“Sculptor John Cira’s exhibit – an eye-catching series of diagonal red Lycra – stretched between tree limbs, enclosing a heavy piece of iron, evoking an instrument of torture. This unique backdrop provided inspiration for remarkable dancer DeAnna Pellecchia, whose expressive and energetic performance was set to the accomplished violin playing of Emily Stewart. The audience was asked to sit inside the exhibit, at the heart of the evocative show, suddenly becoming part of the performance. A highly successful collaboration, a powerful expression of lyricism and emotion, STRETCH / HOOK will remain an unforgettable experience for ZOU spectators and artists alike.”
– LN | Artistic Director / Curator, ZOU Arts Festival, LaBrousse, France

“One of the greatest joys of my professional life is to present work that is provocative, unusual, and moving. The recent installation by John Cira of STRETCH / HOOK transformed our gallery. The culminating performance by the remarkable DeAnna Pellecchia, whose intense choreography was paired with the exquisite improvisation of Kenny Werner, was one of those events where multiple art forms were joined and presented at their highest caliber. The sold out, cheering audience will be talking about this very special night for years to come.”
– David Kuehn | Executive Director, Cotuit Center for the Arts

“I was particularly moved by STRETCH / HOOK because it reminded me of everything I hold near and dear in this life. The beauty and contrast of the natural environment, internal struggle, fluidity, sacrifice, movement, oppression, waves of calm, devastation, bloodshed, and eventually breaking through to rise up again. The splashes of red fabric woven through the treetops and surging beneath the ground reminded me of the struggle nature faces around man. The metal hook suspended in the fabric evoked a sense of what it feels like to be choked, while also being dragged down and desperately gasping for air. The music invited me in and captivated my heart. Calling me in like a siren to sit down, unload my burden and just listen. While the movements felt like a story, one I knew all too well… from feeling invisible, to slowly crawling out. We dance our way through this journey called life…some moments are extraordinary and exuberant, while other moments we feel broken, crawling on the muddy earth with tears in our eyes and blood under our nails. Fighting with internal demons, rage, and shame, on the battlefield of life. Only to collapse in the end into our own divine authenticity. I will always remember this exhibit. The way it made me feel, and the way the artists made me feel when we interacted. They spoke to my soul, and if nothing else, created a space where the audience could let go and wander off on the journey with them. And in my opinion, that is profound and meaningful art.”
– Jordan Law | Audience Member, ZOU Arts Festival, LaBrousse, France