~ The following first appeared (with an extended selection of photos) in The Floyd Press on June 14, 2012.
Nobody stopped for a red-light at the One-Stoplight Variety Show at Oddfellas Cantina on June 7th. Reservations were filled for the dinner show and the entertainment was non-stop. Stage performances included Floyd dancers from the Evo-latic Dance Collective and a Roanoke-based Gothic Belly Dance Troupe called Cookies and Anarchy.
Dance routines varied from Middle Eastern and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance to Modern. Emily Williamson and Leia Jones performed three dances (solo or together), including a vaudeville-inspired number. Barbara Gillespie of Grateful Bread Bakery danced with a basket on her head and Oddfellas co-owner, Julie Arrington performed a sword dance that held the audience in suspense.
Myra Walker’s dance featured a Buugeng, a spinning device used in martial and movement arts. Scarves and rose petals were incorporated into some dance routines. The dramatic costumes, creative stage design and disco ball lighting gave flair to the entertainment. The free event was emceed by Siobhan (Shamama) Lowe (pictured in the first photo on the right). A tip hat for performers was passed around.
Along with dance performances, musical entertainment was provided by singer/songwriters John Wilson and Erica Olsen. Billy Miller accompanied several dancers on drums and Meagan Wright and Eqo (Morgan Morgan) both sang.
Friends and fans of Ash Devine, who regularly performed as a teenager at the old Pine Tavern Open Mic during the 90’s, stood and aplauded when she took to the stage. Devine engaged the audience in interactive sing-alongs before singing a song from her CD.
Writer Mara Robbins spoke to the crowd about A Matter of Art, a film that she and photographer Parv Sethi are working on that showcases twelve artists from Floyd. Robbins noted that there were four artists in the film that were performing or in attendance: Emily Williamson, Leia Jones, John Wilson and Kari Kovick. She encouraged audience members to support the film via Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects, before performing an original spoken word poem also titled A Matter of Art.
One-Stoplight co-organizer Emily Williamson said there was momentum for hosting future shows. “I’m glad everyone had a good time and that so many people came,” she said. Many people approached Williamson and other organizers after the show to express their interest in supporting more events that spotlight performance arts, Williamson said. Colleen Redman