SPEAK: Dance Artists on Dance

By Chris Black

September 1, 2007, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

I’ve been thinking a lot about how dance occupies this space between the arts and sports and wondering how we as a community could exploit that more. I’m in the process of choreographing a new piece called Pastime. The movement is all drawn from still photographs of baseball and we’re rehearsing outside, mostly in Precita Park. It’s amazing to observe how people respond, who stops to watch, what they’re interested in, how pleased people get when they figure out what the movement is “about.” How do we convince this accidental audience that movement in a theater setting is also fun and interesting and compelling? I think sports are incredible theater but a lot of artists feel very alienated from that world. But there’s so much common ground there, waiting to be occupied. People like to watch bodies moving through space. Roger Angell, who writes for The New Yorker, once described a running catch as containing the beauty of movement that is both meaningless and purposeful at the same time. To me, that’s what dance is all about.

This article appeared in the September 2007 issue of In Dance.

Chris Black has been living and dancing in San Francisco for thirty years. In August she and her wife Courtney Moreno are moving to upstate New York.