If you’ve never seen video of Byrne Miller, tonight’s your chance. I’ll be playing a short piece that aired on WJWJ in the 80s as part of my presentation at tonight’s Beaufort 3 Century forum. Duncan’s in it – talking about what motivated Byrne: love. It may be the only clip in existence from the era before his Alzheimer’s claimed his way with words. His passion for, and pride in, Byrne is really moving and Suzanne Larson did a wonderful job capturing the tireless, behind-the-scenes work Byrne did for Beaufort’s children.
It was so nice of the B3C folks to invite me to speak about Byrne Miller’s legacy – she would be thrilled to know that dance is still important to the community she made her home. I hestitated at first – since the BMDT is no longer in existence and Byrne herself has been gone almost ten years. But then I saw it as a chance to celebrate her true legacy – the lives she touched and the minds she challenged.
It’s the last of the B3C forums and Byrne will have the last word – so to speak. The event starts at 5 with a photography reception in the foyer of the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Then we move inside the auditorium at 6 for three presentations – each one twenty minutes long – on comprehensive health, boating, and the Byrne Miller Dance Theatre. The theme is “Ancestors to Future Generations: Look Back, Look Forward.” So come and bring your questions and suggestions – remember how Byrne always had a Q&A with the dancers after each performance? I’ll be wearing Byrne’s long black gown and resplendent collar of jewels – in spirit.