Over the years, I’ve covered the concerts and the CDs presented by a talented Maine musical family: The Gawler Family. One member of this musical troupe has gone out and made quite a name for herself and that’s Molly. She plays fiddle, banjo, sings — and dances. It is this aspect of her career that I’m here to highlight in that she’ll be putting on a show called “Droplet Dance” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Messalonskee Performing Arts Center in Oakland. She has a website dedicated to the show, which previews some of the dances that she’ll be performing. I called her recently to learn more about not only the show, but also how she got to where she is now in her career.

Q: I’ve spent quite a lot of time at your “Droplet Dance” website and I have to say that what you do in those videos is not only entertaining but jaw-dropping at times. Molly, it’s amazing, it really is!

Gawler: Oh, thanks Lucky!

Q: You incorporate the Cyr wheel (a large circular acrobatic apparatus made of steel or aluminum) in this particular show, correct?

Gawler: Yes. I love that Cyr wheel. I think it’s such a good metaphor for all the water works that I do because it’s so fluid.

Q: How long is the “Droplet Dance” piece?

Gawler: This will be an evening of works which include several of my dances. I’ll probably do about eight dances, mostly solo choreography that I’ve made over the years. And then it also includes live music, mostly from a friend of mine named Lissa Schneckenburger, whom you might know.

Q: Yes, she’s a great fiddle player. I’ve interviewed her before.

Gawler: And then there’s also storytelling from a friend of mine named Nettie Lu Lane. So it’ll be the three of us putting on a show that’s all about water.

Q: So it’ll be just Lissa providing the music at this show?

Gawler: Yeah, some of the shows will have The Gawler Family members, as well.

Q: But this is for the Messalonskee Performing Arts Center gig?

Gawler: Yes, we’re going on a small tour with the Messalonskee Performing Arts Center as our first venue. The next night we’ll be in the Rockport Opera House and the next night we’ll be down in Portland at the Portland Ballet Studio Theater. It’s a lovely little black-box theater.

Q: Back to that Cyr wheel video, where was that filmed?

Gawler: Oh, that was my graduation piece from circus school. I went to the New England Center for Circus Art in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Q: Now you’ve had some success touring internationally as well, did I hear that correctly?

Gawler: Yeah, I toured internationally with Pilobolus, the dance company, and we made a full-length, feature show called “Shadowland” and we toured that for quite a while. I was part of that show for three years, and it’s still going.

Q: Are you still part of that troupe?

Gawler: No, I left the company. I really wanted to move back to Maine and I wasn’t sure how it would go to be a performer in Maine, but so far it’s working out really well.

Q: I was wondering how the music aspect of your career was going, so that’s great news. Having covered your family’s music over all these years it’s wonderful to learn about what you’ve been doing on your own. Oh, is there going to be another Gawler Sisters CD coming out? The first one was a sheer delight, with that acoustic music and great sibling harmonies.

Gawler: Well thank you, Lucky. And to answer your question, yes and it’s really close to being finished, actually. I think there’s some good music on there. There’s one song in particular called “My Peace” that I’m really excited about because people have been asking for a recording of that for a while. We tend to sing it as an encore every show that we do and it’s one of those heart-to-heart songs that really (resonates) with people.

Q: Now you say that the show at the Messalonskee PAC is the first show of the mini-Maine tour. Have you ever performed it before?

Gawler: Yes, I started doing “Droplet Dance” shows in 2013 and the formula is always dances and stories and live music all surrounding water, and I’ve done it with different people. We’ve done “Droplet Dance” shows with the family band, as well. The subject of water just seems to really resonate with me. I seem to run across a lot of stories about water from people as I travel around so I like to incorporate those into the show.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article concerning your performance at the Messalonskee PAC?

Gawler: I guess I would just say that this is a show that has to do with celebration and joy and sharing heart-to-heart with each other. We end the show with a water toast. We do a parade and everybody has a little sip of water to just enjoy the pure, clean, cool taste of water together. That’s kind of the purpose of the show.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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