Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Photo Essay: Linda Vista Hospital Comes Alive With "The Groundskeepers"

I never would have guessed that I would get back into Linda Vista Hospital because of a contemporary dance troupe.



But I was thrilled to find out that Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre had chosen the vacant hospital - closed for over 20 years - as their newest venue for a site-specific multimedia performance.



And they weren't just performing in the historic building:



...they were performing on it, on its white wrought iron fire escape at the front facade...



...running, sliding, climbing, twirling leaning...



...flecks of paint flying off the rails with every move.



The Groundskeepers tells the story of the complex medical and rail-related history of Linda Vista Hospital by animating its environs in performance (that also includes projections, graffiti-like wall art, music, and sound installations).



During The Groundskeepers, the long-vacant hospital comes alive, not only with the dancers' choreography, but with audience members who travel with the performers from site to site...



...inside and out...



...upstairs and downstairs into building bowels like the boiler room...



...each locale with its own narrative...



...dancers intermingling with actors and narrators and musicians...



...through dimly lit scenes...



...and dark hallways...



...culminating in a group finale performance in the chapel.

There are so many different ways of exploring the world around you - and I've taken my fair share of guided tours - but The Groundskeepers was an expressive, evocative, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to investigate not only the structure of Linda Vista Community Hospital, but also the stories behind it.

Lucky for those who missed this weekend's performances, The Groundskeepers is not a one-night-only event, and three performances remain next weekend. Click here for tickets and more information.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Last Chance Look at Linda Vista Hospital (Roof, Boiler Room, Kitchen & More)
Photo Essay: Linda Vista Community Hospital, Abandoned, Interior
Photo Essay: Linda Vista Community Hospital, Abandoned, Exterior