Visual Art Studio

VITAL SPARK NORTH is an interdisciplinary performance duo that features the collaborative work of choreographer and visual artist Erika Lawlor Schmidt and composer and pianist Gary Schmidt . Together, they have been creating work since 1995 that integrates dance, physical theater, music /soundscape, kinetic sculpture and video. Their projects have been produced throughout the US and Europe. Vital Spark North performances may also be created for larger ensembles through student or community based projects and workshops.

Vital Spark's projects explore and stimulate an exchange of ideas and methods that may challenge conventional concepts of theater. Through a unique fusion of performing and visual arts, Vital Spark presents a charged artistic vision that creates a memorable and visceral journey for the viewer.

Vital Spark's performance projects are produced in traditional theater venues as well as in museums, galleries, and performance festivals. Erika has received numerous awards and commissions for her work with Vital Spark.

Erika Lawlor Schmidt is a visual and performing artist whose work is shaped by investigations into Eastern thought yet informed by concepts within the contemporary art conversation. Erika received her formal dance training in Chicago, lll. and earned her M.F.A. in Art from University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She has received numerous awards and commissions for her unique approach to art and performance.

Gary Schmidt pianist and composer received his M.M. from the University of Illinois in Champagne - Urbana, Ill. He has composed numerous original soundscapes for Vital Spark North and musical scores for traditional ensembles as well as electronic media. As a pianist he performs a wide range of musical styles including his own compositions of which he has produced 2 CD's "Channels of light" and "Meditations for solo piano".

Vital Spark's performance projects include:
  • Anderson House: Harvard Club, Wash. D.C
  • Middlebury College, Middlebury Vermont
  • Lake Wales Art Center, Lake Wales, FL
  • Spruce Peak Performing Art Center, Stowe, Vermont
  • Barre Opera House, Barre, Vermont
  • Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, New York
  • Dorset Theater, Dorset, Vermont
  • Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT
  • Bennington College, Bennington, VT
  • Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, VT
  • Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, West Rutland, VT
  • Castleton College, Castleton, VT
  • SolarFest, Tinmouth, VT
  • Elon College, Elon, NC
  • San Fransisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA
  • Graphic Studio at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL.
  • Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL.
  • University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
  • Prague Fest, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Concorso Internazionale de Danza, Cecena, Italy
  • Dance Gran Prix, Barcelona, Spain
  • Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago, IL
Select Repetoire
  • Meditation
  • Gloria
  • Wayward: U.S. Highball at DanceFest 2016
  • "One blink of an eye to being fully awake" DanceFest Vermont! 2014
  • "Elegy" 2013
  • "Turn to the sun" 2013
  • "Wavelength II " 2012
  • "Skin" 2012
  • "Nocturne (for George Sand)" 2011
  • "Italian Concerto" 2011
  • "Qu'ils manget de la brioche" 2010
  • Turn / return ... and again 2010
  • Cake Walkin' baby 2010
  • Nocturne 2010
  • A Clever crow always paints its feather black 2010
  • Rays Converging 2009
  • Current/Channel, Valentine Out of Season 2008
  • Resolutio, The Mandarin Project, The Architects 2007
  • Engram 2006
  • The Painted Bird 2005
  • Rhymes with Silver, Wireless Caller 2004
  • Rah, Rah Brouhaha, Some of These Days 2003
  • Wavelength, Igitur 2002
  • Random Acts of Dance, The Satchmo Project 2001
  • Rumi Jatna 2000
  • The Message, Round... Go... Round 1999
  • Trance Gong 1998
  • Compound Eye 1997
  • How in Salt's Desert is it Possible to Bloom? 1996
  • Riverboat Journey 1995
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