The Inspiration for NO STANDING ANY TIME


“No Standing Any Time” will receive its New York premiere on Friday May 1 at the ShapeShifter Lab. The work features choreography by Michele Brangwen and music by Grammy-nominated trumpeter and composer Tim Hagans, with a section of movement and music created spontaneously in the moment by all 6 performers. This concert is part of the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble’s Spring 2015 Season of Performances. “No Standing Any Time” will be performed by Roberta Cortes, Robin Gilbert, Michele Brangwen, Tim Hagans, Seth Paynter & James Ilgenfritz.

There are times when I either awaken in the middle of the night or happen to be up at those mysterious hours, that I hear a soft almost imperceptible sound, and in the instant of hearing that sound, everything that has come before or will come after is displaced by an overpowering feeling of well being.

What are these sounds? I hesitate to say because I think that the mechanism of this good feeling occurring may be universal, but the stimulus is different for different people. Ok, for the sake of trying to explain I will describe two of my sounds. One is the sound of snow falling, the almost inaudible ping of flakes colliding with streets and window ledges. Second is the sound of sprinklers that turn on automatically to produce a nocturnal gush of water, also almost inaudible as the sound of the water joins voices of night birds and crickets already filling the mid night hours. My favorite apartment of my life thus far was in a small complex in the southwest nestled in a bird sanctuary and its watering system turned on at 3 a.m. during the hot and dry summer days. It is these lovely small sounds, oblivious to the trials of us humans, or maybe fully aware and sending a message of profound encouragement.

These sounds are the inspiration for “No Standing Any Time.” The first section of this work is choreographed and through-composed, meaning that all six performers are performing the dance and music as created by Tim Hagans and myself. This for me represents the waking nocturnal world, where both inner peace and unrest can co-exist. I tried to represent this in creating the first part of the work.

This opening section is followed by 3 improvised dancer and musician duets. These duets represent dreams, or the dream world, with all its strangeness and mixed metaphors. In a sense the duets are anxiety dreams, born out of a disquiet that we need the night sounds to heal.

“No Standing Any Time” is also a work that has humor in it. The humor is subtle and almost hidden, but there is a certain lightness to the work…it’s just ridiculous and confusing dreams that may contain more good than our neurotic minds at first perceive. And people running around in the night, acting up in a way they might never do in the day.

Performing this work is exciting for me because after the choreographed dance and written music set the stage in the opening section, then the individual artistic voices of all six performers emerge and ultimately build to a resolve. The central section of this work is therefore dramatically different every time. The ending returns to written music and choreography, but fueled now by this strange night life that perhaps brings us all closer to who we really are than the daytime hours.

See this work in performance at the ShapeShifter Lab on May 1. More information and a link to tickets at

Please visit the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble’s Indiegogo Campaign to fund our Spring 2015 Season of Performances that will include this work:


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