project image
Stephen Ronaghan

first performed on September 18, 2021
ArtsFest at Annmarie Sculpture Gardens, Solomons Island, MD
performed three times in 2021


Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Erik Moe, Fred Hatt

Washington DC / New York City, NY


“Choreographed by Clouds” is a duet between body and sky. Using the meteorologic sequence of cloud types—from blue skies through a storm and back to clear—the dancer embodies the cloud states in duet with a film of the sky and a floor mural cloud map.

Tethered to the American Midwest, the show expands to cover the globe. During the show, the body multiplies through voices. Men and women young and old regale us with stories. “Choreographed by Clouds” precipitates impressions that are all too human and larger than life. Clouds move us and we move them: Massive, indomitable, wow—while overlooked, ignored, of course.

We all have the extreme force of nature as our own make up. At certain points, we yield to the immensity of it all. The show is a yielding. The work is a solo in the way a cloud is a solitary form. It embodies the singular and contains a multitude. While the live performance is a solo, the recorded aspects of the show–storytelling, film, and visual art–were made by thirteen others.

In improvisation, the group chooses the solo. Katherine, Erik, and I started to work on this project together in 2020 and the pandemic postponed all its original shows. This gave me an extra year and I expanded the original work to fit my pandemic reality, bringing in more people. It was a way to keep my world large.

Someday maybe, this show would be performed in new iterations in all the places it holds: Brussels, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Syros, Greece; Mombasa, Kenya; Mantova, Italy; Ghent, Switzerland; Istanbul, Turkey; St. Cloud, Minnesota, New York City, New York, and Washington DC, USA. In each new city, the dance would be passed on to a local performer who would recreate their own expression of the score. The stories could be retold and reformed to tether to that place in its own language. The continual morphing of the production reflects the transient nature of its original authors, the clouds themselves.