I always wondered how my love of dance and the outdoors would coexist. Over thirteen summers at Wyonegonic, I grew to feel most at home in the woods, but my dance career seemed to require a different environment. In October of 2013, however, I invited two other dancers to make a new work with me in Denmark, Maine as an experiment. We immediately witnessed the advantages of making art here — the inspiring beauty of the place, the local community’s need for more creative outlets, and the copious amounts of space and time in which to work.
Now a full time resident of Denmark, I co-run a modern dance company, Hio Ridge Dance, named for the road connecting Wyonegonic and Winona Camps. Working with the Denmark Arts Center, we developed an evening length dance about the town last summer. As a part of the project, I wanted to collaborate with Wyonegonic campers. My attachment to this place comes, in great part, from my experiences at Wyonegonic and I hoped this year’s campers would help me convey Denmark’s immense and beautiful energy. The resulting dance film was projected in the six live performances of our dance about Denmark shown at the Denmark Arts Center and various locations on the East Coast.
Cookie Harrist, Wyonegonic Camper and Staff alumna