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Audience Location:

In the Woods

Date and Time:

June 24, 2017 at 11:00am

Water Locale:

Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, Dunham Trail


Lynn Needle, RYT/500 is the Founder/Artistic Director of Art of Motion, Inc., a non-profit cultural and educational organization, home to the Art of Motion Dance Theatre, an internationally recognized repertory company. A veteran of site-specific touring, Lynn has performed throughout the world in a multitude of indoor and outdoor theatres, at the foot of volcanoes, in bullfighting rings, federal cultural institutions such as the Library of Congress, in Zoos, and at countless Festivals, Parks and Galas. Needle is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from College of Southern Nevada’s “Dance in the Dessert” Festival and the Dance Magazine National ADCFA Award for Choreography.
The Art of Motion Dance Theatre (AOMDT) is committed to a unique artistic vision honoring legacies, celebrating collaboration and expanding creative boundaries. Lynn Needle, former soloist with Nikolais Dance Theatre, and co-artistic director Olivia Galgano, former principal with Ballet Russe have created original work on the company that has developed into a vast array of repertory honoring the complexities of dance as an art form. Their work is continually evolving, has a clear aesthetic base in the classical ballet and modern dance legacies with repertory featuring contemporary street dance. The synthesis of movement is unpredictable, theatrical and accessible; highly sophisticated yet street savvy.
Needle and Galgano continue the vision and commitment to mixing genres, multimedia and theatricality by collaborating with costume designer, Annie Hickman, lighting designer, Ruth Grauert, various conductors, musicians and composers who have created original scores for their work, and choreographic collaboration with former Pilobolus and modern dance principals.
Tina Mayers, a graduate of Stanford University and former dancer from the Washington Ballet and AOMDT Artistic Director, Lynn Needle filmed the piece and edited the copy with the help of Montclair State University undergraduate, Alex Vetterlein.

History of Site and Related Water Issues:

The meaning of the name Ho-Ho-Kus is in dispute. From the official history on the borough’s website, the most likely origin is a contraction of the Delaware Indian term “Mah-Ho-Ho-Kus” (or “Mehokhokus”), meaning “the red cedar.”
Ho-Ho-Kus is an Indian word for running water, a cleft in the rock or under the rock or hollow rock. The word “hohokes”, signifies the whistle of the wind against the bark of trees. The Chihohokies Indians whose chief lived in the area. The Dutch Hoog Akers means”high acorns” or Hoge Aukers, Dutch for “high oaks”. The Indian word hoccus means “fox”, or woakus, “gray fox”, or the “Ho” part means joy or spirit, and the rest of the name from “hohokes,” meaning a kind of bark of a tree. The Ho-Ho-Kus brook is lined by the Dunham Trail, a popular hiking spot which is home to wildlife including deer, fox, coyotes, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, frogs, turtles, and an occasional bear. The brook and wildlife provides an organic, natural sound score for the performance.


A natural sound score of the flowing waterfall of the Ho-Ho-Kus brook, and a chorus of birds.

The Performance:

Participating in Global Water Dances was a moment to honor the fragility of the Earth and focus on the state of the environment. It allowed us to experiment with work created in the studio and improvise in an organic setting on the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, a site once graced by Native Americans, spiritual, beautiful, and calming. The name “Ho-Ho-Kus” is derived from Native American terms evoking running water, a cleft in the rock; the word “hohokes”, which signifies the whistle of the wind against the bark of trees. The sound of the brook and waterfall was mesmerizing, creating a natural metronome which sparked improvisatory movement. As dancers, we embraced challenges offered by the landscape such as precarious balances on tree roots, branches, mud, stones, and in the cascading water itself. Working with various generations of dancers in an organic setting was like nature itself; some trees are saplings, some at full growth, other species not yet realizing their potential. The water is constant, feeding the wildlife which is diverse, ranging from birds, to frogs, turtles, deer, insects and fauna. Its musical and healing properties were apparent and the perfect backdrop to the quartet canon.
A weekly modern dance class taught by Lynn Needle served as inspiration. Part of the AOMDT’s vast repertoire emphasizes the relationship between Man vs. Nature, and explores creation myth as well as beauty and legend. Climbing trees, ancient stone walls, embankments and stepping on stones as though they were lily pads was not only engaging but contemplative and intensely challenging. Improvising and performing with Tina Mayers, Nikki Manx, and AOM Company Manager, Linda Combs was an experience in trust, understanding and mutual respect, something we all need to have on a daily basis, so that we can sustain the health of the environment.

Environmental Impact:

The Dunham Trail is used by the community to hike, and by ornithologists, dog walkers and athletes. Due to violent storm patterns, parts of the trail are impenetrable due to fallen trees and branches, but have created a spectacular habitat for ambitious hikers and sight-specific dance. The water remains pristine and reflects a brook named and founded by Native Americans many generations ago. The spirituality of the environs is deeply apparent by all who grace its path.

Directions to the Site of Performance:

Route 17 North or South to Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood Avenue to Brookside Avenue (Turn Left or Right on to Brookside Avenue)
Turn Right on to Spring Avenue to Bridge. Enter Dunham Trail on your left as you go over bridge.
Walk approximately 1/4 mile to waterfall on left.

Email for more information:

How can I get involved?

Art of Motion, Inc. works closely with the local Chamber of Commerce and local government to advocate for the environment, global warming and climate change. Environmental-clean-up, advocacy and recycling are critical to our demographic.

Local Website:

Other resources and links:


Art of Motion on Facebook. Tweeter: @ArtofMotionInc

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