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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

gloATL rehabilitates Maddox Pool for free performances, Sept. 21-22

THE SEARCH CONTINUES: Atlanta dance company gloATL revisits an earlier collaboration with filmmaker Micah Stansell at the newly-rehabilitated Maddox Pool in two free performances Friday and Saturday.
  • Dustin Chambers
  • THE SEARCH CONTINUES: Atlanta dance company gloATL revisits an earlier collaboration with filmmaker Micah Stansell at the newly-rehabilitated Maddox Pool in two free performances Friday and Saturday.
An inanimate object can't really tell its own story, but still, it would be fascinating to hear what the pool at Maddox Park might have to say about its life so far. The pool sits in the middle of historic Maddox Park, originally opened in 1931, about a mile and a half west of the Georgia Tech campus. The once enormous and bustling pool began to experience a period of decline as the neighborhood around it changed. First, it was greatly reduced in size, then it was closed to the public and all but abandoned. For the past 20 years, it's sat unused, empty, slowly accumulating a mass of dead leaves, trash, muck, and tree-sized weeds.

A few weeks ago, however, a small crew arrived at the park and began cleaning up, removing debris, sweeping up leaves, giving a resident frog a new home at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, hosing down, scrubbing, and repainting the walls a sparkling white. Though there's still not a drop of water in it, the pool will become the setting for lots of new noise and activity this weekend. After being given a thorough scrub and tickle by gloATL, Maddox Pool is finally ready for its close-up once again.

The clean-up occurred in preparation for two free performances taking place Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22, at 8 p.m. when dance company gloATL will present the second iteration of its work "the search for the exceptional," a collaboration with Atlanta-based filmmaker Micah Stansell. The first work occurred at the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark in May 2012, and the setting for this second "search" will be the newly-cleaned up pool at Maddox Park, 1142 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway NW, one of the “emerald jewels” which lies right in the path of the Atlanta Beltline.

THE WAVE: The upcoming gloATL dance performance will feature projected images, like the one above, by Atlanta filmmaker Micah Stansell.
  • Courtesy Micah Stansell
  • THE WAVE: The upcoming gloATL dance performance will feature projected images, like the one above, by Atlanta filmmaker Micah Stansell.
The hour-long performance features movement by gloATL choreographer Lauri Stallings set against a backdrop of Stansell's images of various underwater scenes which will be projected onto the newly-painted white surface of the pool. A recent press release explains: "Stallings envisages the empty pool as a vessel for choreographed, physical situations that investigate themes of intimacy and experiments in the unspoken ediquette found in highly visceral performances in public spaces." Word.

"the search" may prove a thoroughly apt title for the new work. Organizers warn that the site can be a challenging one to find, especially for those who arrive by car (When you hear the advisory "It's hard to get to" coming from gloATL, you know they're not fooling).

With limited parking and some road construction in the area, organizers highly advise taking MARTA, which provides much simpler access to the performance site. The park and pool lie directly across the street from the Bankhead MARTA train station on the Green Line, and volunteers are slated to help guide MARTA riders along the short walk from the station to the site. Check the gloATL-created Google map for more details. The performance is free and open to the public.

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