Winter 2023 In Dance

extravaganza–please come and donate! Cake, did I mention there will be cake! We are conjuring up exchanges, experiments, a line-up that screams Kathleen Hermesdorf FRESH FESTI- VAL!!!!!!! We have Abby Crain, Keith Hennessy, and you gizeh teaching classes in jan! <3 [tea spilt.] This line-up honors Kathleen’s cura- torial vision and that is what January KHFRESH is really about. Then, buckle up baby cakes, because we have March! Wow–ie… MARCH is going to be January’s H_O_T part 2 queer gen z sister?.?.? So, the hot gossip is: Basically, March is throwing every- thing out the window, taking out the trash, dusting those pesky cobwebs in the corner and being like: “Ok, who do we want to learn from? Who’s class gives us tingly somatic pop rocks?” This March iteration will be a lit- tle saucier, a little more, “Hmmm let’s switch things up!” Maybe we invite people that have never been to KHFRESH before? Let’s have some conversations that are raw and bit- ing. What if we train really effing hard and also do some fun wacky experi- mental performative out of the box,

I feel her influence in the performance that I make, the class that I teach, and the space that I hold. Even the space that you and I are starting to create: an experimental class series outside of institutional barriers, a space without a pay wall, a space with the intention of paying teachers well, that all feels like a part of Kathleen’s family tree. g: I resonate with everything you said, Kathleen is a big dancestor for this gen- eration. FRESH has been a door, a por- tal, a place where things are possible. Where new ideas come together. It has fed my inspiration and taught me that things can be different. That it is okay to be different. It helped me realize that art is more than what I thought it was. FRESH was a party and celebration of performance and dance. I keep those moments in my heart all the time, and I go back to those moments to remem- ber who I am, who I was and why I do what I do now. Kathleen has influ- enced the way I work enormously. I will always admire how generous and how intentional she was in making this hap- pen. She was a powerful human and her energy was unique on and off the stage. a: I just want to reflect on what you said: “FRESH is a door, a portal, a place,” I love it.

dance)((dance,dance,dance))? And how does what we do impact larger social spaces? And what are our practices around organizing, com- ing together, being held, and being heard? And, and, and… AND, that is creating, dismantling, reconstructing, trying again, and again, and again to build new spaces outside of late stage capitalism. That for me upholds this Festival as an agent of social change… whatever that means. What about you bb? g: FRESH is a portal of magic, it is gathering and collectivity. It is a joy, and celebration, it is a ceremony, a playground of opportunity, and rev- olution. Kathleen had a vision that I truly admire and I am inspired by constantly. What are you looking forward to; where is FRESH heading now? a: We are arriving into a space that is so complex. We are arriving as people that have shifted, changed, evolved, transformed, burnt to the ground, and have been born again. We are resurrecting a space that will never be the same after Covid, after pandemic, after Kathleen’s death, after BLM uprisings. We are working to honor Kathleen’s legacy and the ancestral dance lineage of the Bay Area. I look forward to learning as we continue to change and think outside of a box that has been so generously held wide open for us. So ,,,, I am curious in the ways that we can continue to play with structure, how we can embody more inclusive multi- cultural anti-racist practices, how we can move towards equity, not only esthetically or what we write grants about, but like truly work towards upholding a space where everyone can receive what they need and thrive in that. Kathleen’s legacy touches so many people in so many places around the world. And that is being reflected by

who we are trying to bring into the space, who we are trying to create conversations with, and who is on this line-up.. (hush, hush coming soon) g: I think FRESH has become a really important part of the dance history in the Bay Area. Kathleen impacted so many people all over the world through her art, and FRESH is now her legacy. I’ve had the honor to par- ticipate in FRESH as a student, per- former, organizer, curator and soon- to-be teacher. Although I am relatively new to FRESH, I’ve had the opportu- nity to see how it has grown and devel- oped throughout the years. I think KHFRESH is now heading towards a more horizontally and collaborative organizational dynamic, with the aim of building more fair and sustainable working structures.<<< so important!! This is really exciting for me, because we can feel the spirit you were talking about, not only in the result, but in the process of creating it. I believe KHFRESH will belong from now on to the present and future dance communi- ties. There are so many brilliant minds behind this year’s festival, people that have been part of FRESH history for a long time, and new people that bring that innovative spark to the mix. We are taking risks, we are dreaming, we are trying really hard and I am really excited for what is coming. ains, could you give us some insight and spill the tea of KHFRESH 2023!!!! a: ooohhhh eeeeemmm gggggggeeee. I feel honored. So, you heard it here first folx: There will be glitter, there will be birthday cake, there will be some super cute dance parties, an amazing line-up of teachers and innovative makers. KHFRESH FESTIVAL will be hosted here in San Francisco, one week in January, 2 weeks in March 2023. ((a two parter!!!)) January, we will open with Kath- leen’s Birthday party fundraiser

KH FRESH FESTIVAL part 1: January 21 – 27 part 2: March 3 – 19

g: What does FRESH mean to you?

One more memory..Last year I was rehearsing for a Solo by Sara Shel- ton Mann for FRESH 22. It was the first year FRESH was coming back after Kathleen’s death; everything had to be moved online because of Covid, like such a mess. Abby Crain, last year’s beautiful FRESH Director came in to watch a draft of the piece. And when the piece was over Abby said with tears, “Oh my god, you dance so much like her.” And this was such a tender moment. Sara, Abby, and I cried cathartically and felt so deeply into the influence Kathleen has in each of us throughout different generations and periods in her life. Awwhh my heart aches for that sweet tenderness.

out of body, in-body playtime? (ainsley sighhhs…) I can’t wait.

a: I feel like FRESH for me hmmm…. FRESH for me is this container of innovation and fail- ure, it is this thing that is like: – --->lets try something so incredibly new, exciting, and terrifying. Maybe this really is not going to work out, maybe we fail (and fail hard), but there’s this generous beautiful space that is holding us ever so softly when we fall. FRESH for me really is this exper- iment around community and sus- tainability. I think what is so beau- tiful is that we find ourselves asking these questions: where do we want to go in the field (of experimental

g: yesss! Check out the website for more info about dates, schedule and all this has been fun.. Ok last last question: How has Kathleen and FRESH impacted your artistic career? a: mmmm… I just want to take a deep breath of gratitude. I feel Kathleen so deeply in my bones. I feel so grateful that I got to train with her for so long and perform with her in different capacities. I celebrate being a part of this legacy in so many ways.

ainsley elizabeth tharp is a Bay Area (Ohlone land) based alchemist+artist+activist.

gizeh muñiz vengel is a Mexicana artist who is also based in Bay Area (Ohlone land).

The Kathleen Hermesdorf Fresh Festival (KHFRESH) is a dynamic, annual platform for experimental dance, music and performance in Yelamu, Ramay- tush Ohlone territory (San Francisco, CA) FRESH was founded in 2009 by KATHLEEN HERMESDORF (1967-2020) in collaboration with Albert Mathias. In the wake of Kathleen’s recent and unexpected passing, a team of longtime FRESH fans and collaborators have stepped up to honor the festival’s legacy and lead it into the future.


48 in dance WINTER 2022


WINTER 2023 in dance

In Dance | May 2014 |

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