Passing is grounded in the basic act of passing a ball from one person
to the next. Teams of participants, organized in groups divisible by
three, stand in rows on bleachers and pass brightly-colored 4” nerf
balls, creating complex visual and temporal patterns. The action of
passing a ball is extremely simple, yet the organization of the
work—the rhythmic patterns and physical configurations—is exceedingly
Because of the speed and
complexity involved, “mistakes” are inevitable. Dropped balls are part
of the game. Ball Passing is a constant struggle between entropy and
organization—a conundrum that can only be solved by all participants
working as one integrated unit.
Passing can be learned by people of all ages and cultural backgrounds,
and by those with diverse or limited performance experience. The game
can be modified to meet the specific needs and skill sets of virtually
any group of participants. Successful execution of the work requires
three things: the desire to cooperate, trust in the interdependence
within the group, and the willingness to push oneself beyond perceived
limitations. Each and every member of the group is an integral part of
The process of learning and
performing Ball Passing transforms a group of diverse individuals into
an energized and coalescent team with a common purpose and a strong
sense of belonging. Ball Passing engenders the kind of experience among
its participants that has become less and less available in our
culture: a non-competitive experience of play, fun and cooperation,
achieved through the pursuit of a larger common goal.
visual complexity, the rhythmic shifting of patterns, the surprise of
dropped balls and the delight of recovery all serve to bring the
audience into the game. Performed by volunteers from within and between
smaller communities, Ball Passing is a spectacle that has the ability
to create—for performers and audience alike—a greater sense of
connection and belonging within the larger community.
A bit late to eulogize these two great artists, but here are a couples of clips. I was hoping to find a clip of Eartha Kitt singing "Monotonous" from the Broadway show "New Faces of 1952." No luck. I recommending searching it out and giving it a listen.
from the excellent film version of Pinter's The Caretaker:
This post is going up at 7:04 AM, 21 December 2008, the moment when the sun is at its furthest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane from us. Winter Solstice. From the Latin solstitium, "The point at which the sun seems to stand still." From this point on it climbs higher and higher in the sky, more and more light being shed on us here everyday.
Here's one of my favorite poems. There are lines in this that never fail to choke me up. And, for a poem that has almost as much nothing in it as King Lear ("nothing will come of nothing," and does it ever), it ends on the basic statement of being, the copula. That which connects also brings into being, even as we do.
A Nocturnal upon Saint Lucy's Day John Donne
'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's, Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ; The sun is spent, and now his flasks Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ; The world's whole sap is sunk ; The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk, Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk, Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh, Compared with me, who am their epitaph.
Study me then, you who shall lovers be At the next world, that is, at the next spring ; For I am every dead thing, In whom Love wrought new alchemy. For his art did express A quintessence even from nothingness, From dull privations, and lean emptiness ; He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.
All others, from all things, draw all that's good, Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ; I, by Love's limbec, am the grave Of all, that's nothing. Oft a flood Have we two wept, and so Drown'd the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow, To be two chaoses, when we did show Care to aught else ; and often absences Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.
But I am by her death—which word wrongs her— Of the first nothing the elixir grown ; Were I a man, that I were one I needs must know ; I should prefer, If I were any beast, Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest, And love ; all, all some properties invest. If I an ordinary nothing were, As shadow, a light, and body must be here.
But I am none ; nor will my sun renew. You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun At this time to the Goat is run To fetch new lust, and give it you, Enjoy your summer all, Since she enjoys her long night's festival. Let me prepare towards her, and let me call This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.