SPEAK: A Community Perspective

By Shannon Preto


When approached by Joe Landini to curate a male choreographers festival I said, “Yes.” As a man, I’ve been struggling to understand how I can be a part of the change paradigm of power structures in the world. More importantly, how can I change myself on a daily basis, and thereby be able to change those around me. As a dance artist, how does that shifting conceptualization get expressed through my art and my artistry?

It is my hope that with the Move(men)t Festival at The Garage myself and, maybe, the world around me can begin to understand the breath of decisions made by various choreographers who identify as “male.” This festival and my manifesto below are meant as “openers” to get the conversation started. We need your help to keep it going.

Yes to Dancing-Yes to accepting-Yes to affirming-Yes to listening-Yes to apologizing-Yes to saying NO to dinner at Hooters-Yes to accepting changing power structures-Yes to NOT telling everyone your thoughts-Yes to changing the war in our words-Yes to following a woman’s lead-Yes to reporting predators-Yes to choosing a vasectomy-Yes to f/Feminism-Yes to LGBTQ-Yes to DINKs-Yes to fleeing, not fighting-Yes to “talking about it”-Yes to foreplay-Yes to softness-Yes to cuddling-Yes to crying-Yes to engulfing-Yes to just enough-Yes to choosing a low wage income-Yes to accepting others getting a high wage income-Yes to having dinner ready when SHE gets home-Yes to watching soap operas, especially SciFi ones-Yes to taking your time making love-Yes to asking directions-Yes to changing diapers-Yes to interacting platonically-Yes to having friends without privileges-Yes to watching football & choreographing in the same day-Yes to being a friend without wanting sex-Yes to humility-Yes to chores-Yes to smallness-Yes to poetry-Yes to foreplay-Yes to not having an orgasm-Yes to loving one person-Yes to marching behind women-Yes to marching behind minorities -Yes to marching behind oppressed voice-Yes to knowing you shouldn’t march at all-Yes to thinking before acting-Yes to hugging-Yes to stopping on “No”-Yes to being a dancer-Yes to watching men thoughtfully navigate society as choreographers

“The Move(men)t Festival” features Scott Wells, Eric Kupers, Sheldon B. Smith, Andrew Wass, Adam Venker, Jessie Hewit, Charles Gushue, Shannon Preto, Travis Rowland and Freeplay Dance Crew. Tickets are $10-$20 on brownpapertickets.com, for more information visit 975howard.com or call 415-885-4006 for reservations.