Published by Dancers' Group, In Dance is discourse and dialogue to unify, strengthen, and amplify.
Aleta Hayes at Artful Harvest (2017), Djerassi Resident Artists Program, article on p. 4 Photo by Colson Griffith
Bodies are perfect. They are also complex, colorful and filled with tons of cool applications. Each body is the ultimate super computer, efficiently organizing 37.2 trillion cells that are in action 24 hours a day. As complex as our bodies are, we easily reboot with some rest and automatically update our operating systems. The body recharges on solar and lunar energy and has built-in cameras with limitless capacity to store images; often taking selfies (think dancer in the mirror). Our body com- puter stores tons of information (the useful and the impracti- cal) that can be recalled rapidly. And at times this data will come out fragmented— what was the name of that book I wanted to read? There’re also some really fun tools that are pre-installed, like touch and voice activation. These come in handy when used in the studio and definitely help with many day-to-day tasks. And what’s especially cool is that when started early enough body computers quickly learn multiple languages— take that Google translate! Models now last longer and longer and, based on usage, some upgrades may be recommended. Upgrades for me include being outfitted with a metal hip on my right side that will likely last another 15 years. The first upgrade went so well, I’m even thinking of getting the other one done to relieve some intense bone on bone action due to user wear and tear. I also love my external computer devices that pro- vide numerous ways to connect, while providing me with extremely efficient ways to gather and store copious bits of words, images, numbers and of course music, video and movies. Welcome by WAYNE HAZZARD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Our lives are now so intertwined with technology that the sci-fi notion of borgs (cybernetic organisms) in our midst is probably not that far off. And yet, as tech advances we are still a body-based culture and I believe that as consumption of gigabytes increases so does our need to focus on the body. Dance forms continue to be taught, passed down and created from scratch—in person and on computers—in myriad ways that represent the complex nature of life today. Many create dances to honor a spiritual earthly life and this month Mahealani Uchiyama talks about how in Hawaiian culture “The point is understanding who you are in rela- tion to your community and the community is understood to be not just your people but the plants and the air and the mountains.”Writer Sima Belmar draws out how Uchiyama has navigated a life in dance that has looked to satisfy her curiosity about “all these different, fascinating, beautiful ways of saying the same things.” Also featured this month is the work of Parangal, (puh- ruh-ngal) which means tribute in Tagalog. The company has performed dances from over 30 different indigenous cultures in their 10-years. Parangal’s artistic director Eric Solano ambition is to triple that number. In an article by Rob Tay- lor, Solano states “There are 110 distinct ethnic communi- ties spread all over the Philippines, and I want Parangal to present as many of them as possible.” Now that’s some super body computing! As new models of expression are brought into existence I give great hope to the next generation of human computers that will network seamlessly world-wide—caring, creating and engaging without hate and always dancing. Happy read- ing and enjoy your body time.
Parangal Dance Company, article on p. 12 This Is It Photography
Khala Brannigan, Sep 7-8 & article on p. 11 Photo by Stephen Texeira
IN PRACTICE: Māhealani Uchiyama
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by SIMA BELMAR
SB: So early on you developed an embodied ethnographic sensibility. MU: Yes, which led me to be interested in different histories and geographies. Why do we have all these different, fascinating, beau- tiful ways of saying the same things? So that led me to dance ethnology. There were two programs I was aware of, one at UCLA and the other at the University of Hawai’i. SB: Why did you choose to move 6000 rather than 3000 miles from home? How did your family feel about that? MU: I really wanted to study hula in Hawai ’ i. I had started taking hula lessons at the age of 13. In DC, each state had their own State Society, where families of people who served in the government got together to promote what’s unique and wonderful about their state. 2 My mom contacted the Hawai ’ i State Society and they put us in touch with people who taught hula and Tahitian dance. I got really fascinated by it. MU: It was a mixed bag. It’s incredibly beau- tiful, and I did find a lot of wonderful friends and a whole different sensibility of how to be in the world. I also found a lot of people, outside the university context, who made it clear that they did not have a very high regard for African-American people. I was not in the military, or on the basketball or volley ball team, so some people just couldn’t grasp that I was there as a regular student. I was there really by myself, no family, and no discernible black community in Honolulu at that time. I felt very alone, but I was also determined to graduate before I left. SB: What made you leave? MU: The whole reason I went to Hawai’i was that I wanted to dance hula, and I wanted to explore different ways of being in the world through movement. In addition to hula, and as part of my degree requirements as a Dance Ethno student, I took classes in everything that department offered in those SB: What did you find when you got to Hawai’i years—Filipino, Okinawan, Korean, Javanese, Mohiniyattam. Additional experiences included playing in the university's Javanese gamelan, and receiving instruction in South Indian classical singing. When I first moved to Hawai’i as a naïve and innocent young woman, I just wanted to dance and to be a part of that place. Over time it became clear that there were certain things that at least at that time, were not likely to be possible for me to achieve in terms of finding a sense of “home”. In addition, as both my husband and I were teachers, it felt very unlikely that we would ever be able to buy a home there. SB: At least you got to the Bay Area in time to do that. MU: Barely! SB: What did you find when you arrived in the Bay Area? MU: When I first came here I was amazed at how big and active the Polynesian dance community was (and still is).
SB: Was it easier to integrate with the Polynesian community in exile? How were you received by that community? MU: In those years, many people were very welcoming. However, there were also those who were like, “what are you doing speaking Hawaiian?” There were some who couldn’t get past the misconceptions of what they thought my phenotype represented. Fortu- nately, when I arrived a friend introduced me to Uncle Joseph Kaha'ulelio, a renowned kumu hula who was teaching in Hayward. I studied intensely with him for several years, and danced in competitions and events all over the Bay Area. I found complete acceptance with him, something I had never experienced in full before. MU: I’ve always tried to adhere to the tra- ditional expression and to honor it. As a kumu, one of my jobs is to innovate and create in ways that honor and draw from a wellspring that was passed on to me by my kumu. Walking that fine line has always been the challenge. It is vital to fully understand every aspect of what we are doing as a teacher of this tradition, (the music, the narrative, the regalia, and of course the movement sequences) and simultaneously to create something that’s beautiful and consistent with tradition, yet something unique that hasn’t been seen before. First and foremost in preparing a hula is the narrative. Hula is a logogenic art form. So, in the absence of a poem or a prayer, there’s no hula. Dancers have to be trained so that the movement becomes a part of their DNA in order to make it possible to express this narrative through their body. A kumu must have a clear understand- ing of how to clothe the dancers, because every single item worn, its color, design and materials has to be in accordance with and expressive of the meaning of the dance that is being presented at the time. Even how a dancer wears their hair must be attended to in detail, as must how much make-up SB: Describe your process of creating hula performance works.
THIS MONTH the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance celebrates its 25th anni- versary. And although no institution, espe- cially an arts institution, makes it to 25 years without the toil and TLC of scores of indi- viduals, the Center owes its energy and lon- gevity to the passionate expertise of founder, artistic director, and kumu hula (master hula teacher) Mahealani Uchiyama. Uchiyama was born in Washington DC. She arrived in the Bay Area by way of Hono- lulu in 1982, with an undergraduate degree in Dance Ethnology 1 and a master’s degree in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. In 1993, after teaching hula at Chabot College in Hayward, Laney College in Oakland, and at private dance studios she rented throughout the East Bay, she established her dance center on Heinz Avenue in Berkeley and founded her current performing company, Halau Ka Ua Tuahine. In addition to Hawaiian and Tahitian dance, the school has brought together instructors of the dance and music of Bali, the Middle East, India, China, Congo, Central Asia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, to name a few. This month's anniversary gala and performance will reflect that diversity. Uchiyama explains that the Center is a place where “non-Western forms can be explored regardless of an individual's background and ethnicity, as long as they are willing to do so in a spirit of profound respect. This is the place for all of us, a place to feel at home exploring spiritual and artistic connections.” The theme of finding home—in a geographic place, a body, a dance form—recurs throughout our interview. Uchiyama had just completed her first sea- son as co-director (with Patrick Makuakane and Latanya Tigner) of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and was taking a breath before launching preparations for the anniversary performance when we spoke in her Oakland home on July 26. Sima Belmar: How did an African American woman born in DC at the height of the Civil Rights Movement become a kumu hula? Māhealani Uchiyama: My mom, who had grown up in the Jim Crow South and migrated north, was determined to provide access to all the things that she had wished for as a little girl but couldn't have. She enrolled me in the Bernice Hammond School of Dance, a black owned business and the only dance school in the District of Colum- bia that would accept black children. I was there for nine years, from the age of two and a half until I was almost 11, at which point I was old enough to notice that I was not seeing any ballerinas who looked like me in terms of height (I was already 5'11") and race. Even so, with everything that was going on in the world at that time, dance made it possible for me to feel some sense of self- worth and hope. I knew that I didn’t want to give up dancing but if I kept doing that style of dance there wouldn’t have been any future for me that I could see. My mom also got me into one of the very few if not the only elementary school in DC that was integrated. I was the only black child, but I was there with children of ambassadors and children of the house- keepers of those ambassadors, so there were kids from all over the world. From the 5th grade on my sense of the world expanded dramatically compared to what it would have been had I continued to only experi- ence life within my own neighborhood. So all of this started me thinking: Why do people move the way they move? I was fascinated with different people’s ways of expressing themselves through movement. I also loved being exposed to different lan- guages, music, and food.
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ON THIS PAGE / In Practice:
Māhealani Uchiyama by Sima Belmar 4 / Find Time and Space with Residency Programs by Mina Rios 6 / September Performance Calendar 8 / FACT/SF’s Festive and Funereal 10th Anniversary by Claudia Bauer 10 / Unleashing Dance's Potential by Nancy Ng 11 / Did You Know? Khala Brannigan 12 / Parangal Dance Company on the Road to Payadon by Rob Taylor
Māhealani Uchiyama / photo by Bonnie Kamin
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Māhealani Uchiyama / photo by Eric Mindling
photo courtesy of Māhea Uchiyama Center for International Dance
SB: Given that experience of homecoming in the Caribbean forms, and that sense of alienation from at least the social context of hula, what kept you going in hula? MU: Hula was always been my core and it remains my core. I love the form. There was a spiritual connection that made sense to me. My heart was telling me that this is a beautiful dance form and I just followed that. At the same time, I began to understand that when you’ve had something taken from you, or almost taken from you, you get very possessive about what you have of it left. So, I get why some Hawaiians are quick to express caution toward people of other back- grounds who say they want to explore (but also possibly appropriate and exploit) that which is sacred to them. Encountering that attitude before I had developed an under- standing of it was very rough and painful for me, but I get it now. Certainly we too, as black people, have had much taken from us. SB: So your own history plus the knowl- edge you gained of Hawaiian history gave you a compassionate perspective on those that might have made you feel like you don’t belong. And it seems this made it possible for you to have felt a sense of homecoming in the Caribbean forms without it having to mean you had to live there. Your story inspires trust in the body’s intuitive sense of home, one that may or may not correspond to one’s geographic, cultural, ethnic, or social origins. What do you hope your work can do to inter- vene into those nefarious global efforts to confine individuals to a narrow sense of home based on nationalist and racist borders? MU: It is more urgent than ever that we find ways to recognize each other’s human- ity. Dance and music are good ways to start to get a sense of a people. What I see as my contribution is to help us as a community to get to know each other, and to be willing to see ourselves in each other. SB: How specifically does hula help us recognize each other’s humanity? MU: Hula is a reminder that we are part of something big, and a spiritual recognition of
our place in the world. The extent to which our environment is healthy is the extent to which we ourselves are healthy. Hula gives us this awareness, and it helps us to see ourselves in each other, in the trees, and in the ocean. Spirit is everywhere and we are a part of that. The realization that we are connected to each other and to everything in the environment leads to a greater sense of the importance of caring for each other and for the world. In June we participated in the 5th World Conference on Hawaiian Hula, Ka ‘Aha Hula ‘O Halauaola. This event began 17 years ago and was created by three wise and powerful kumu hula who realized that people were dancing hula all over the world without necessarily understanding the full depth and meaning of the tradition. The event occurred every four years, each time on a different island. As each island hosted the conference, there would be a hula ceremony for which we would learn ceremonial dances that related to the place. The first conference was on Hawai'i Island. We went from there to Maui, to Oahu, to Kaua'i, and then finally, back to Hilo on Hawai'i Island. Much of the hula tradition is based on the epic story of the volcano Goddess Pele and her siblings, particularly her youngest sis- ter Hi'iakaikapoliopele, who was sent on a journey from the Hawai'i Island to Kaua'i to find Pele’s dream lover and bring him back to Pele. She had many obstacles along the way, and it took time for her to complete her jour- ney. However, overcoming the various chal- lenges on each island, Hi'iaka became aware of who she was as a healer, as a priestess, and as a goddess. She returned in full realization of who she is. Those of us who participated in each of the conferences over the years essentially traced the same path as did Hi'iaka. The dances that we were given to learn for the recent cere- mony spoke of all those events, including the eruption and destruction of Hi'iaka's sacred
they’re wearing, if any, what kind of lei they wear, how the lei are made, and how the component parts of the lei are collected. Hula is a lifestyle, it’s not just something one does in the studio. When we’re in Hawai’i, getting ready to create our regalia for our ceremonies, we ask permission before we enter a forest and again when we approach the item that we want to gather. We only take what is needed. While crafting the lei, it is important to focus on positive intention, as what is on your mind can go into what you are creating. Once we are done with the ceremony or the performance, the lei is respectfully returned to nature. This is our way. This is how we try to work with our students so that they understand how they relate to the world around them. The point is understanding who you are in relation to your community, and that community is understood to be not just your people but the plants and the air and the mountains. The performance aspect is the outward expression of this training, but it is not the most important thing. SB: Your center is home to so many differ- ent cultural forms, and you studied multiple forms in college. What has it meant to your embodied identity to have been inside these different forms? MU: When I first came to Oakland, I noticed that there was a huge tradition of Afri- can based forms, and I got very interested in learning them. For a number of years I danced with the Orinoco Caribbean Dancers and Drummers. We performed the regional dances of the Caribbean. In those years I also started learning Middle Eastern dance. In the 1990s, the late Pandit Chitresh Das started teaching at my studio, and I had the extreme good fortune to study with him as well. I love movement, I love to see and feel what it is to really immerse myself in different ways of being and I also think it’s really healthy for my teaching to be reminded how it feels to be a beginning student. Each form meant different things to me. When I was doing the regional Caribbean dances, for example, it felt like a bit of a homecoming because for the first time in my life, I sensed that everyone within a particu- lar dance community considered my body type acceptable for a form that I loved. I had walked into a situation where I was cele- brated and recognized for those very features that in my youth and naivete I had grown to feel badly about. That’s a lot of what I got from that experience, that grounding, and that understanding that there are different ways of seeing.
garden. As hula practitioners from all over the world were working on the ceremonial dances, the latest eruption occurred with fis- sures opening up throughout an area known traditionally as Keahialaka . (The name trans- lates to the fire of Laka, the hula Goddess. This is an area known in ancient times as the site of frequent volcanic activity.) In the 1960s, this area was renamed as Leilani Estates. Just as Hi'iaka, after her circuit, arrived back to this eruption, so did all of us. Pele is about giving birth. Pele's womb is the earth and from it she creates new land. Hi'iaka follows her, and brings new life to this gift of new land. Such metaphors and archetypes from Hawaiian spirituality explain a lot of what we experience in the environ- ment. If one is sensitive and open, the hula can reveal quite a bit about what to expect and how to respond. 1. There is currently one dance ethnology course offered at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa, according to the 2018-19 course catalog. The dance department’s cur- rent foci include choreography, kinesiology, movement analysis, heritage, globalization, technology, ethnogra- phy, education, corporeality, visual media, and embodi- ment, with a unique focus on Asian and Pacific dance. 2. The National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) began as informal gatherings of State society officers in the 1930s and is currently best known for its annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. Uchiyama had her first introduction to hula at a Hawai’i State Society of Washington DC event. Learn more about the Hawai’i State Society at https://Hawaiistatesociety. wildapricot.org. SIMA BELMAR , Ph.D., is a Lecturer in the Department of Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at the Uni- versity of California, Berkeley, and writing fellow at the National Center for Choreography in Akron, Ohio. Her scholarly articles and book reviews have appeared in TDR , the Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices , Performance Matters , Contemporary Theatre Review , and The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies .
Māhea Uchiyama Center for International Dance presents its 25th Anniversary Gala Concert: Sep 29, Valley Center of Performing Arts at Holy Names University, Oakland. centerforinternationaldance.org
Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College offers BA, MA, and MFA degrees in dance. Expand every dimension of your art through: • Choreography • Theory • Pedagogy • Technology • Performance GRADUATE FACULTY Kara Davis Ann Murphy Sonya Delwaide Sheldon Smith Molissa Fenley Victor Talmadge thinking bodies moving minds
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Find Time and Space with Residency Programs
by MINA RIOS
Recognized as one of the world's foremost artist residencies, the Djerassi residency pro- gram receives a combination of emerging, mid-career, as well as some established danc- ers and choreographers which have included Deborah Slater, Dohee Lee, Sara Shelton Mann, Derrick Jones, Weidong Yang, and Jodi Lomask. Djerassi has a large dance studio with a sprung floor and offers overnight accom- modations for dancers or videographers who collaborate with choreographers. Fuller
The alliance’s website, ArtistCommuni- ties.org states there are over 160 dance resi- dency programs in the U.S. and Canada and dozens more around the world. The website serves as a free, comprehensive online source connecting artists with residency programs everywhere. Resources include a residency directory with tips on: how to apply; how to create a residency; how to crowdfund; and also lists annual conferences and workshops happening around the country. While the Alliance of Artists Residencies serves international artists of all disciplines worldwide, dance residencies in the Bay Area vicinity are somewhat plentiful compared to other parts of the country. Artistic and executive director Julie Phelps of CounterPulse in San Francisco says, “Dance continues to be the most marginal- ized performing art form. If I were to take a guess it’s because art’s history traced indus- trial development, and as the body became more and more suppressed as labor standard became harder on the body, dance went into the shadow. Not to mention Victorian and Puritan moralistic body shaming.”
INSPIRATION POURS from your graceful finger- tips and toes. If only you had time and space to explore the depths of your imagination freely, validating what you already know to be true: that you are a dancemaker and you must create. ‘Tis no fantasy. There is in fact a way to hone your skills, develop and present your work – as you so desire, and it doesn’t have to cost you a cent. Artist in Residence (AIR) programs that cater to dance are distinctly designed for dancemakers. While some focus on research- and-development, others are performance or teaching-based. Long-term residencies are typically planned a year in advance or more. The advantages are many. AIR opportu- nities are available to both emerging and established artists – whether local, from out of state, or abroad. One residency experience can lead to others. An artist can even make a career out of participating in artist residency programs if they so desire. However, a tre- mendous amount of research goes into find- ing the right programs. The application sub- mission process is no less daunting. The most sought-after residencies offer fully subsidized accommodations and cre- ative time, space, and support including food allowances and housing, enabling artists to focus on their creativity. Artists are competi- tively selected for these residencies which can span anywhere from one week to several years. Many artist communities can support a single artistic discipline or bring together artists of other disciplines. Settings vary anywhere from rural hide- aways to urban warehouses. According to the Alliance of Artists Communities about 60% are in rural or small-town environments. Established in 1991, The Alliance of Art- ists Communities is an international associa- tion of artist residency programs that pro- vides artists of all disciplines time and space for the creation of new work. During the alliance’s formation, the MacArthur Foundation—the funding source behind the creation of the Alliance of Art- ists Communities, and advocate in favor of nurturing the creative process—selected 18 organizations for a one-time $2.5 million, subsidized initiative focused on Artists' Colo- nies, Communities, and Residencies. Orga- nizations partaking in the initiative included the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Head- lands Center for the Arts, and Jacob's Pillow among others. Important to note is the Alliance of Art- ists Communities’ “Mind the Gap” study published in 2011, an extensive survey of dance residency programs. The study was conducted following a 2008 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, bringing to light how “Dancemakers are under-served and under-resourced, even as compared to other artists.” Advancement Director Terra Fuller of the Djerassi Resident Artist Program responds, “We are closely affiliated with the Alliance of Artist Communities. We are familiar with the “Mind the Gap” study and are proud to be among the 14% of residencies with dance studios, which is a statistic listed in that study.” Fuller acknowledges the shortcom- ings that exist in dance residencies. “Studio space dictates the number of choreographers in residence. At Djerassi, we have one dance resident each session (two if they bring a col- laborator), whereas we can accommodate 6-7 writers and 3 visual artists per session.”
current and alumni. Performance facilities consist of a stand-alone studio in Headlands’ iconic gym or a redwood-lined former ware- house. Artists also have access to the campus at large, with a variety of historic spaces.” To ensure residency programs at Head- lands continue, consistent monetary backing remains a vital component. Uyehara says, “For Headlands and across the field, we need to see institutional and public support in the forms of financial contributions, public pro- gram attendance, and people and organiza- tions voicing interest in the institutional sup- port of dance production.” SAFEhouse Arts (Saving Arts from Extinc- tion) in San Francisco offers emerging and mid-career artist residencies focused on con- temporary dance. Resident Artist Workshops (RAW) provide artists with rehearsal space, mentorship, marketing, and production sup- port for performance. AIRspace Residencies are dedicated to supporting queer and trans artists of color and people living with HIV/ AIDS, and the RAW Lead Artist Program is designed for artists seeking a long-term artis- tic relationship with SAFEhouse. Executive director and founder of SAFE- house for the Performing Arts, Joe Lan- dini says, “We accept the majority of artists that apply and most artists can stay for any period of time they want. Last year we sup- ported 135 residencies. We don’t charge an application fee. Our program is completely free. I think that if there is value, then pay- ing for a residency is fine. Each artist has to examine the program and decide if it’s a good fit for them.” Words of wisdom to artists pursuing dance residencies: “We [CounterPulse] recommend that interested applicants express interest in pro- moting their work and engaging with new/ current audiences throughout their residen- cies. Also, get involved and familiar with CounterPulse. Come to shows, come to open call info sessions, get to know our commu- nity,” says Ebrahemi. Uyehara with Headlands says, “Capture compelling documentation of your work. Apply with a thoughtful articulation of your practice. And don’t wait until the last minute to finish those applications. If possible, come to Headlands to see the facilities.” Fuller with Djerassi says, “Don't be dis- couraged if you don't get accepted - keep trying. The selection panels rotate every year. Each year we have about 900 applications for 70 residency spots.” Landini with SAFEhouse says, “Each pro- gram has its own set of criteria, for example, ours is not very process orientated, it’s very much about generating public performance. Other programs are more about process and investigating.” You’re a dancemaker and you deserve an audience. Residency administrators are ready to receive your letter of interest and learn about your unique aesthetic. Now that you have the right skill set and tools, take the next step. Leap toward your future and begin now. MINA RIOS found inspiration in dance during her youth in San Francisco. Trained in music, theatre, and dance; followed by Journalism & Mass Com- munications, Rios has written for Dancer Magazine , Dance International Magazine , and Dance For You Magazine and most recently Sonoma Magazine , the Pacific Sun , and the North Bay Bohemian .
Monique Jenkinson at Headlands Center for the Arts / photo by Andria Lo
Jyotsna Vaidee at SAFEhouse Arts / photo courtesy of SAFEhouse Arts
proudly shares, “A Djerassi residency is fee-free to the artist; yet each 30-day resi- dency costs the program about $10,000. The diversity of resi- dency models makes a rich and strong field, but we are committed to remaining fee- free to artists.” Fuller continues, “All artists arrive and leave at the same time, creating intense inter- disciplinary cohorts. Another distinct opportunity for cho- reography and dance artists at Djerassi is the collegial inter- action with artists of other dis-
ciplines. A quote from a painter, Paula Bull- winkel, from Bend, Oregon, illustrates the value of the cross-disciplinary experiences. She wrote, ‘Bonding with other artists at Djerassi was phenomenal. We had so much in common. When the writers gave feedback to one of the residents at a reading, I realized their ideas applied to visual concepts. When one of the dancers talked about moving instinctively versus choreographed moves, I saw how that concept could apply to paint- ing as well. I began to experiment with mix- ing realism with expressionism.’ ” Residencies for mostly mid-career and established artists at the Marin based Head- lands Center for the Arts offer a unique model as well. Uyehara explains, “By provid- ing the five key supports that artists need— namely time, space, money, validation, and networks—at a site ideally situated to fos- ter introspection and exchange, we nurture original thought and spark vital new direc- tions in art. Our vision is to provide the ideal conditions for artists and creative thinkers to develop new works and ideas, no mat- ter their discipline. We provide: A private bedroom in a shared historic home, chef- prepared meals five nights a week, a stipend, round-trip travel to the site, opportunities to participate in public programs and open studios, connection to a wide network in the arts, including Headlands artists, both
Phelps advocates that dance residen- cies should include: “sprung dance floors, adequate space, producing support to fully and professionally realize staged work, more grants geared toward dance.” Residency applicants at CounterPulse are primarily comprised of up-and-coming danc- ers and choreographers, along with a few dance company ensembles. In most cases, applicants have completed one or more resi- dencies elsewhere. Communications and engagement man- ager Justin Ebrahemi shares, “CounterPulse does not have an application fee. We want to ensure our residency programs are as acces- sible as possible while offering a generous artist stipend to participating artists. We do however ask applicants to become Counter- Pulse members (we have a pay-what-you- can membership program) as we see our residency programs as a mutual agreement to support each other’s visions. All of our [four] residency programs include outreach and mentorship opportunities to our art- ists, including progress showings, discourse events, and publishing creative content about their work.”
4 in dance SEP 2018
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ARTIST IN RESIDENCY OPPORTUNITIES: A SHORT-LIST Those looking for a residency program may start their search with Alliance of Artist Communities (artistcommunities.org), Culture and Creativity (culturepartnertship.eu), or Res Artis (resartis.org/en) – all aggregate infor- mation about opportunities for all artistic disciplines and around the world. Below is a selection of local and national residencies that are open to dance-makers.
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
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guest Jon Batiste Celebrating Duke Ellington
NATIONAL Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL A three week Program brings together three “Master Artists” from different disciplines. atlanticcenterforthearts.org Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE Offers private live/work studios, financial support, technical/administrative assistance, and free public programs. bemiscenter.org Downtown Dance Collective, Missoula Supporting collaborative, original work culminating in a performance. ddcmontana.com Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, MA The In Process Series supports research and development of new work. jacobspillow.org National Park Service: Arts in the Parks Residencies for artists at parks across the nation, each with their own unique programming. nps.gov Residency Unlimited, New York Customized residency environments for artists at all stages of practice. residencyunlimited.org The Yard, Chillmark, MA Residency programs emphasize collaborative process in contemporary dance, devised theater and music. dancetheyard.org Velocity Dance Center, Seattle For dance and movement-based artists to develop performances, interactive events, and installations. velocitydancecenter.org Yaddo, Saratoga Springs 200 artists from all disciplines are served by Yaddo’s process-focused residencies annually. yaddo.org
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Brava! for Women in the Arts, SF Supporting the artistic expression of women, people of color, LGBTQIA with space, technical and admin support. brava.org Chalk Hill Artist Residency, Sonoma For established, emerging, and “outsider” artists at the historic Warnecke Ranch & Vineyards. chalkhillresidency.com CounterPulse, SF Four programs for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. counterpulse.org Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside Six residency sessions each year, with one dedicated to the intersection of art and science. djerassi.org Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito 10-week residencies for individuals at the cutting edge of their fields. headlands.org Lucid Art Foundation, Inverness Three week residencies with special emphasis on the integration of art, process, and inner awareness. lucidart.org ODC Theater, SF A three-year program. Next available residencies begin in 2021. odc.dance SAFEhouse Arts, SF Focused on emerging artists in dance, experimental theatre and interdisciplinary performance. safehousearts.org Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley For emerging and established local artists, without expectations to produce a performance. shawl-anderson.org Zaccho Dance Theatre, SF Discounted studio and performance space to resident companies considered innovators in the field of contemporary and aerial dance. zaccho.org
Sep 23 GREEK THEATRE
Mark Morris Dance Group Pepperland Sgt. Pepper at 50 Choreography by Mark Morris Ethan Iverson, composer A Cal Performances Co-commission
“A truly joyous, celebratory work of art.” — The Telegraph , London
Sep 28–30 ZELLERBACH HALL
In her signature work, Sasha Waltz explores the visceral tangle of humanity from the perspectives of history, science, and architecture. Set on 13 dancers, the movement evokes a staggering range of embodied experience through a series of living tableaux. Please note: this performance includes nudity. Sasha Waltz & Guests Körper ( Bodies )
LOS LUPEÑOS DE SAN JOSÉ CELEBRATES YEARS Sat, Sep 29, 8pm; Sun, Sep 30, 2pm, Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater, San José
TRIBUTO, a concert of dance and music, honors seis maestros , six of Los Lupeños’ master instructors, researchers, and choreographers that have shaped their repertoire over the last 49 years. Under the artistic direction of choreographer Samuel Cortez, Los Lupeños will state six masterworks from six different regions of México. Los Lupeños de San José’s 50th Anniversary Season continues in 2019: Tardeada VIII: Los Lupeños Juvenil annual concert Apr 7, 2019 ¡Gracias!, free open-air event May 5, 2019 GALA: A celebration of past, present, and future
Oct 20 & 21 ZELLERBACH HALL
Sep 28-29, 2019 loslupenos.org
Photo by Leah Stohs
in dance SEP 2018
calendar SEP 2018 VISIT THE ONLINE COMMUNITY CALENDAR, to find additional events and to submit a performance. dancersgroup.org
Garrett + Moulton Productions, Sep 6-9 / Photo by RJ Muna
Garrett + Moulton Productions YBCA Theater, SF
Mira-Lisa Katz Belos Cavalos, Kenwood Understory Dances , directed by Mira-Lisa Katz, is a site-specific suite of pieces exploring kinesthesia and empathy between humans, horses, and the earth we share, moving through fields of fire-scarred Sonoma County. Space is limited, registration required. Sat, RAW presents Alexandria Law / Caroline Haydon / Peri Trono SAFEhouse Arts, SF Peri Trono’s deviate is a moving vignette of the transient figures searching for a place to call home. Dancer and choreographer, Alex Law, toys with live sound and movement to find play in the constraints of time. Caroline Hay- don’s MAYA is an exploration into the complex layers of learned behavior, illusion, and linear time. Fri-Sat, Sep 14-15, 8pm, $15-20. safehousearts.org Twisted Oak Dance Theater Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley Inspired by the location and its 60 years of history, Constants & Variables: Second Homes asks what places can become a home to us, and what legacy can be felt in a setting honored by generations of dancers to come before? Fri, Sep 14, 8pm; Sat, Sep 15, 6 & 8:30pm, $15-40. twistedoakdance.com Sep 15, 2:30 & 6pm, FREE. understorydances.com
fractured geographies, behavioral retrograde, and the digital divides in our everyday lives. Presenting IN CIVILITY Pt. 2: Outrage Machine by Deborah Slater Dance Theater & John Fes- enko and TecTonic Shifts by dævron & Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company. Thu-Sat, Sep 13-15 & 20-22, 8pm, $19.99-34.99 (pay-what- you-can Thursdays). counterpulse.org FURY invites audiences to step into a post- apocalyptic world inspired by the film, Mad Max - Fury Road . Dancers from SF Ballet and Alonzo King LINES Ballet will portray a fight for survival, choreographed by Danielle Rowe (SFDanceworks), with live music onstage by YASSOU. Produced by Kate Duhamel, director and producer of dance films and video designs for the stage. Fri, Sep 14 (The Chapel) & Sat, Sep 15 (The Midway), 7pm, $35-125. furyshow.com Kate Duhamel The Chapel & The Midway, SF
Two premieres celebrating the resilience and joy of the human spirit featuring five dancers and an 18-person movement choir. Thu-Sat, Sep 6-8, 8pm; Sun, Sep 9, 3pm, $35-42. garrettmoulton.org Rotunda Dance Series: Jubilee American Dance Theatre City Hall Rotunda, SF A performance of American folk dances from Appalachia to Swing Era dance halls to Cajun Country and more. Fri, Sep 7, 12pm, FREE. dancersgroup.org/rotunda Brannigan Dance Works & Courtney Mazeika Joe Goode Annex, SF Brannigan Dance Work in Bones reflects nature itself. Mazeika’s Render will revolve around each dancer’s rigor, tenderness, and detailed physicality. Fri-Sat, Sep 7-8, 8pm, $20-35. joegoode.org Mary Sano and Her Duncan Dancers ODC Theater, SF Highlighting choreography from the traditional Isadora Duncan repertoire as well as Sano’s original work. Fri-Sat, Sep 7-8, 8pm, $25-40. duncandance.org
Mira-Lisa Katz, Sep 15 / Photo courtesy of artist
RAW presents Hannah Young & Juliet Paramor SAFEhouse Arts, SF
Hannah Young presents Orange Soda Float , tasty but a little too sweet, fizzy gestures and orange-flavored kicks. Also presenting a new work by Juliet Paramor. Sponsored by RAW (resident artist workshop), a residency pro- gram from SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts. Fri-Sat, Sep 7-8, 8pm, $15-20. safehousearts.org
SOULSKIN Dance Dance Mission Theater, SF
At once mystical and mundane, HERO ex- plores the multitude of roles the hero plays in our everyday, extraordinary lives. Fri- Sat, Sep 7-8, 8pm, Sun, Sep 9, 5:30pm, $20-25. soulskindance.org Deborah Slater Dance Theater & PUSH Dance Co. CounterPulse, SF Part of CounterPulse’s Combustible Residency program, presenting works that confront
Peri Trono, Sep 14-15 / Photo by Terra Deal
6 in dance SEP 2018
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RAW presents Allie Leite, Hannah Ayasse & Cookie Harrist SAFEhouse Arts, SF Hannah Ayasse and company present Vague Clarities , a new devised dance work which ex- plores the alchemy that occurs when opposing forces must share space and co-create. Also presenting new work by Allie Leite and Cookie Harrist. Sponsored by RAW (resident artist workshop), a residency program of SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts. Fri-Sat, Sep 21-22, 8pm, $15-20. safehousearts.org
SMUIN Ballet Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Smuin presents Dance Series 01. Dancemaker Trey McIntyre returns to Smuin with Blue Until June , set to the vocals of Etta James. Also featuring three works created in Smuin’s Choreography Showcase: Merely Players , Re- flection , and Sinfonietta . Rounding out the bill is Michael Smuin’s Eternal Idol and Schubert Scherzo . Fri, Sep 21, 7:30pm; Sat, Sep 22, 2pm, $25-81. smuinballet.org
La Mezcla, Sep 15-16 / Photo by Alexa Trevino
Rhea Speights, Sep 28-29 / Photo by Hans Holtan
La Mezcla Dance Mission Theater, SF
inside a 17-foot U-Haul. Local food trucks and a beer garden will be on-site to provide refreshments. Fri-Sat, Sep 28-29, 7pm, FREE. hammertheatre.com
Pachuquismo is an all-female Tap and Son Jarocho performance of Chicanx culture, Pa- chucas and the Zoot Suit Riots, choreographed and directed by Vanessa Sanchez. Featuring Chicana poly-rhythms, live music, and video. This work explores the role of the Pachuca in the 1940’s, systemic racism and the struggles communities of color continue to face today. Sat, Sep 15, 8pm; Sun, Sep 16, 4pm, $15-40. vanessasanchez.net Bulbfest Outdoor Dance Festival Albany Bulb, Albany Dance illuminates multiple locations in the quirky, rugged landscapes of the Albany Bulb, an art-filled former landfill that sticks out a mile into the Bay. Featuring Evie Ladin’s MoToR/dance, Sarah Bush Dance Project, Chelsea Boyd Brown Dancers, Kali Futnani of Kalanjali Dances of India, Hannah Young and Tapper Dan. Sun, Sep 16, 2pm, FREE. facebook.com/lovethebulb Cid Pearlman Performance Joe Goode Annex, SF Celebrating Pearlman’s longstanding collabo- ration with renowned cellist and composer, Joan Jeanrenaud, in an evening of three works: Strange Toys, small variations and Your Body is Not a Shark . Fri-Sat, Sep 21-22, 8pm, $15-25. cidpearlman.org
FACT/SF CounterPulse, SF
RAW presents Rhea Speights SAFEhouse Arts, SF
death is part intimate celebration, part conjur- ing and part collective mourning for perform- ers and audiences alike. It runs the gamut from the extremely delicate to the wildly unhinged. Thu-Sat, Sep 27-Sep 29, Oct 4-6 & Oct 11-13, 8pm, $15-35. factsf.org
Hannah Ayasse, Sep 21-22 / Photo by Kelly Ward
Not About but Nearby uses dance and video to examine the nature of visual and kinesthetic thinking and meaning making. Channel 1/ Channel 2 is a conversation over long-distance, touching on topics of solitude, secret pleasures, and ghosts. Sponsored by RAW (resident artist workshop), a residency program of SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts. Fri-Sat, Sep 28-29, 8pm, $15-20. safehousearts.org Mark Morris Dance Group Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley A new dance work that revels in the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band . Presented by Cal Performances. Fri, Sep 28, 8pm; Sat, Sep 29, 2 & 8pm; Sun, Sep 30, 3pm, $36-135 (prices subject to change). calperformances.org
PUSHfest Dance Festival ODC Theater, SF Features Codelining by Artistic Director Raissa Simpson, and company members Courtney Hope and Hien Huynh, and performances by local artists like Alleluia Panis, Luis Valverde, and Anapuma, Srivastava as well as visit- ing artists from St. Louis and Santa Barbara. Program A: Fri, Sep 28, 8pm; Sun, Sep 30, 4:30pm; Program B: Sat, Sep 29, 8pm; Sun, Sep 30, 7:30pm, $15-28 per show or $50 for Ross Dance Company Laney College, Oakland Come and experience an evening of live Gospel music, vibrant dancing and powerful cinematography that will provoke thought while leaving you moved and inspired. Sat, Sep 29, 7:30pm, $15-20. rossdance.com Māhea Uchiyama Center for International Dance Valley Center of Performing Arts at Holy Names University, Oakland Gala Concert celebrating 25 years of world dance. Sat, Sep 29, see website for details. centerforinternationaldance.org Los Lupeños de San José Mexican Heritage Plaza, San José TRIBUTO is a tribute to six master instructors that shaped the company in its 50 years. Sat, Sep 29, 8pm; Sun, Sep 30, 2pm, $20-30. loslupenos.org Soul.Movement.Worship. Ministries First AME Zion Church, SF A praise through movement showcase of three bay area ministries. Uniting in praise and grace, this showcase is to express how differ- ences become one in worship through dance. Sat, Sep 29, 3pm, FREE. smwpraisedancer.wixsite.com both programs. pushdance.org
The Hammer Plaza Celebration
Hammer Theatre Center, San Jose The entertainment lineup includes verti- cal dance performed by BANDALOOP. Bridgman|Packer Dance also joins the festivi- ties with Truck , a performance that takes place
Twisted Oak Dance Theater, Sep 14-15 / Photo by Robbie Sweeny
SMUIN Ballet, Sep 21-22 / Photo by Chris Hardy
in dance SEP 2018
DANCE OF DEATH : FACT/SF’s Festive and Funereal 10th Anniversary by CLAUDIA BAUER
CSW: In those early, early years, we were figuring out how to not just create the space for that to happen: we are going to feel that anxiety inside, and we are going to feel like our colleagues should hurry the fuck up because the piece needs to move on, and we are just going to sit in that discomfort until it gets resolved. And we’re going to trust that the audience is capable of sitting with us. CN: One of the things that I’m really proud of is our unique audience. Not just because they’re really committed to us, but they’re also really diverse, and that means a lot to me. What it feels like to me is that our audi- ence gets to bring their whole self to the show. That makes me happy.
CB: So let’s talk about death. CSW: It’s the fourth piece in this series of curiosities. We made one last year called Remains , then one in 2018 called Life , and I did a little solo called Memoria ... The curios- ity for me is not about the process of dying, or the anxiety that people might have around mortality; it’s more around the role that grief plays in a living person’s life. Another upper from FACT/SF. We’re known for our easy-going, lighthearted dances. [laughter]. Next year we need to make a clown dance or something.
never once been boring. They’ve been frus- trating, they’ve been exhausting, they’ve been disheartening, but not boring. I think that’s related to this persistent and insistent curios- ity, and letting the curiosity drive the process, rather than the expectation. CB: And not wanting to get a real job. CSW: It’s because I’m so work-averse. I’m too lazy to get a job. [laughter] And then there is the whole FACT/SF family – whenever I’m starting to feel like ugh, what’s the point, I’ll get an email or a phone call or a text mes- sage, and I’ll think, oh, the work has value. There is also this field-development compo- nent that I find almost as satisfying as the art-making. When we decided to do JuMP, or PORT, or my consulting work – all of those things are coming out of my deep love for dance and dancers and dance-making, and a real sense of frustration about why things don’t work better. It feels empowering.
ELATION, FRUSTRATION, WONDER, befuddle- ment – one experiences a full spectrum of thoughts and feelings at a FACT/SF perfor- mance. Founded by Charles Slender-White in 2008, the company’s oeuvre spans more than 30 works, from 2010’s intimate, intensely theatrical Consumption Series to 2016’s (dis)integration , an immersive dance/lecture exploring displacement and Roma heritage, and 2017’s wondrous Platform, a meticu- lously twinned duet for Slender-White and Liane Burns. For its 10th anniversary, FACT/ SF will premiere the immersive ensemble work death at CounterPulse. FACT/SF’s horizons are far-reaching. The company has done tours and residencies in Russia and Eastern Europe – after death , they head off for Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia – and Slender-White created the commissioning program JuMP (Just Founding company member Cath- erine Newman and Slender-White met in 2003 at U.C. Berkeley, where he double-majored in English litera- ture and dance and performance stud- ies, and she studied dance while earn- ing her PhD in mechanical engineering. We sat down in his CounterPulse office, and they reflected on a decade of ups, downs and dances. Make a Piece), the West Coast tour- ing endeavor PORT (Peer Organized Regional Touring) and this August’s Summer Dance Festival. Claudia Bauer: The first piece of yours I saw was The Consumption Series at Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, in 2010. Since then, whatever you do, I’m curious. I don’t always like it, but I’m always curious. More often than not, I love it. Charles Slender-White: I love all my little dance babies, but The Consumption Series was so wild. That was such a wild space to work in. They were like, “Here’s the keys. You want to paint the floor? You want to figure out how to use the freight elevator? Go for it.” It was such a wonderful sense of possibility. And we were all a lot younger, and that critical lens that tells you something might not be a great choice wasn’t developed yet. It allowed us to make a lot of choices that, if I had to make that piece now – Catherine Newman: It would be much different. CSW: I’m not going to say more conserva- tive, but probably a little less wild. CB: Because you’re on to different things? Or because you know now what you didn’t know then? CSW: The questions that we were asking in The Consumption Series , I’m not as curi- ous about those things. I wasn’t concerned with the through-line; I didn’t really care. I cared about an energetic arc. Parts of it were much more imagistic than the work that we’ve made since then. Like the first 7 min- utes was us dancing around with buckets on our heads. We couldn’t see anything, and we each had to turn off a light and then go into the freight elevator. If someone got lost and couldn’t find their light, then the other three in the elevator just had to wait. CN: What comes from that piece was this really significant patience that we developed with each other. Like, “I did not mean to go 180 in the wrong direction, but the options are: I give up and take the bucket off my head, or I do my best to figure it out.” That really established a foundation of trust and a way of working that has propagated itself through the 10 years. CB: Did that happen? CSW: Yeah!
CB: How does grief manifest in the choreography?
CN: I have no doubt that everyone in that room has their own real feelings about death and grief, and in a weird way, I have this understanding that we’re all in some way bringing that to the work, even though we won’t explicitly talk about our experiences.
FACT/SF in Remains / photo by Gema Galina
FACT/SF in What She Taught Me photo by Tawnee Kendall
CB: The integrity of the creation process is what interests you. CSW: It’s always a bit strange when we start a process, because people want to know what it is, how long it’s going to be. Even with death – is it optimistic, is it pessimis- tic, do we die and go to heaven? And when I tell people I don’t know the answer, it’s often disappointing to the person I’m talking to. By the time we get something onstage, there’s often a point of view that materializes. CN: It’s true that a point of view comes out, but it never feels to me like “this dance is on death.” It’s like, “Here’s some portion of how I feel about things, right now, at this stage in my life.” CB: FACT/SF works are mentally and physi- cally intense – the dancers’ focus and energy make it exhilarating to watch. CSW: There’s this really nice cumulative effect that happens when you have been see- ing the same dancer onstage for the whole piece, you’re seeing their costume get all wrangled and weird, and sweat and heavy breathing. Making the labor visible is inter- esting to me. CB: So how have you made it through the inevitable frustrations of running a com- pany for 10 years? CSW: I’ve never been bored with the work. I have not sat down to write a budget, or gone to rehearsals, or been writing a card to a donor, or buying plane tickets for a tour, all of the many things that the job entails – they’ve
CN: It’s never been about sticking with it; that’s never been a question for me. I have a total trust with Charlie, in terms of his rigor and his way of working. I sincerely learn a lot about myself, the way my body moves, things that I end up implementing and taking into my other work and my life, from every project. CB: You’ve performed in Russia, Bulgaria, Seattle, Portland, LA. How has that come about? CSW: All of the tours have resulted from casual conversations with real people as I’ve encountered them. It’s following up on conversations that start after class, or over a beer, or someone emails you. PORT came about because [former ODC Theater Direc- tor] Christy Bolingbroke introduced me and the LA Contemporary Dance Company directors at APAP [Association of Performing Arts Professionals], and we just kept talking. It’s finding where the needs of the local partner meet or match the needs that we have to create an opportunity that’s mutually beneficial. CB: What about when things go wrong? CSW: All of the no’s are difficult to absorb. But the clearer I am about what I’m working on and why, they can still be disappointing without being tragic. We’ve had enough years when things went pretty sideways and we still managed to put on a season of work.
CSW: Memory is something that comes up a lot with grief. What can it be to think about a choreographic phrase that changes over time? How do you make choreographic changes visible to an audience – are you really asking them to learn a phrase in their minds to notice the difference? I think part of it will be really beautiful; I think part of it will be hard to tolerate. I think all dances are about death in some way. Not all the dances– CN: Yours! CSW: [laughter] Either individual versus society, or it’s death, and often both. But I think that I didn’t have the confidence to name that until now. CB: Is that confidence the result of working for ten years? CSW: I could not have foreseen, and I had not ever heard from another choreographer, that you can use your dances as a way to learn more about making dances. The work of 10 years is starting to seem like, “Oh, I didn’t think about this as a long-term, dura- tional education project in addition to a dance-making thing.” I’ve figured out a way to continue to play with form and composi- tion. Maybe that’s why I’m not bored. CLAUDIA BAUER is a freelance writer. She covers dance for the San Francisco Chronicle , Dance Maga- zine , Pointe Magazine , Dance Teacher Magazine and DanceTabs.com.
FACT/SF presents death: Sep 27–Oct 13,CounterPulse, SF. counterpulse.org
8 in dance SEP 2018
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