Once upon a time, a little girl ran through the rural Vermont woods, imagining magical kingdoms in between the trees and rocks. She grew up (?), became a dancer, gave up dancing to be an engineer, gave up engineering to be a dancer again, and then gave up trying to keep those two things separate and accepted her identity as an interdisciplinary impresario.

Hi, I’m Holly, director of THE QUEEN OF NORI. Life-long dancer, constant nerd, and perpetual schemer of new things.

This project really began in the spring of 2019, when composer Ian Guthrie approached me about wanting to write a narrative ballet. It occurred to me that I have all of this material saved on old drives, and in about two days I had one of my stories adapted into a two-act libretto. Ian began work, and by Fall 2019 I was recruiting dancers from Florida State University to create a 10-minute “proof of concept” excerpt that would premiere in April of 2020.


April. 2020.

Obviously we know how that story ends.

We were shut down in March, everyone went their separate ways, and I crumbled under the weight of lost gig and opportunities.

It took a new city, a new year, and a new interest in continuing the work via Zoom for me to re-start the process with the help of Dramaturg and co-conspirator Casey Copeland. With the virtual format and no in-person performance opportunities on the horizon, I wanted to take the time to develop characters and conduct movement research, particularly on the subject of magic.

What does magic look like in this world? How can the dance BE the magic, BE the work that generates a supernatural phenomenon, rather than just representing magic?

The virtual research process has far exceeded my expectations over the past two months, and I look forward to sharing the work more widely. Stay tuned here and on social media for announcements and updates!

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