i’ve been asked several times “what is unique about the ‘wind in the leaves collective’?” this is an interesting question and, i suppose, every artist and arts’ group likely has to answer this to give some insight into the creative gifts they have and want to share. for ‘wind in the leaves collective’, i often reply that we are a performing arts group that tells stories of persons of african descent using poetry, dance, music (live and recorded) and visual imagery. our artists also come from very diverse backgrounds – italian, jewish, german, ukrainian, brazilian, latino, russian, mixed heritages and various tributaries of african descent. what brings us together are our passion for interdisciplinary work, our celebration of the african diasporic roots that course through brazilian and latino forms of expression, and the stories of the people we portray in our performance pieces – while these are of people of african descent, these stories have universal value and resonate across the many communities from which our members are from.
then, of course, there is the way in which we put our work together and the recognition that each of us has her/his own gifts which we bring to each piece we construct. while i may write the poems and choose the music to go with it, the dancers/choreographers make it come to life through their interpretive performances and the visual artists add another layer of interpretation. for our live music, each composition is created by harvey, one of our members, who works with me to understand the nuances of the words in order to find the appropriate tempo, melody, etc.
so each artist provides a creative contribution and it all comes together as one voice, like wind whistling in the leaves of trees.