A Few Words of THANKS from Danny

by Danny Foner

Last year we celebrated the THANKS Giving, a month of saying thanks to just a small number of the people who have gotten us to where we are today.  At the time, our then new intern Danny wrote an article that, with the insanity of the ending of the year, is just now seeing the light of day.  (Sorry, Danny!)  So, as we head into 2014, here are Danny's thoughts on thanks, music and collaboration.  -Nicole
p.s.  Congratulations, Danny, on getting into Emerson!  I'm glad you'll still be in the area next year!

As this month of THANKS Giving winds to a close, I’d like to take a moment to express my own gratitude for how Monkeyhouse has impacted me. Namely, I’d like to give thanks for my experiences as a co-leader of Natick High School’s a capella group, Seven’s Not Enough, and our collaboration with Monkeyhouse’s own Nicole Harris. We’ve had the opportunity to work with her on two separate projects, each of which have expanded my appreciation for the powerful relationship between music and dance.

Seven’s Not Enough’s connection to Monkeyhouse began around two years ago, in my sophomore year. I was a part of the fall show at Natick High School, which was to be a musical revue, celebrating the 50-year history of the old Natick High stage. Nicole asked me to arrange an a capella version of “Winter’s on the Wing,” a song from The Secret Garden, which would be set to body percussion. The finished product was an absolute joy to perform. The pure, acoustic nature of a capella combined with body percussion perfectly matched the theme of the song, winter thawing into spring. That experience was one of the most profound moments I’ve had on the Natick High School stage, and for that, I can’t thank Nicole and Monkeyhouse enough.

photo by
However, the story doesn’t end there. The next year, Nicole was back with another project. Combining with a local youth company, TAProject, Seven’s Not Enough sang James Taylor’s “Shed a Little Light,” as arranged by former intern David Makransky and choreographed by Nicole. After a few weeks of practice, we performed the piece at Chelsea High School for Against the Odds. The music, paired with the choreography, told a story of how the “ties between us” can create a community from complete strangers. As a matter of fact, I had never met some of the TAProject dancers in my life, but as the last chord faded, it was unmistakable that we had shared an extraordinary experience. Through that performance, I gained an immense respect for how music and dance, when combined, can send a tangible, powerful message. Thank you, Nicole, for giving me this understanding, and thank you, Monkeyhouse, for connecting us and providing the opportunity for all of this to happen.

So, what are you thankful for? Let us know on Facebook!

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