Saturday, August 29: experience a sensory parade around the Monument, designed by artist Rebecca Pappas, profiled here (and pictured above).
by Rob Peoni, Spark writer in residence
Conflict abounds in everyday life. We can find a reason to argue over just about anything. Despite this fact, in my thirty years on this planet, I have never heard anyone argue over or disparage parades. They are a universally beloved event.
“I feel interested in parades, because of the porousness between performers and audience,” says choreographer Rebecca Pappas. “When you watch a parade, you could be in the parade. Maybe you were in the parade before. There’s a sense of a really low threshold for participation.”
Pappas recently moved from her previous home of Los Angeles, CA to Indianapolis after accepting a job as a dance professor at Ball State. In LA, Pappas collaborated predominantly with professional dancers and in more traditional, theater settings. However, her interests began to shift in the last several years.
“Within the whole field of dance, there’s an increasing interest and a decreasing sort of wall between ‘that’s real dance and that’s this other thing,’” Pappas says. “There are a lot of galleries presenting dance, and there are a lot of artists – quote, unquote – making movement projects.”
Upon moving to Indianapolis, a friend connected Pappas to Anne Laker, Big Car’s Director of Cultural Programs. They discussed Pappas’ growing interest in public practice art, and her focus on parades. Soon thereafter, Laker approached Pappas with an opportunity to help design parades as part of Spark Monument Circle. “I felt really welcomed by Big Car, and the art-making community in Indianapolis,” Pappas says. “That’s part of what feels really exciting about being in a city that’s more accessible than a city like Los Angeles. … working with Big Car is my way of getting to know my new home and connect with it and bring what I do to this place.”
This Saturday, Spark Monument Circle will host the “five senses parade.” It will feature a series of sensory experiences that Pappas will lead participants through. “Some of them will be movement,” she says. Some of them will be about tasting things or smelling things. Some of them will be about looking at the space in a different way. We’ll all be walking together, but also having private experiences at the same time.”
The five senses parade will begin around 5pm on Saturday, August 29. However, those interested are encouraged to arrive at Monument Circle earlier in the afternoon. Pappas and the Spark crew will be leading participants in a series of smaller sensory experiences between 3 and 5pm. “We’ll be providing a bunch of them, because we know people will dropping in and out,” Pappas says. “We want to as many people as possible to experience the parade.”