March 2020 In Dance

Published by Dancers' Group, In Dance is discourse and dialogue to unify, strengthen, and amplify.

MARCH 2020

ODC/Dance, Mar 26–Apr 5 Photo by RJ Muna

During the 1970’s I struggled to understand complex feel- ings. Simultaneously I was drawn to activities that provided platforms for self-expression that took advantage of the same complex thoughts; sexual awakening, freedom of ex- pression, addiction and body acceptance. A journey towards self-acceptance through self-expression is not unique to me, nor unique to that time. Along with immersing myself in acting and dancing I found solace in photography. Candid images of people fascinated me, and still do. As an eager photographer, I wielded my SLR Nikon camera as if I was on a fashion shoot. Seeking to capture images that were sexy and alluring, like the ones featured in After Dark and Interview magazine. I savored magazines like those that featured bold pictorials. Images that celebrat- ed sexual exploration, showing as much skin as possible, were those I returned to often. In the 1970’s these were print only publications that exposed me to limitless possibilities of expression. Not surprisingly, my photos were well-inten- tioned copies at best. I knew my images were not unique and yet throughout the 70’s and early 80’s I continued a photographic practice that was informed by patience and repetition. Patience be- cause the images I was copying were often over exposed and out of focus. Each time I was in the dark room my photos revealed bluntly all that I had yet to learn about the mechan- ics of photography. Repetition, I realized, was a way to try and retry to capture an original image. So, I kept taking pho- tos and assessing each one hoping that some more dominant aesthetic emerged that was mine. I never got there. I’m in awe, and envious, of photographers that have honed a photographic point of view that is undeniably rec- ognizable when you see their photos. Many of them Welcome by WAYNE HAZZARD, ARTIST ADMINISTRATOR

work in dance and include RJ Muna, Lois Greenfield, Robbie Sweeny, Marty Sohl, Kegan Marling and Pak Han. These artists make up a short list of photographers that uniquely highlight their subjects. Each issue of In Dance features gloriously good dance images and this month photographer Pak Han talks with Sima Belmar, revealing how he found his way to document- ing dance and how he is furthering his craft specializing in street photography. To compliment recent tips on lighting design and videography, we reached out to Kegan Marling to provide tips to consider when engaging a photographer. Kegan writes, “In general, capturing a show can be high- stress – there’s one chance for the photographer to catch the action and they usually haven’t seen the work in advance.” This sentiment rings true for those critiquing dances, too. Over the first months of 2020 shows like the Grammys, Golden Globes and Oscars have continued to prompt con- versations about the tired format of award shows. First time writer for In Dance Bhumi Patel, takes on this very impor- tant topic and states that, “We are in a time of contradictory desires — one to lose ourselves in the magic of glitz and glam and one to create equity in the performing arts.”With the Bay Area’s own complex relationship to acknowledging the best in dance this topic will continue to resonate and rile. Go see for yourself at the free community event on March 23 where the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards will announce and honor the latest awardees. Instead of primarily being known as the year of the Rat, I’m going to name 2020 as a year for more participation. Read more, see more, vote more, and please share more of your unique perspective to ensure that what you believe to be true flourishes.

Los Lupeños Juvenil, Mar 15 Photo by Juan Ocampo

africawedance, Mar 21 Photo courtesy of artist

Rebecca Morris & Dancers, Mar 21-29 Photo by Sara Lavalley

IN PRACTICE: Photographer Pak Han

MEMBERSHIP Dancers’ Group – publisher of In Dance – provides resources to artists, the dance community, and audiences through programs and services that are as collaborative and innovative as the creative process. LEVELS AND BENEFITS Community (FREE): • Performances This Week emails • Weekly emails featuring audition and job notices, artistic opportunities, news, and more • Artist resources (no login required) and other content on Dancers’ Group’s website • Access to Grant Calendar of upcoming deadlines • Action alerts about arts policy and special opportunities • Pick up In Dance for free at Dancers’ Group’s office or one of our drop-off locations Individual ($50/yr, $90/2yr): All Community benefits plus: • All Community benefits plus: • 10 issues of In Dance mailed to you each year • Discounts to performances, classes, workshops, space rentals, and more • Full access to resources on


Company ($85/yr, $153/2yr): All Community & Individual benefits plus: DISCOUNTS ON:

• In Dance advertising • Postcard Distribution

Photos by Pak Han

MY FATHER IS A PHOTOGRAPHER, and growing up, whenever I was minding my own busi- ness, doing my homework or vaccinating my stuffed animals, my father would sneak up to me and say, “Si-i-maaaa…” I’d look up to face a cyclopean cyborg, a phantom of the opera, half human, half Leica. And before I could turn away, click! I fell for it every time. Annoying as this quickly became, I loved growing up surrounded by photographs—of family in Brooklyn and Moldova, of trav- els to Europe and Asia, and, above all, of an ever-changing New York City. My father’s street photographs of New York, spanning the period between the 1960s and today, chronicle a rapidly shifting landscape, from the visually stunning, filthy chaos of Times Square to its current state of Disneyfica- tion, from seated subway passengers hidden behind crumpled broadsheet newspapers to straphangers staring into cell phones, necks bent at unnatural angles. But what most draws me to my father’s street photographs is the way they reflect the movement composition of everyday life. The photographs are candid but rather than seeming to freeze a moment in time, they reveal the viscosity of time itself. Our real- ity is a shared stretchiness, so even if the woman smoking a cigarette in black pumps is unaware of the woman approaching from around the corner, also in black pumps, they nevertheless existed together in a choreogra- phy developing in real time. My dad’s street photographs capture the intercorporeality at the core of our daily lives. This is probably why I’m so attracted to Pak Han’s dance photography—it looks like street photography, which makes sense considering that Han sees himself as funda- mentally a street photographer. Unlike the studio photographs of someone like Lois Greenfield, frozen moments of virtuosity pulled from the context of actual dancing, Han joins the dancer “on the street” to find real-time bodily transactions that tell a story that runs parallel to the dances themselves. Han’s dance photographs have the feeling of being with the world in motion, a process of unconcealment rather than capture. (Yes, I’m being footloose and fancy free with Hei- degger here, but since I’m more of an expert on Footloose than Unverborgenheit , that will be my last reference to the philosopher of being and time.)

JOIN or RENEW 415-920-9181 /

ADVERTISE For ad rates and upcoming deadlines:

Photo by Robert Belmar Occupancy Spring 1961

Han was born in Korea and spent his early childhood in Osan, a small town on the outskirts of Seoul. His father was an expres- sionist painter and Han grew up surrounded by art: “My father was painting every day. We lived in a house with a studio on the first floor. Ever since I was little I doodled and I painted. My father taught me how to draw perfect circles and shapes. It was just an everyday activity. Growing up I thought art was going to be my primary occupation and I was going to paint for the rest of my life.” But things changed when Han’s family immi- grated to the United States in 1977 after his father fell in love with the US after a one- year teaching gig in Oregon five years prior: “Compared to Korea, there was so much more freedom here as far as creativity and expressing yourself. But taste in art is very different in Korea and the US. My father was relatively successful in Korea but once we immigrated he wasn’t getting the same kind of success. So our family started strug- gling. My mother started working full time. My father got into the antique business to make money. But he was a horrible business- man. He would open up an antique shop in a location where they don’t have people walk- ing around looking for antiques. I would help out in the shop and we would go to antique shows together. That’s when I started to think, wait a minute, do I want to be an

P. 12

Han didn’t immediately develop a passion for the one-eyed time machine.


artist? Throughout my teenage years I was in conflict because I felt like art was what I was meant to do but at the same time I sought a steady paycheck.” So, before graduating from college, Han found steady work with a steady paycheck outside the art field. But he didn’t give up the life of an artist: “I was looking to become an illustrator. I thought about conceptual design for films or television. The job gave me the stability I didn’t experience growing up but there was no creativity in it. In my spare time, I continued to draw and paint. It wasn’t a dream profession, but I did the best I could to have a comfortable life. I started working at age 21 and retired at age 50. I’m 51 now.” Han didn’t want to go into the details of the career he had for 29 years—he has worked hard to keep that life and his artistic endeavors separate. Though his father had given him a Canon AE-1 camera when he turned 18, Han didn’t immediately develop a passion for the one- eyed time machine. Then, in 2007, a photog- rapher friend encouraged him to join him in his practice: “My friend had a couple of


Photographer Pak Han by Sima Belmar

6 / Hiring and Working with a Photographer by Kegan Marling 7 / The Draw(back) of

Awarding Achievement by Bhumi Patel

8 / March Performance Calendar 12 / RAWdance Does a Triple Take by Sarah Chenoweth 14 / Kathak’s Rhythmic Journey of Emotion by Mina Rios 16 / Diamano Coura Celebrates 45 Years by Aries Jordan


in dance MAR 2020

In Dance | May 2014 |




rs r

. r

unify strengthen amplify unify strengthen a plify

44 Gough Street, Suite 201

Continued on pg 4 »


in dance MAR 2020

little seismic dance company photo by Pak Han

» Continued from pg 3

manual Leica cameras. I would play with them and he would look at my pictures and go, ‘Wow. You know Han these are actu- ally good.’ That planted a seed in my head. I started to explore photography seriously from that point on, got myself a Canon DSLR, a large camera with a big lens. I started to wander around taking photos in the South Bay. I got hooked. It was a weird feeling, like grabbing a jacket off a rack and it fits perfectly. That was the feeling I got with photography.” For ten years, Han jug- gled 12-hour shifts at his day job, with 3-4 days a week devoted to photography, two full-time jobs: “I wasn’t getting any rest.” Despite being digital photographs, Han’s black and white pictures remind me of the photos I grew up with; they have a grainy feel that evokes timelessness and my father’s basement dark room: “I strive for that. I don’t like digital photos to look like digital photos.”When Han had an opportunity to go to Japan in 2008 and 2009—the first time for a Star Wars convention (he’s a huge fan), the second time to see the person he met on the first trip—he took his camera with him. He quickly started getting lost on purpose, just taking photos: “It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. It was meditative. Being in that zone, just with my camera, it gave me this amazing euphoric feeling.” When he came back to California, he showed his photos to renowned Bay Area- based actor, dancer, choreographer, director Erika Chong Shuch. Shuch and Han have known each other all their lives—Han’s father introduced Shuch’s parents to each other in Korea—so they’re “like cousins.” She loved the photos and asked Han if he could take rehearsal photographs of a proj- ect she was embarking on in collaboration with Sean San Jose and Dennis Kim called Sunday Will Come at Intersection for the Arts: “I was hesitant because I felt like that wasn’t my thing. But Erika knows how to convince me. She said, ‘Hey, it’s just like street photography! You’re just going to be there and take these candid photos of us during rehearsal.’ I agreed under two condi- tions: one, complete freedom, no art direc- tion, and two, I’m shooting in black and white.” Pleased with his work, Shuch asked

Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project / photo by Pak Han

photographs, I wanted to have that collab- orative relationship. Once they are okay with that, I would work with them.” This agree- ment doesn’t necessarily guarantee a contin- uous relationship. Han needs to connect as personalities and artistically: “I have a very special relationship with just a handful of people where we can explore ideas and con- jure up imageries and visual concepts.” Han’s experiences in Japan cemented his passion for street photography. A street pho- tographer strives to remain unseen. With the help of the camera as protective barrier, a street photographer retains their anonymity. This mode of being in the world suited Han: “With street photography you’re trying to create something beautiful or interesting. But at the same time, I have to be mindful that I’m taking photos of strangers in the street. How do I do it without sacrificing art and without crossing that line of being creepy.”

him to take promotional photos, then pro- duction photos: “I had no training in pro- duction photography. When I showed up, there were people in the seats, the lights kept changing. I just remember running around everywhere with my camera, sweat coming down my forehead and getting into my eyes. I was constantly changing the settings of my camera to adjust to the lighting and the movement. When everything was over Erika and Sean asked how it went. I didn’t really know. It was a blur. I picked maybe a couple dozen shots I thought were good and gave it to them. I didn’t hear anything right away. But after a few days, they told me they loved them.” When Han is shooting a live produc- tion, he is all over the place: “Before I take a job with any theater, I explain to them that I need to get up close. Instead of cap- turing images from the point of view of the

audience, I want to capture a perspective the audience doesn’t have. And I want it to be cinematic.” Cinematic is a good word for Han’s photography, both street and perfor- mance. His photographs tell a story unfold- ing in time, in that split-second moment after he sees an interesting composition and before he presses the shutter; the photogra- pher recognizes something emergent and a whole universe of change happens in that moment. That’s why it’s not quite right to call photography a technology of capture, and why photographers like Han seem to have an uncanny way of attuning to their environment. Han has worked long time with Shuch as well as with several Bay Area theater and dance companies such as Nina Haft & Co, Paufve Dance, Anna Halprin, Crowded Fire, Dohee Lee, inkBoat, and Shotgun Players: “I didn’t want to show up and just take

4 in dance MAR 2020




rs r

. r

In Dance | May 2014 |

unify strengthen amplify unify strengthen a plify

44 Gough Street, Suite 201

It’s funny that Han used the word “creepy.” When I shared with a writing class that my dad used to take photos of sunbathers on the beach in Seaside Heights, NJ, someone in the class said, “Creepy.” I’d never thought of it as creepy because the photographs always reflected something of compositional inter- est rather than a lascivious glance toward a woman in a bikini: “I didn’t really think about that either until last year when some of my photos were featured on the website Bored Panda. People started making com- ments. Some wonderful comments and few, ‘Oh, that’s creepy!’ That’s when I started going, Oh my God, there are people who are going to think that way. It affected the way I shoot now. Before I wasn’t thinking about the woman looking beautiful or sexy when I was taking the photo. I was thinking about composition, lighting, the expression on her face. But after the Bored Panda experience, I went back to Japan and noticed that when I was taking photos I was very aware of that. It kind of put a leash on me a little bit. I don’t know if it’s good or not.” We are in a moment where we’re being forced to become aware of these things and that’s a net good for our society. As to whether this awareness makes art better or worse, who’s to say? I think those are sepa- rate issues. I can’t watch a Woody Allen movie anymore because of who I now under- stand him to be. His art is ruined for me because I have a new lens on it. I’m pretty sure I’d laugh as hard now at Love and Death as I did before the revelations about his conduct. That’s partly why I won’t watch it again. I feel like my laughter would make me complicit. Some artists are interested in this challenge, others feel like it’s an affront to their creative liberty. Han sees it as a period of figuring things out. Han’s dance photographs are interest- ing art objects in and of themselves. They respond to the dance and in so doing become part of the dance: “I am looking for something that has a story of its own in each shot. Rather than seeing a photo and recognizing the image as a dance, I want the viewer to really dwell on the image.” And that’s what both dance writing and dance photography have to offer—an opportunity to dwell on an image, to inhabit the image as a divining rod that locates and reactivates the dance: “One of my objectives is to get people curious about the performance with just one or handful of photos. I want to cre- ate a visceral, metaphorical, sublime image that people can look at, wonder what it’s about, and want to know more about the artist and the work.” Han and I agree that photography is not an art form of capture but rather of creation. Like a piece of dance writing, a dance pho- tograph is not a corollary to the dance but rather an actuality that exists in conversation with the dance, enriching the conversation around it. The dance photograph helps tell the story of the dance. It’s part of the dance’s archive not unlike the bodies that hold the memory of movement in their tissue. Pak Han and his camera join the bodies in mo- tion and in stillness, in the street and in the theater, in the dance. SIMA BELMAR, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in the Depart- ment of Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the ODC Writer in Residence. To keep up with Sima’s writing please subscribe to And that’s what both dance writing and dance photography have to offer—an opportunity to dwell on an image, to inhabit the image as a divining rod that locates and reactivates the dance.

Anna Halprin's Parades and Changes / photo by Pak Han


in dance MAR 2020

Tips to Consider When Hiring and Working with a Photographer by KEGAN MARLING

3. What should you expect afterwards: •   Don’t expect your favorite moments to get captured. We’re doing our best to show off your work and capture the highlights, but sometimes bodies move too fast or a shape that looks great in 3D looks lifeless in 2D. If there’s something you absolutely must have captured, you should talk with your photographer about carving out time before the performance. •   Editing takes time and every artist has a different process. Be sure to negotiate in advance if you have a specific dead- line when you need some or all of the images. •   Most photographers will deliver edited images only. You shouldn’t expect to receive unedited (raw) images unless you have specifically discussed this in advance. Photographers are usually happy to do additional touch-ups or editing for a fee. •   And finally, please always credit your photographe r! Photo credits directly impact a photographer’s ability to find work and are an important acknowl- edgement of their artistry. Many pho- tographers will not work with some- one a second time if they notice a consistent failure to credit. Please be considerate and acknowledge the work and artistry of your photographer! KEGAN MARLING is a San Francisco documentary and lifestyle photographer focused on queer com- munities, dance, and body/sex-positivity. His work has been in publications including the SF Chronicle , SF Weekly , Têtu , and Drummer Magazine , and is part of the permanent collection at SF General Hospital. He has created two short films in collaboration with playwright Brian Thorstenson for the National Queer Arts Festival, and is currently working on a photo essay on queer mythologies.

and adjusting the light levels for cam- era. At the very least, try to set aside time before the run to shoot a couple moments in the appropriate lighting so the photographer can try out different camera settings. •   Before the shoot, take a moment to consider the background of your dance and look for anything that might show up unwanted in an image. The cam- era often picks up small details, and you can greatly improve the quality of photos by doing some simple things like hiding a cable running across the back or changing bright spike marks on the floor with colors similar to the floor color. •   If you know the images are for a spe- cific future purpose, or that you would prefer the photographer focus on a specific person, be clear about these requests in advance. For example, if I know a company is planning to use the images for a postcard, I’ll often shoot leaving plenty of empty space around the action so that it’s easy for someone to add text later. •   Photographing a dress rehearsal can offer great flexibility for moving around the space, potentially allow- ing your photographer to capture more compelling angles and a more diverse set of images. And you won’t have to worry about camera noise or blocking audience members. If your photogra- pher won’t be able to move during the performance, it’s best to discuss with them in advance about their location during the show. •   If your budget allows, consider hiring them to photograph two performances. Having seen the work once already, the photographer will be better equipped to capture quick moments, try differ- ent angles, and compensate for lighting issues.

photographers are already offering art- ists the lowest rate they can afford. •   A promotional shoot can be a great way to test out working with a new photographer. You get marketing mate- rials and a chance to see how they work, while providing the photogra- pher an opportunity to learn about the work you’re making. •   Plan to hire a photographer 2-3 months in advance when possible, especially if your event is only for one weekend. 2. Preparing for a shoot: •   In general, capturing a show can be high-stress – there’s one chance for the photographer to catch the action and they usually haven’t seen the work in advance. Plus, they’re constantly adjusting for lighting changes and fast- moving action! Consider the following to help them in advance of the shoot. •   Talk them through a rough outline of the flow of the show, noting any sud- den shifts in lighting or focus. For example, if you have a dark section that is immediately followed by bright strobe lights, identify something that happens on stage right before the change, so your photographer can anticipate it. •   Your stage lighting will be the primary factor in what the photographer can capture. Some lighting may look fan- tastic on stage but appear blown out or unrenderable on camera. Dim light- ing is the obvious culprit, but other big challenges are deeply saturated colors (particularly red and blue), high con- trast lighting (like bright spotlights), and mottled lighting. Talk to your pho- tographer in advance about your light- ing choices and they can help identify what might not capture well on cam- era. You may want to consider pho- tographing those sections separately

A KNOWLEDGEABLE DANCE photographer with an eye for composition and the ability to capture the right moment can be instrumen- tal in documenting, promoting and sharing your work. Here are some tips and consider- ations when looking to work with a fine-art photographer: •   The best approach to finding a pho- tographer is to ask your network and colleagues. It’s a quick and easy way to learn about a photographer’s work ethic and personality. Alternately, check out the photo credits for dance images you love and keep track of them (I like to peruse the In Dance cal- endar). You’ll probably notice your eye keeps gravitating towards particular photographers over time. •   Before hiring anyone, be sure to review their portfolio closely to get a feel for their style. Every photographer has a different approach to framing and editing, and it’s best to find someone whose style suits your work. Do they often shoot close up or very wide? Do they fill the frame or leave lots of open space? Are their images active or statu- esque? Saturated in color or muted? Architectural? Emotive? •   Photographers are usually very clear about their rates and what you should expect to receive. In addition to their fee, be sure to go over these things in advance: arrival time and anticipated length of the shoot, how and when files will be delivered, image resolution size, cancellation policy, your usage rights, and if there are any additional post-processing costs. If the fee is out- side of your range, you can politely let them know it’s too high for your budget, but don’t expect them to hag- gle over a price. Most performance 1. Choosing a photographer and negotiating your agreement:

6 in dance MAR 2020




rs r

. r

In Dance | May 2014 |

unify strengthen amplify unify strengthen a plify

44 Gough Street, Suite 201

by BHUMI PATEL The Draw(back) of Awarding Achievement

We remember Frances McDormand impas- sionately demanding “inclusion riders” for the industry. We remember Leo DiCaprio imploring all of us to act on climate change. And, we remember Meryl Streep calling out the bully in the White House reminding us that, “Disrespect invites disrespect, vio- lence incites violence. And when the power- ful use their position to bully others, we all lose,” in a speech that still brings me to tears. But more than that we remember the moments that we spend with our communi- ties. Maybe you’ve gathered with friends to watch these shows and eat tiny hors d’œuvres. Maybe you’ve danced at the Bess- ies after party with friends that you only get to see once a year. Maybe you’ve gotten to hug a friend after they won their first Emmy. Or maybe, like me, you remember your mom pulling out sparkly dress-up clothes and bottles of sparkling apple juice and setting up TV dinner trays in the living room so that you and your sisters could watch the Oscars and cheer when actors you dreamed of meet- ing won. And maybe that nostalgia is what keeps many of us coming back. So where can we go from here? I don’t believe I have the power to change national and international awards organizations, but I do believe in the power of our com- munity to demand change to the current structure of community-based awards. One person I spoke with suggested that, “we need to trouble the singular aesthetic standard (White Euro-Western aesthetics), and I don’t think the Izzies, as currently configured, does that. It doesn’t matter how diverse the committee is if the decision-making structure

Contributor note: Unattributed quotes were shared with me anonymously as research for this piece. Around this time every year we are inundat- ed with being told what the “best” of the last year was across performing art genres: best actor, best film, best cinematography, best album, best production, best choreography, best white director co-opting the stories of get the idea. And here we are, at another award season another outcry over #OscarsSoWhite. Yet another wash of disappointment and exasperation at the bla- tant and acute racism that permeates award shows from the Grammys to the Izzies and everything in between. Every year we see that the system is broken. Only men were nominated for the 2020 Oscar for Best Director. Only white choreographers were nominated for the 2020 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Izzies) in Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and in Outstanding Achievement in Restag- ing/Revival/Reconstruction. This is not unique to 2020. This is how it has always been. We have consistently seen that white adequacy will be awarded for achievement in “regular” or “default” categories but that minority exceptionalism will only be recog- nized through “special achievement.” Most people I asked said that they didn’t believe that award shows are serving the communi- ties they are meant to represent. On a large scale, the 2020 Oscars nomina- tions saw major categories dismissing the work of women and people of color in a huge way. Academy member Stephen King, who defended the (very male, very white) nominations, tweeted: “For me, the diversity issue — as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway — did not come up. That said...,” followed with “...I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.” This sidelining and skirt- ing around white supremacy is at the heart of the massive problem with the awards industry. Compared to a committee of 20 or so individuals that serve on the Izzies, the Academy with a voting body of around 1,000 people seems huge, but on the scale of the film industry I have to wonder: weren’t there probably around 1,000 people on one set of one episode of the last season of Game of Thrones ? We are in a time of contradictory desires — one to lose ourselves in the magic of glitz and glam and one to create equity in the performing arts. Diversity is a buzzword ev- erywhere right now, and award shows from the Oscars to the Izzies are being everything from lightly encouraged to aggressively boycotted in attempts to realize diversity in both nominations and wins. But it has been disheartening to see how little that talk has been turned into action. One person I spoke to suggested that these shows “make incremental changes for Artists of Color but not necessarily changes that are sweeping equitable practices.” They went on to say, “tokenism is still widely practiced from the makeup of the panelists to the nominees, and despite the illusion of diversity, these power structures remain asymmetrical.”

is inadequate.” If we do want to honor what we view as achievement, we need to evolve, respond, and shift to “advocate for the field.” We need our “arts communities to dedicate themselves to diversity and antiracism.” That work is not easy, but it is necessary. Maybe we watch and attend award shows to see people dressed up and vicariously experience their anticipation and excitement of feeling validated, something box office numbers and survey scores can’t provide. Maybe we have to stop watching the whole charade and figure out how to redirect our understanding of success and validation. Maybe we don’t have to do anything at all. Award shows are becoming less and less relevant every year, with viewership drop- ping dramatically with each passing award season. Or maybe through intentional antiracism work we will begin to bend that moral arc of which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke towards representation. BHUMI B. PATEL is a queer, desi artist/activist creat- ing multidisciplinary dancetheater with an intersec- tional feminist lens to unpack her inner landscape where she is brown, queer, working class, and a woman. As a dancer, choreographer, curator, edu- cator, writer, and historian, she works from a trauma informed, social justice oriented perspective. Patel teaches at West Valley College, Lone Mountain Children’s Center, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center. Patel’s work has been presented at SAFE- house Arts, LEVYsalon, Shawl Salon, max10, Sum- mer Performance Festival, RAWdance’s Concept Series, and the Queering Dance Festival. Patel has curated “fem(me)” since 2017 and has been pub- lished in the San Francisco Chronicle and Life as a Modern Dancer .

To me, awards like the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, and even the Bessies and the Izzies reinforce an illegitimate scarcity mind- set, and a harmful sense of competition — that there are not enough resources, enough donors, enough actors/dancers/performers for us to keep doing the work we love to do. No one is making films or albums or perfor- mance works because we believe that it is an easy and guaranteed path toward wealth in a capitalist society. We love what we do, and even if we have a million reasons for doing this artistic work, somewhere in there is a care for the work that is being made. This belief in scarcity, that there isn’t enough for everything, is harmful and damaging to our community. Further, the awards fail to fully recognize the disparity in resources when comparing nominees. One person I spoke to asked, “Is it fair to assess whether a ballet with a 3 million dollar budget is ‘better’ than a community-based ethnic dance with unpaid dancers?” I don’t think it is. Another added that this is particularly poignant because, “committee members have no responsibil- ity to attend performances equitably.” Yet another shared that they believe award culture “continues to perpetuate classism and racism,” and that they feel, “the whitest and the wealthiest people give awards to their other white, wealthy friends.” If we know the system doesn’t work, why do we buy into the awards system? Why, when we could have democratized, internet- enabled ways to suss out the “good” from the “better,” do we still seek affirmation from problematic institutions? Why do we believe that volunteer panels or Academy members or Guilds possess a truth unavailable to the mere mortals in the audience when we could turn to cold hard results: audience scores, box office returns, Google searches, critics’ views? For many, award season represents validation of their work, recognition of their service to their community, a title to put on grant applications. For some, “awards validate aesthetics.” According to research by Jennifer Guttman, PsyD, studies suggest that public approval fulfills a basic human need. “We crave validation because as social beings we feel comfort in a ‘group think’ mentality,” she says. “It’s reassuring to be- lieve that other people think the way we do because it gives us a feeling that we’re ‘right’ about our choices and behaviors.” Something happens more deeply, too, when you watch an awards show. She goes on to say, “The Oscars are exciting and entertaining because they reinforce our belief that people thrive on external reinforcement.” Similarly, one person I spoke with shared, “the thread of continuity that I see between largely publi- cized events of the Oscars/Golden Globes and smaller communities of the Izzies/Bessies is one that aims to bring communities of art- ists together and reaffirm our importance as artists to the world.” Perhaps there is a bit of nostalgia that keeps us coming back, too. We remember Patricia Arquette demanding that we close the gender pay gap. We remember Viola Davis quoting Harriet Tubman and remind- ing us that “the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is oppor- tunity.”We remember hearing about Hattie McDaniel, the first African American woman to be nominated and win Best Supporting Actress in 1940. We remember Sacheen Littlefeather taking the stage on behalf of Marlon Brando in 1973, and we remember Halle Berry being the first (and to this date, only) African-American to win Best Actress.

All dance All free All week

APRIL 24 – MAY 3, 2020

• HOST A FREE EVENT — a class, performance, open house, workshop, lec-dem, film screening, or design your own special event • Eventbrite partnership: • In 2019, 21,000 people attended over 350 free events.


in dance MAR 2020

calendar VISIT THE ONLINE COMMUNITY CALENDAR to find additional events and to submit a performance. MAR 2020

Gamelan Sekar Jaya & ShadowLight Productions, Mar 14-15 / photo by Lynda Roti

Joffrey Ballet Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley

Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab, SF Experience celebrated dance artist Merián Soto (Puerto Rico/Philadelphia) as she shares solo work from her past repertoire as well as a new work developed with 15 Bay Area danc- ers. This performance is part of Encounters Over 60, a program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, supporting the artistry and experiences of dance elders. Thu, Mar 5, 7-9pm, pay what you can

Vishwa Shanthi Cubberly Community Center, Palo Alto

performance will feature Farah Yasmeen Shaikh portraying all the characters, both male and female, complete with live music. Thu-Fri, Mar 5-6, 7:30-9pm, $35-$60 project agora/Kara Davis DZINE Gallery, SF Manuelito Biag, Tristan Ching, Kara Davis, Nol Simonse, and Victor Talledos have col- laborated to create an immersive evening- length, installation work. The performance will take place in an intimate setting to im- merse the audience in explorations of human connection and intimacy. Fri, Mar 6, 7-8pm, $25-$35

They continue their five-year Berkeley residency by returning with the Bay Area premiere of a recent piece by ballet master Nicolas Blanc that was developed on the Berkeley campus two seasons ago. Fri-Sat, Mar 6-7, 8pm; Sun, Mar 8, 3pm, $42-$148 Two-Spirit Performance Festival CounterPulse, SF First contemporary Two-Spirit Performance Festival in Yelamu (San Francisco), that will feature local, national and international Two-Spirit Indigenous artists. Festival evening performances range from traditional forms to experimental performance art, dance, and drag. Fri-Sat, Mar 6-7, 7pm; Sun, Mar 8, 5pm, $20-$30 Stephanie Unger & Artists Studio Azul, Berkeley A three-evening festival of Bay Area (and beyond) artists, presenting work about womxn. Fri-Sat, Mar 6-7, 8pm; Sun, Mar 8, 7pm, $10-$20

Inaugural performance of Vishwa Shanthi’s new series, Samarpanam: A Dedication to Art , Bharatanatyam dance in its traditional and pure form in an intimate chamber setting for connoisseurs and serious students to enjoy. Sat, Mar 7, 4-5:30pm, $30

Fog Beast Headland Center for the Arts, Sausalito

Noorani Dance Z Space, SF

Multi-generational and participatory, These Lines Are Living brings attention to how our bodies, communities, and governing institu- tions interact with and conceptualize shore- lines in a time of accelerating climatic and social change. Sat-Sun, Mar 7-8, 2pm, $25-$30 Unruly Body Tanztheater/ KJ Dahlaw Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley Converging Passages features works by Chelsea Boyd Brown and collaborators, Qilo Matzen, & Unruly Body Tanztheater along with works by Midwest dance artists Kathleen Hickey and Renee Murray. Sat, Mar 7, 8pm; Sun, Mar 8, 5pm, $20

Ruthless politics, female power and Kathak converge in The Forgotten Empress . This solo

LINES Ballet BFA Program, Apr 3-4 / photo by Steve-Disenhof


in dance MAR 2020


| |

| |

rs r rs r

. r . r

In Dance | May 2014 | I | | rs r . r

unify strengthen amplify unify strengthen a plify unify strengthen a plify unify strengthen a plify

44 Gough Street, Suite 201

Tiny Dance Film Festival, Crashing Waves dir. by Emma Gilbertson, Mar 28 / photo courtesy of artist

RAWdance ODC Theater, SF

Women’s History Month. Written by playwright Zara Houshmand, with narration by Brenda Wong Aoki, and shadow master Larry Reed. Sat, Mar 14, 2:30pm and 7:30pm; Sun, Mar 15, 2:30pm, $30-$100

Triple Take is a trio of new works by RAWdance’s three co-artistic directors: Wendy Rein, Ryan Smith and Katie Wong. An adaption of the Sur- realist game of Exquisite Corpse looks to inject a dose of surprise and unpredictability into the bicoastal choreographic collaboration. Thu-Sat, Mar 12-14, 8pm; Sun, Mar 15, 3pm, $25-$60

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley

Statuesque, glamorous male dancers in the iconic, fictional roles of prima ballerinas, the Trocks are an internationally adored cultural phenomenon and have performed their so- phisticated form of ballet parody, en travesti, for more than 40 years. Sat, Mar 14, 8pm; Sun,

SFSU University Dance Theatre San Francisco State University Little Theatre

Mar 15, 3pm, $38-$98

The 16-student dance ensemble performs work from guest choreographer dana e. fitchett, as well as new work from faculty choreographers Wendy Diamond, ArVejon Jones, and Ray Tadio. Thu-Sat, Mar 12-14, 7:30pm; Sun, Mar 15, 2pm, $8-$20 Dorrance Dance Zellerbach Playhouse, Berkeley With 13 tap dancers and one acoustic bass player, Michelle Dorrance’s SOUNDspace strips tap dance down to its most raw basics—move- ment as pure music. Without the trappings of ornate set pieces or flashy costumes, Dor- rance’s company explores the unique setting and acoustics of Zellerbach Playhouse. Fri-Sat, Mar 13-14, 8pm; Sun, Mar 15, 3pm, $68 Click Tracks , a new show inspired by the history of film scoring and newsreels. In collaboration with rigger Benjy Young, aerial dancers will perform on a 4-story tightwire that provides a frame of time and space that reconstructs sheet music, offering multi-directional timelines. Fr-Sat, Mar 13-14, 8pm; Sun, Mar 15, 3pm, $30 Gamelan Sekar Jaya/ ShadowLight Productions Presidio Theatre, SF World premiere of Drupadi , a woman-centered retelling of the Mahabharata’s central arc, as presented in cinematic shadow in celebration of Helen Wicks Works Project Artuad’s Space 124, SF

Min Yoon / Daria Garina / em(body) dance project SAFEhouse Arts, SF Themes of collective despair, truth and mean- ing, and generational refugees presented by artists Min Yoon, Daria Garina, and em(body) dance project. Sat, Mar 14, 8pm; Sun, Mar 15, 7pm; $10-$20 Kathy Mata Ballet Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, SF The End of Winter Dance Celebration will engage with premieres of new material incor- porating modern, lyrical fusion, contemporary, musical theater, character dance styles, and more, with live accompaniment. Sun, Mar 15, 3:30pm, FREE Los Lupeños Juvenil School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose Tardeada IX is an annual folklórico dance concert by dancers aged 10-15 years old. The presentation is under the direction of Samuel Cortezin. Sun, Mar 15, 2-3:30pm, $15 Exploring the intersections of dance, theater, music, and community activism, followed by a discussion about Ensemble Theater by a di- verse group of Bay Area Ensemble Consortium members. Thu, Mar 19, 4:15-6pm, FREE Rhythmix Cultural Works and Crosspulse Rhythmix Cultural Works, Alameda BODY MUSIC/East Bay Concert is a showcase of all-body musician/dancers curated by Keith Terry. Body Music - clapping, snapping, step- ping and vocalizing - is music you can see, dance you can hear - likely the oldest music on the planet. Fri, Mar 20, 8pm, $25-$30 Bay Area Ensemble Consortium Cal State University East Bay, Hayward

Mylan Hoezen, part of RAW, Jan 6-7 / photo by Lisa Jasperina Bommerson

Bay Area Ensemble Consortium, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble, Mar 19 / photo by Garvin Tso

RAW Presents A Pulso Dance Company / BauerWorks / Brenda Perdue / Srivastava SAFEhouse Arts, SF A Pulso Dance Company Themes of gender, love, and betrayal presented by artists A Pulso Dance Company, BauerWorks, Brenda Perdue, and Anumpama Srivastava. Sat, Mar 21, 8pm; Sun, Mar 22, 7pm; $10-$20 Niosha International Conservatory of Arts Palace of Fine Arts, SF Nowruz/Norooz is a 3000 year old tale of ancient Zoroastrian soul-cleansing rituals, good luck charms and the beauty of the Table of the Seven S’s . Sat, Mar 21, 7pm; Sun, Mar 22, 4pm, $45-$200

*afrikawedance Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, Berkeley

We Dance Because introduces three young girls who dreamed of being dancers. African dance becomes their source of healing, strength, and empowerment. Sat, Mar 21, 7:30-9:30pm, $20

Mark Foehringer Dance Project|SF

Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, SF Third annual season of Alice in Wonderland , Foehringer’s own personal interpretation of Alice as a heroine who faces challenges and solves them. Foehringer’s Alice is a fearless character with girl power. Sat-Sun, Mar 21-22, 11am and 2pm, $20.50-$42.50

Kathy Mata Ballet, Mar 15 / photo by Jennifer V. Zee

Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Mar 21-22 / photo by Matt Haber


in dance MAR 2020

MAR 2020 calendar

Tiny Dance Film Festival Roxie Theater, SF Short dance films from across the globe. TDFF prioritizes films that stretch into new territory, challenge dominant narratives, and embrace brevity. Sat, Mar 28, 4:40pm & 6pm, $10-$25 The New Ballet Hammer Theatre Center, San Jose Fast Forward provides local and national emerg- ing choreographers to experiment, featuring cho- reography by Ben Needham-Wood, Laura Burton, Mads Eriksen, Naomi Sailors, Heather Cooper, and Dalia Rawson. Sat, Mar 28, 7-8:30, $10-$25 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley Artistic director Robert Battle has cultivated choreographers exploring themes of hope, sorrow, joy, and resilience. Tue-Fri, Mar 31-Apr 3, 8pm; Sat, Apr 4, 2pm and 8pm; Sun, Apr 3, 3pm, $40–$145 (prices subject to change)

Two-Spirit Performance Festival, Mar 6-8 / photo courtesy of artist

CounterPulse: Edge Residency 2020 CounterPulse, SF

WITH blends extensive physical exploration of movement beyond signularity and nightlife for a multi-generational queer phenomenon. These Teeth draws on personal history and refuses to censor the female voice and body. Thu-Sat, Apr 2-4 & 9-11, 8pm, $20-$35 RAW Presents eMotion Arts Dance Company SAFEhouse Arts, SF eMotion Arts presents Sombro , a collaborative work that is meant to open up conversation about mental health and destigmatize indi- vidual and collective experiences. Fri-Sat, Apr LINES Ballet BFA Program Dominican University of CA’s Angelico Concert Hall, San Rafael Join the LINES Ballet | BFA at Dominican students as they premiere four original works by Kara Davis, Gregory Dawson, Dexandro Mon- talvo, and Laura O’Malley to close out the school year. Fri, Apr 3, 7pm; Sat, Apr 4, 3pm, $10 3-4, 8pm, $10-$20

SAFEhouse RAW, A Pulso Dance Company, Mar 21-22 / photo by Kyle Adler

Rebecca Morris & Dancers Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley World premiere of Upon waking, it has no name , a quartet exploring mental health, social interaction, and what it means to be human. Saturdays, Mar 21 and 28, 8pm; Sun- days, Mar 22 and 29, 7:30pm, $20-$30 The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Ceremony Brava Theater, SF This year the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee will celebrate 34 years of honoring local dance artists by acknowledging their outstanding achievements in dance. Join us in celebrating the nominees, awardees, special guests! Mon, Mar 23, 6pm, FREE ODC/Dance, San Francisco’s internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company, is pleased to present Dance Downtown , its 49th Home Season featuring two programs of bold and bracing choreography. Thu-Sat, Mar 26- 28, 8pm; Sun, Mar 29, 5pm; Thu-Sat, Apr 2-4, 8pm; Sun, Apr 5, 5pm, $30-$80 IncivilitySF EXIT Theatre, SF IncivilitySF is an irreverent showcase of politically-inspired work from San Francisco’s underground. Artists working with themes of social justice, community-empowerment, and political awakening try out new work/work-in- progress in front of a live audience. Fri, Mar 27, ODC/Dance YBCA Theater, SF

Bay Area’s most celebrated dance companies to SF City Hall for free monthly noon-time performances and is presented by Dancers’ Group and World Arts West. Mini Mix’d is an all-female youth company between 12 to 17 years old, presenting hip hop, club and street styles. Fri, Mar 27, 12pm, FREE

PUSH Dance Company Bayview Opera House, SF

World premiere of The Motley Experiment , Raissa Simpson’s evening-length, multi-media exploration of Jazz Age painter Archibald Motley, featuring 12 dancers, an original score created and performed live by Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids and a digital landscape. Fri, Mar 27, 7:30pm; Sat-Sun, Mar 28-29, 2pm, $15-$50

PUSH Dance, Mar 27-29 / photo by Matt Haber

8-10pm, FREE

Rotunda Dance Series presents Mini Mix’d San Francisco City Hall The Rotunda Dance Series brings many of the

Rhythmix Cultural Works, Mar 20 / photo by Mike Melnyk

10 in dance MAR 2020




rs r

. r

In Dance | May 2014 |

unify strengthen amplify unify strengthen a plify

44 Gough Street, Suite 201 San Francisco, CA 94103


music dance theater Performances Cal U N I V E R S I T Y O F C A L I F O R N I A , B E R K E L E Y

S E A S O N 2 0 1 9 / 2 0

The Joffrey Ballet


(California Premiere) NICOLAS BLANC Beyond the Shore (music: Mason Bates) (Bay Area Premiere, Cal Performances Co-commission) JUSTIN PECK

The Times Are Racing (music: Dan Deacon)


Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The Trocks have helped bring gay culture and drag arts to the American mainstream through savagely funny satire married with seriously stunning ballet. Program Swan Lake , Act II (Tchaikovsky) Pas de Deux or Modern Work to be announced Le Grand Pas de Quatre (Pugni) Walpurgisnacht (Gounod) “The Trocks prove how parody and virtuosic technique work in glittering tandem.” — The New York Times Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Robert Battle, artistic director Matthew Rushing, associate artistic director Programs will include classics from the Ailey repertoire plus Bay Area premieres by Aszure Barton , Camille A. Brown , Donald Byrd , and Jamar Roberts . Mar 14 & 15 ZELLERBACH HALL


ODC/Dance Presents Dance Downtown March 26-April 5, 2020 Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA


Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Palermo Palermo The late Pina Bausch’s 1989 masterpiece observes—through a series of vignettes by turns somber and surreal—the daily rituals of a people capable of both resonant beauty and chilling brutality.

“Sexy, intelligent performance power!” - San Francisco Chronicle

“Every single one of them is magnificent, and wonderfully alive.” — Critical Dance


Season Sponsor:


in dance MAR 2020

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16

Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog