It’s been a very busy 2011 thus far and its still ramping up. So far, I’m humbled by the amount of progress I’ve made and paths I’ve crossed with so many amazing people as I continue this journey of purpose. Unfortunately, during this time I’ve also found myself tardy in keeping up with my posts here in the World of Naperville.
The biggest Naperville-related project I’m working on has been my documentary film about Ribfest. Believe it or not, we actually just concluded the last piece of principal photography at the Exchange Club’s agency luncheon just last week at Meson Sabika. That’s the event where all the net proceeds have been awarded and each agency shares their mission and stories. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m excited to continue the editing process. In the end, we will see a time period between June, 2011 and March 2011. We’ll have more information about when the film will premiere soon. In the meantime, I want to personally thank Ray Kinney and the rest of the amazing people at the Naperville Exchange Club for their support and cooperation throughout this project. It’s definitely a collage of many behind-the-scenes sides of Ribfest that few get to see… with plenty of stories that deserve to be told about the incredible mission behind Ribfest.
Anyway, the weather is getting warmer and I look forward to picking up the pace with the World of Naperville very soon. SM
The Von Heidecke School of Ballet of the Chicago Festival Ballet will present its annual summer workshop performance this Sunday (8/9/09) at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.
In addition to student performances, there will be two original works performed by professional ballet dancers relating to my current collaboration with Kenneth von Heidecke. The pieces are derived from a full-length ballet which Ken and I are currently developing concurrently with our documentary film project, Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story .
The inside story is as production on the film has progressed over the past year, I found the original score I had been composing and recording telling me a story of its own as I listened over-and-over. There is one piece of music, in particular, I had composed which unexpectedly summoned memories of an extraordinarily lucid and vivid dream I had shortly after my father passed away from a year-long battle with cancer in 2001. My own grief had become amplified by the fact my mother lost her battle to cancer in 1997. There I was, at age 29, sleeping in the only family home I had ever known for the first time in my life in the days after my father’s passing, feeling as though my life’s foundation was vanishing around me. That night, I dreamed that I was standing along a small winding stream that was running downhill in a dense, yet beautiful forest. I was paralyzed by my own grief and at a complete loss as to which direction I should travel. To my astonishment, my mother appeared with a peaceful smile on her face, comforting and reassuring me that this was not a dream, that they would always be with me and that it was time for me to move on with my own life and dreams. With that, we embraced before she turned and walked away back up the hill into the most beautiful rays of light. I awoke in a peaceful calm that I had never before experienced and that morning a new sense of resolve began to surface.
Based on this dream, I introduced the rough storyline I had visualized vividly to Ken along with the music and soon thereafter we had crafted the overall story. The premise of the ballet flows from the same type of unforseeable and unexpected triumph, tragedy and transcendance which has characterized mine and Ken’s life, as well as the lives of so many others. The story is as beautifully passionate as it is dark and tragic with the theme resting on the truth that dreams may grow dim, but they never truly die.
The two original pieces which will be performed on Sunday at the Rialto are taken from the second half of the ballet, one a romantic Pas de Deux and the other a high-energy rhythmic piece featuring three male ballet dancers. The photo above features two professional ballet dancers, Katherine and Shane, who will be performing the Pas de Deux.
The full workshop performance featuring these works along with other performances from all levels of Ken’s school will take place at 2:00 PM on Sunday (8/9/09) at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for Seniors and children under the age of 12. If you would like to attend, tickets can be purchased at the Rialto Square Box Office prior to the performance at 2 PM or by calling 815-726-6600. We would love to see you there!
Posted in Imprévu - The Kenneth von Heidecke Story, Life Purpose, Random Thoughts
Tagged ballet, cancer, Chicago Festival Ballet, composer, documentary film, filmmaker, Kenneth von Heidecke, pas de deux, Rialto Square Theatre, Stuart Meyer
Principal Photography Gets Underway with Film Shoot at Alma Dance Company Rehearsal
(production photo to the right)
Almost a year ago last November, I received an email from Jennifer Navarro, of Ginny Richardson Public Relations, with a simple subject line, which read “Naperville Resident You Might Like to Know”.
The Naperville resident Jennifer was referring to is Kenneth von Heidecke, of Naperville’s Von Heidecke School of Ballet and Founder of the Chicago Festival Ballet.
While I often receive a variety of press releases and requests for postings covering a wide array of topics, this particular message caught my attention given my deep passion for the arts and all forms of artistic expression, which had garnered Jennifer’s attention.
In January, I finally had the opportunity to sit down with Ken for a conversation. It was a dark winter weeknight with blizzard-like conditions on the long drive home from Des Plaines as I navigated my way toward the Von Heidecke School of Dance Studio just off of Naper Boulevard. Though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I was very much looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with an individual who has devoted his life to the arts. Little did I know what was about to emerge.
By the time our conversation ended, I was so deeply inspired by Ken’s amazing story, the details of which many people don’t know, that I offered to produce a documentary film about his life and proceeded to share the improvisational creative visions which were running through my mind. After listening carefully in his enthusiastically humble style, Ken indicated his excitement about the idea not out of vanity but of the thought that his life story might inspire others to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in life to realize unexpected purpose.
I’m pleased to announce that with the majority of pre-production details completed, production got underway on Friday with a three hour rehearsal shoot involving the Alma Dance Company in Highland Park (many thanks to Artistic Directors Guillermo Leyva and Suzanne Lek as well as all of the company’s talented professional dancers for their support and cooperation).
Principle photography will likely run through the end of 2009 before heading into post-production with an anticipated release in early 2010. During this time, I will be maintaining a production diary here at the World of Naperville to not only provide updates on the project but to also to give readers an inside look into the independent filmmaking process. Further, during this time I invite you to submit any questions you might have about the project or process via comments. However, don’t expect me to divulge too many details about Ken’s story but suffice it to say that we will be taking a unique approach to the storytelling process.
So, I invite you to stay tuned to the World of Naperville for production updates. SM