Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dan Greene's Storytelling at Pardee-Morris Today

Pardee Morris House

Storyteller Dan Greene

Dan Greene, artist musician and storyteller, displayed some of his works for one day only at the Pardee-Morris House today to a small crowd. His music group The Mountain Movers are internationally acclaimed staple of the music scene here in New Haven. He spoke to an NhvOrg video reporter about the story behind his artwork, which has been displayed at numerous galleries and exhibits in New Haven throughout the years. His work is our modern-day folklore.

"All the drawings are based on one story. The story is called "The Monastery of the Heavenly Forest." But it doesn't start with the Monastery and the Monastery actually isn't the Monastery at all. It starts with a place called The Last City, which is kind of falling apart. Everyone is there is called either Skyscraper Workers or Administrators. And then there's a group that finds some books and they head off across a moat to the forest and they build a monastery based on the vision of one person. But their monastary isn't based on religion. It's based on art, and productivity of art. So when they're there, they're quite happy until some problems arise. And they believe the city is getting back at them some revenge by sending in different animals and people to attack them, but it turns out there's just one villain called The Hypnotist.

And the Hypnotist has very limited powers. Really all he can do is hypnotize people but it turns out to be enough. And he also has another skill which is knife throwing. So once he hypnotizes people, he turns them into what is called Knife Throwers and he makes them wear a mask and then he teaches them how to throw knives, and then they serve as the guardians or protectors of this mysterious place known as the Blue Fort. the Blue Fort has within it a big apple orchard. And so essentially there's a bunch of people trying to get to the Blue Fort, and the knife throwers are there to dissuade them with violence. And then there's a romance bubbling underneath. Because essentially what has happened is the original person who led this rebel community out of the city to build this monastery in the first place started calling himself The Saint. And he was really interested in electricity so he made jet packs, and theramins and he was really into watercolors. But then he kind of went mad and decided he needed to burn himself at the stake, and he thought somehow by burning himself at the stake it would burn the city to the ground. And when he died, he changed that vision and said instead of burning the city to the ground, lets go there and turn them into productions of art instead of productions of nonsense. Then he gave the power to a woman known as the Second Saint. She's always wearing black, but she fell in love with the skyscraper worker from the city."

Dan tells his story in any way possible, through visuals, music, art and conversation. He is one of many reasons why New Haven is the greatest small city in America.