Saturday Jun 7, 2014
Santa Fe, NM 87505
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A documentary dance/film performance inspired by the incredible life of NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer Pete Pihos.
PIHOS A Moving Biography
Presented by Flatlands Dance Theatre
Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm
James A. Little Theatre at the New Mexico School for the Deaf
Santa Fe, NM
Flatlands Dance Theatre is honored to present PIHOS A Moving Biography. The performance features contemporary dance, award-winning film, interviews with NFL greats, and above all, presents a poignant, inspirational story. Guest artist Melissa Pihos, the creator of the show will join FDT as a soloist in this performance that captures her father’s legacy. A silent auction of items signed by Pete Pihos and Mike Ditka will take place during the show to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and Flatlands Dance Theatre. PIHOS A Moving Biography will be presented in the James A. Little Theatre at the New Mexico School for the Deaf on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm. Admission is FREE. This show is sponsored in part by Texas Tech University. For more information, contact Artistic Director Ali Duffy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information about PIHOS A Moving Biography:
PIHOS A Moving Biography is a documentary dance/film performance that examines the life of Melissa Pihos’s father, Former All –Pro Philadelphia Eagles receiver and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Pete Pihos and his fight with Alzheimer’s disease. In the summer of 2012 the show toured to Charlotte and Winston-Salem, NC, Philadelphia, PA and New York City, NY as benefit events for the Alzheimer’s Association. These events are a way to raise financial support for the Alzheimer’s Association as well as create awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, the devastating illness that took the life of her father in August, 2011. The performance heads to Lubbock, TX in November, 2013 where it will be performed by Melissa Pihos along with Flatlands Dance Theatre, once again to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and find ways the community can intersect with Alzheimer’s through the arts.
Pihos’s multimedia production was created in March, 2011. It explores the life of her father, Pete Pihos, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970 after his nine-year career playing with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was an All-American player at Indiana University and a veteran of World War II, where he fought on the front line. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2001 and could suddenly no longer communicate clearly.
Melissa Pihos has studied her father’s life for the last five years and is now telling his story and creating awareness. In 2009, she created “Dear Dad,” an award-winning documentary which plays a significant role in the concert. S. Cagney Gentry, filmmaker and the president of Red Balloon Films, Inc, has also created short films to enhance the visual experience of the production.
Pihos moves through the life of her father, beginning with the murder of his father, Louis Pihos, when Pete was only 14-years-old, and the effects it had on his life and community. Melissa traveled to Orlando, FL to research the murder.
Profound images of war and combat training resonate throughout the performance as well as a number of football sequences, representing the time Pete Pihos spent fighting for his country as well as pursuing his successful career as an exceptional athlete. These intense scenes show off the physicality and masculinity of both war and sport and the grueling training involved for each.
The performance also includes a visualization of Pihos’ private life, in which he was married four times. Including audio from interviews with family members landscaped by Adam Donohue, the piece shows a sensitive side of the story, including the support from his family and his ex-wife Donna Pihos throughout his descent into Alzheimer’s disease.
Pihos also takes an abstract look at Alzheimer’s disease. In this piece, the dancers represent what happens when a normal functioning brain breaks down due to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The film projection that accompanies the dance explores the blurring line between clinical explanations of Alzheimer’s disease and the more visceral, abstracted visualization of memory loss. Repetition, shocks of noise, and shocks of imagery represent the last grasps at memories that are fading into obscurity.
Concluding the performance is a screening of “Dear Dad,” Pihos’s award-winning short documentary film. A 2009 Gotriad article notes that “the film explores the effects of Alzheimer’s by juxtaposing photos and footage of her father from his days as a player for the Philadelphia Eagles, during the late 1940s to mid-1950s, with images of him today. But it’s the relationship between Pihos and her father – illustrated through pictures and letters, most notably one written by her father after her parents’ divorce – that proved especially poignant for the filmmaker and her audiences.”
Melissa Pihos will perform short solos throughout the concert, layering her personal experiences with her father’s life.
The concert features film and video montages using video footage of interviews conducted by Melissa Pihos, archival WWII and football footage of Pete Pihos, along with images examining memory and the effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain. Among the people Pihos interviewed are Coach Mike Ditka, fellow teammate Al Wistert, neurologist Dr. John Porter, and Pat Summerall. The audience is introduced to the person Pete Pihos became because of the complexities of Alzheimer’s disease as well as the amazing person he was before the disease. The truth of an illness is revealed along with the fate of a father/daughter relationship.