Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Pure Energy

Ze'eva Berman sings in the Graffiti Vault
at Fiddlehead at Four Corners (Joey Kulkin photo)

BENNINGTON -- "There was good energy tonight," is what Fiddlehead at Four Corners owner Joel Lentzner said after the night of fun was in the refrigerator, the door was closed, the light was out and the Jell-O was jiggling.

"First Friday, College Night!" in downtown Bennington, meaning businesses agreed to stay open later than usual while students from Bennington College volunteered to play music and recite poetry on stages up and down Main Street. Rain threatened to drown the festivities so Fiddlehead offered to let the college kids perform inside if the sky opened up.

Rain stayed away but ominous was the sky, so just to be safe Bennington students performed inside, to the delight of counter boy and the many Fiddlehead customers.

One of them devastated counter boy with a haunting, gorgeous rendition of "Falling Slowly" from the movie "Once" -- just killed it. Another satirized New Jersey in a poem while a cutie mesmerized several classmates with her ukelele-driven song paying homage to Salinger. Another guitar player yelped. Freakishly. Often. 

What's cool is that all of these students shared the space with kids making pottery on the south mezzanine -- part of Fiddlehead's fall art classes.

So what you had was old students and their performance art, and young students and their functional art, and the handmade wares of studio artists across North America that Fiddlehead has filled its space with.

For a moment, circa 7:30, 18-year-old uke plinkers downstairs, 8-year-old claymakers upstairs, customers galore roaming in and out of the action, Fiddlehead at Four Corners fulfilled the hopes and dreams owners Joel and Nina Lentzner had when they moved into the old marble bank turned art gallery. This is the Fiddlehead they envisioned in 2000.

Which explains "There was good energy tonight."

All of Bennington's kids brought the entertainment goods but 3 of them left a lasting mark: senior Ze'eva Berman with her performance of "Falling Slowly"; freshman Jacquelyn Alpine with her song "Franny and Zooey" because she loves Salinger; and freshman Reily Gordon with his strumming and yelping, which kinda-sorta scared the bejesus out of the claymakers.

Here are some photos of the Bennington College performers, with videos of Ze'eva Berman, Jacquelyn Alpine and Sarah Goone, who read poetry and played her banjo. Which means that in the space of an hour, performers picked acoustics, ukes and banjos.

Luckily, no one picked their nose. (That we know of, anyway.)

Ze'eva Berman plays for several classmates

Talia Stocchetti ('14) of East Greenbush, New York

Tenara Calem ('16) of Columbus, Ohio, reading poetry

Tenara drew a big crowd
Hannah Lipper ('15) of North Plainfield, New Jersey
read several poems

Jacquelyn Alpine ('17)
of Sturbridge, Mass

Sarah Goone ('16) of Chicago
reading poetry

The Yelper!