Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dance ATCs

Dance ATCs . . . it would seem like a fairly simple and straight forward task to make 10 ATCs on a "dance" theme, wouldn't you think? It wasn't that it was a difficult task for me, but more that it was an emotional journey. I created 14 ATCs and will show some of them here. If you would like to view a slideshow of ALL of the ATCs, please click here.

I was very excited to see this theme on the Circle of Friends yahoo group when I joined the group last month. I started dance classes (ballet, modern) when I was 7 years old and continued taking classes into my 40's. My teacher for most of those years was Truda Kaschmann, shown on the ATC below.

Truda taught everyone, including my mom. She was Alwin Nickolais teacher as well, shown below in a 1939 dance he performed with Truda in Hartford, CT. Click on any ATC for more detail.

Alvin Ailey - bottom, Alwin Nickolais, top
Doing this swap and pouring over articles I had saved on Truda really had me remembering my teacher and everything she has given me. I know it is because of her, that I am the creative person I am today. The improvisations we did in class where she would ask us to do "something different" are the basis for how I approach my art making today. I am often asking myself, "how can I do this differently - ie: more creatively?"

I made extra ATCs and encouraged my mom to chose one tonight -
This is the ATC she picked because she said it was so beautiful, with the Alvin Ailey dancers. The words on white paper are Truda's.
This is Truda (top) and my mom, bottom left.
Truda was loving, but strict. She pushed us to work hard but encouraged us, and celebrated with us when we mastered that step or made that leap. I am indebted to her for how she shaped me as an artist.

The writing is from a paper done about Truda by Margret Dillon. The words about the beginning of one of Truda's classes are so true, I can feel myself right there.

The back of all of the ATCs is a variation of this - with a quote from Pilobolus dancer Annika Sheaff.

This quote, which I only found recently by reading the Pilobolus dance blog really means a lot to me. I think that like dancers, artists can tell a million stories with their art and there are no wrong interpretations. I do not usually get so philosophical, but taking this theme to heart and working from my personal experience as I like to do, brought up a lot of feelings today. You could say I am a very emotional artist, and be correct! But that is what I like to do with my art; express myself and my feelings. It helps me to navigate this life and I am so grateful for those of you who have been enjoying my expression! xo lenna young andrews April 27, 2010


  1. Lenna - these are wonderful! And of course, so very personal - which makes them all the more powerful pieces of art. Thank you for sharing your art and your soul!

  2. ahhhhhh! the dance ATC's,
    with your love of dance
    i knew they would be scrumpgous,
    and 14 of them,
    what a busy girl,
    all so sweet,
    like a box of chocolates,
    i really like the one
    at the beginning of your blog,
    and truda----
    there certainly are some
    amazing people
    passing through
    the universe------

  3. They are great Lenna !
    ♥♥ love from RINI ♥♥

  4. These ATC's are wonderful, Lenna! And, yes, your art is always uniquely YOU and there is always something interesting to see. The recipients of these will be well pleased!

  5. so intriguing and fanciful, each and every one! I love them!

  6. wow Lenna-I really admire the way you put so much of yourself into your work. Each piece really is a part of you, a part of your story. it's wonderful!

  7. oh Lenna...these are wonderful...I am so glad that I will get to have one of these precious memorial like ATC's!

    I too danced...badly...LOL...that is why I selected the ballerina for my ATC's also. I have always loved the grace and art in the movements, music and story. You captured all of this in your ATC's.

    I am so glad to have you as a member of COF...you inspire me in so many ways!

  8. Thank you all for your comments, much appreciated! These ATCs are very personal. I'm glad to see you are enjoying them none-the-less or possibly because of that! I have discovered I truly desire to make art in a meaningful way for me or a recipient, so results like this happen again & again. I find I am accepting it and even embracing it now!
    thanks again, lenna

  9. Hi Lenna! I just found your blog and beautiful work. I love the sense of movement in these ATCs. And how cool that your found Annika's quote on our blog! I don't know if she's seen these, but I'll let her know. She'll be happy to know that she inspired another artist!

    Thanks for linking to our blog too! :)



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