The winters in Buffalo, NY, are brutal. Situated on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Niagara River, the former industrial powerhouse is whipped by high-speed winds and punished with lake-chilled snowstorms from November to March most years. The months between March and November are another story, at least where Buffalo’s historic Martin House is concerned.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Martin House is famous for its garden, an enormous semicircle of flowers that blooms successively from March to November. Affectionately dubbed the “floricycle”—a linguistic mashup of “flora” and “hemicycle”—by its architect, the unusual garden lends its made-up name to a new performance piece by the Martin House’s first creative resident, emerging composer Alexandra F. Light. “By using dance to get a deeper look at the floricycle and other elements of the Martin House, the residency will nurture my creativity through the unique discipline of dance in the thought-provoking environment of the site, which I will return to the community through a performance,” says Alexandra.
Staged on the grounds of the Martin House in three movements, Floricycle is a contemporary ballet that interprets the lives of six women who played integral roles in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The first movement is an ode to Anna Lloyd Jones, Wright's mother; the second, a tribute to his many loves, Catherine, Mamah, Miriam, and Olgivanna; and the third, a salute to Isabelle Reidpath Martin, the woman who called the Martin House her home. Set to the music of 20th-century American composer Marion Bauer, each movement in Floricycle corresponds to a plant from the Martin House’s magnificent landscape: hollyhock for the first movement, hydrangea for the second, and copper beech for the third.
Floricycle runs Thursday, July 13 through Friday, July 14, 2023, at the Martin House in Buffalo, NY. Two performances are scheduled each day at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; each performance is expected to last approximately an hour. The outdoor event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and registration is required. In the event of rain, the performance will be rescheduled.
Register for Floricycle here.
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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