Aerial Lift Bridge
Original score composed for the site by Merry Holoien.
From an account of the history of Aerial Lift Bridge 94 in Duluth:
One has to wonder what the Coast Guard—and the Corps of Engineers, city, and bridge operators, for that matter—thought of an event that took place on the bridge in 1994. Twin Cities-based choreographer Marylee Hardenbergh wanted to stage “Bridge Dancing.” More than a dance piece, it would be performance art: a twenty-three-minute extravaganza with dancers on the lift span, in-line skaters atop the piers carrying vividly colored flags, and kayakers in the canal below all synchronized for an audience standing on the North Pier listening to music composed for the event. Hardenbergh managed to cut through all the red tape required, and the show went on. She even got the Coast Guard enthusiastic enough about the project to join in by including two of its boats in the performance.
Calling the bridge the show’s “star” the Duluth News Tribune’s art critic Dominic Papatola praised the event as an “elegant, ingenious blend of aesthetics and engineering, of form and function, of fancy and reality” and an “inspired spectacle of color and motion.” Over one thousand people showed up to watch the event, which proved popular enough that Hardenbergh and her dancers came back in August 1996 and gave an encore performance.