… to the website of Sharon Leahy & Rick Good
Original Creations & Living Traditions
DANCE, MUSIC, THEATER & FILM
Represented here is our work as individuals, as a duo, and in our current ensembles: Good & Young and The Elements. Also included is content which can no longer be found on the former Rhythm in Shoes website at www.rhythminshoes.org.
Too much of nothin’ can make a man feel ill at ease…
Mired in the daily struggles of a pandemic there is much to be learned and the lessons continue. The excesses and inequalities of the 21st century have been accompanied by a steady stream of man-made violence, natural disasters and bad decisions. Until now, far too many of us hadn’t seemed to notice and those who did couldn’t help but wonder what it would take to get everyone’s attention. Might it be a deadly virus, rampant racism, a rogue, twice impeached ex-president that instigates a violent assault on our Capitol? How about an existential threat to our very democracy in the form of an all out attack on voting rights and election integrity, all based on a lie, which in turn, is based on conspiracy theories that are stranger than fiction.
Our response to these challenges will shape our future and color our fate for many years to come. Personally, as performing artists, our lives have changed radically. Every gig for the past year and a half was either morphed into to some kind of online stream, postponed, or cancelled outright. We kept at it as best we could but nothing seemed quite as important as wearing a mask in public, social distancing, getting vaccinated and mostly just staying home and steadfastly battling despair.
Having a new president and an experienced team of adults back in charge, along with the relief of effective vaccines, are two much needed blessings for which we can be thankful. If we, as a country, can get a handle on the curse of disinformation and the willful ignorance it spawns, we may someday overcome.
As almost everyone knows by now, folks are better off not gathering in large groups. Many of this summer’s activities have again been exiled to the virtual realm. Our first such experience was July 18 – 23 at SGOnline, which took the place of the annual Swannanoa Gathering Old Time Week at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
Zooming has become a part of life for many of us and a useful tool for online classes. The screenshot below highlights our daughter Emma as she squeezed about three minutes out of her twelve hour shift in the Emergency Room at Acadia General in Crowley, Louisiana to join the team last summer at the online Ashokan Camp.
Teaching dance and music at summer camps has been a part of our lives for nearly forty years. Folks of all ages take time off from their day-to-day lives to learn clogging, square dancing, singing and stringed instrument playing from professional artists. Although this kind of gathering has been on hold here is a photo of what it looked like pre-pandemic:
We also performed our old-timey version of Bob Dylan’s lovely love song, If Not for You, on the Old Time Radio Hour, an annual event that features performances by the staff at Ashokan Southern Week.
Creatively speaking, the past year has certainly been a challenge but we haven’t been completely idle. For those of you who remember with fondness the socially conscious folk music of the sixties, our response to a mass shooting in our hometown of Dayton, Ohio, Do Something, is just one example of the original songs Rick has been writing about the ongoing state of our world. You can hear them all on Soundcloud.
Who knows where we go from here but, on our way to wherever it is, let us all strive to learn from the challenges that face us.
At the Corner of Jekyll and Hyde
a new album by Rick Good
Yes, you can still call them albums.
Bob Dylan once said, The world don’t need any more songs. They’ve got enough. They’ve got way too many. As a matter of fact, if nobody wrote any songs from this day on, the world ain’t gonna suffer for it. Nobody cares. There’s enough songs for people to listen to, if they want to listen to songs. For every man, woman and child on earth, they could be sent, probably, each of them, a hundred records, and never be repeated. There’s enough songs… Unless someone’s gonna come along with a pure heart and has something to say. That’s a different story.
And Rick says: I wrote these songs over the course of almost fifty years because I had something to say. As for the purity of my heart, that is a work in progress.
Check out our MERCHANDISE PAGE for more info.
One of our ongoing musical endeavors has us teamed-up with our longtime Ohio friends, Michael & Sandy Bashaw. We call ourselves The Elements and we do our best to keep it real in a most eclectic way.
Before the Delta Variant turned our hopes inside out, we thought we were finally getting back to some live performing. Alas, we had to cancel our August 21st appearance at Porchfest in the St. Anne’s District of Dayton, Ohio, and we’ve postponed our show on September 17th (7:00pm) at the Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St. in downtown Dayton. This concert would also have featured Michael and Sandy’s band, Puzzle of Light. We look forward to a date on next year’s Levitt schedule and we all intend to take advantage of being together on the same stage.
Although both these dates were outside venues, we struggled with being a part of any activity that encouraged large groups of people to gather. Especially, now that children are at increased risk, erring on the side of caution is surely the thing to do.
SONGS OF PEACE AND FREEDOM
There seems to be a growing trend towards songs of political activism and The Elements are diving in head first. With a strong base of original topical songs and a tasty bunch of classic covers, we are out to rouse the rabble and raise consciousness with the power of music.
Our last big pre-pandemic production was a very special weekend of shows at the Dayton Theatre Guild where we featured Michael’s magnificent Sound Sculptures, along with our usual array of instruments and The Elements signature eclectic repertoire.
This rare Theater of Sound concert strove to fill the hearts and minds of our audience with inspiration and feeling and, by all accounts, we were successful.
For those of you who went to the concert and want to see a set list with all the credits, go to The Elements page on this website and scroll down a bit.
The Photo at the top of this page is from the video, Where There is Love, one of Michael and Sandy’s many fine songs with their band Puzzle of Light. The video was part of the Playing for Change movement and was made in Dayton, by Dayton artists.
GOOD & YOUNG
Whenever we were in Louisiana, which used to be quite a lot, we had the pleasure of playing with our daughter Emma and her husband Linzay in the Good & Young Family Band. Along with their children, Edith and Henri, the Youngs have recently resettled in Dayton, much to our delight!
Our last appearance in Louisiana was a streaming concert for the wonderful Oldtime Quarantine Happy Hour series which ran all during the pandemic on Facebook.
Our last live appearances seem like a long time ago. They included; December 7th at the Sola Violins in downtown Lafayette. Stay tuned for future GOOD & YOUNG live shows here in Ohio.
Sharon’s award-winning dance for camera, which premeired August 3, 2017 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, has been accepted for screening at several screendance festivals throughout America and abroad.
The Experimental Film and Music Video Festival runs every three months at the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto and at the LA LIVE Regal Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles.
The stated goal of this festival is to showcase the best new experimental short films from around the world that don’t get a fair shake from other film festivals because programmers don’t know how to “categorize” them.
As part of the 2018 Movies By Movers Film Festival, Ground Fine had a screening at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham in June. This Festival also takes place in the fall at Appalachian State University in Boone.
The DanceBARN ScreenDANCE Festival took place during the DanceBARN Festival in Battle Lake, Minnesota in July. Official selections for the ScreenDANCE Festival were presented during a free outdoor screening at the ArtSTREAM Alley in Battle Lake.
Here’s what they had to say about Ground Fine:
Ground Fine is an exquisite work of screendance that takes advantage of the full breadth of the screen medium. I was thrilled to be taken into a truly believable dance universe with trios and duets and solos that wrestle with food, femininity, and domesticity. Of course, I enjoyed the original score and the high production values but I especially enjoyed the careful way in which the score, the body choreography, and the camera choreography all worked together to create a totally seamless and pleasing pace.
Returning to Ontario, Ground Fine was also accepted by the RSVP Experimental Film Festival as part of their “Best of Female Film Festival” lineup. Considered by them to be “one of the best short films from the last year,” the screening took place Thursday evening, September 20, 2018, at the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto.
On October 4th at 7:00pm, The Outlet Dance Project included Ground Fine in its presentation of dance films from around the globe at the Grounds For Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton, New Jersey. This festival features films that have been produced and created by women filmmakers and choreographers.
Regarding Ground Fine, Outlet Dance Directors, donia salem and Ann Robideaux write:
In a world of dance films reflecting the sadness of the state of the world, it is refreshing (and necessary) to watch an upbeat and fun film with real substance. The design draws you in and the variety of dance style shown make this a stand out film.
Tipperary Dance Platform stages its international dance festival in the dramatic landscape of the Aherlow mountains at the heart of Ireland.
This annual festival invites audiences to a full week of dance, showcasing the latest works of choreographers and film makers.
The 2018 festival ran October 8 – 14, and included live performances, screendance projections, master class programs, symposiums, training for dancers and choreographers, classes for the community, exhibitions, and installations. Ground Fine closed out the evening screenings on October 13th.
The Portland Dance Film Festival in Oregon ran for two weekends in October: Friday and Saturday the 13th and 14th and Saturday and Sunday, the 20th and 21st.
This year’s selection of dance films were shown at the Clinton Street Theater.
Rounding out the year for Ground Fine, the 2018 San Francisco Dance Film Festival presented the film at the Brava Theater Center in the Mission District October 11 – 14.
Next up, the first screening of Ground Fine in the New Year will be at the Wexner Center for the Arts on the Ohio State University main campus, in Columbus. The February 13th screening will be part of the annual Dance@30FPS.
Watch and hear video clips of Sharon’s and Rick’s work from the vast and varied repertoire of Rhythm in Shoes, now accessible and ever expanding on the LeahyGood YouTube channel, as well as this site’s VIDEO page.
Website banner photo by Nate Cooper