BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN GALA. May 29, 2014.
CONCEPT, DESIGN, FABRICATION: Alex Kahn, Sophia Michahelles
DIRECTION and CHOREOGRAPHY: Lake Simons
SCENIC ARTIST: Laeticia Hussain
At first, only a few heads turned, as guests squinted into the evening sun to make out a butterfly (a red admiral, one guessed) perched on a distant hedgerow. A distant hedgerow? Just how big was this butterfly?
Then from behind the Atrium another fluttered into view, propelled by a five-foot wingspan (“definitely an Eastern Swallowtail...” whispered a patron) FInaly, an unmistakable monarch careened from around a flower bed. Within a few minutes, a cloud of giant butterflies was swarming the guests at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Annual Gala.
PAW created a total of 20 articulated replicas of native New York butterflies for the event, deploying performers from dispersed locations on the grounds to draw the attention of curious eyes beyond their immediate view, to the myriad wonders and overlooked details of the Gardens in full May bloom. The Migration. led by veteran puppeteer and director Lake Simons, guided attendees through the Gardens to a feast, and then with a final flourish, dissipated as suddenly as they had appeared.