In anticipation of changes spawned by a new light rail line, Placeholders, explored what it means to seek, shape and preserve “place” in the face of transition through a public, participatory event that illuminated and celebrated Long Branch as it is today, on the cusp of change and growth.

Placeholders embraced this spirit of flux through its movement, sound and architectural layers. The performance affirmed what is essential to one’s sense of place in the face of transformation and reflected upon what it means to “hold one’s place” while looking towards the future. A quartet of performers invited passersby on a stroll to investigate three spaces along Flower Avenue. Through movement choices and dis/placement of objects, experience of these environments were altered to reframe their use and refocus attention; yellow bamboo ladders leaned against lightposts equipped with newly installed flower boxes; red chairs and folding tables were misplaced and misused, audio material gleaned from other moments and places were layered into the sonic environment; a temporary horizontal mural on the parking lot suggested alternative directions for motion and territorial claims; and wooden staffs marked space and shifted meaning through placement and use.

Credits: In collaboration with Sharon Mansur, Dance Artist, Dancers Meredith Bove, ; Composer, Curt Seiss with contributions by Aleksandra Vrebalov; Ashley Gryzwa + Kathryn Donahue, Design Assistants; Zachary Z. Handler, Photography; David Dowling, Video; Support: University of Maryland ADVANCE Institute Interdisciplinary SEED grant, Long Branch Business League, Montgomery Housing Partnership.