blooms offer powerful fragrances, when partnered with Mother Nature’s breezes.
Take a Virtual Garden Tour
Want to see how gardens can be a choreographed dance for all seasons? Take a virtual tour with my new Dance of the Gardens You-tube.http://gardengoddesssenseandsustainability.com/dance-of-the-gardens.html
Then take a trip out to the National Museum of Dance located at 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs to see it all in bloom. Relax and enjoy the dance!