Welcome, Jan/Feb 2010

By Wayne Hazzard

January 1, 2010, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

Rituals marking the New Year can often help focus our attention on the potential. These personal ceremonies are reminders of our present state, while allowing each of us to believe in and experience the promise of hope, wishes, change and even those pesky perennial resolutions. As a creative community that revels in process, celebrating the start of anything new is wondrous and affirming. This discovery is the gift of art-making and a foretold promise of the limitless ways and directions that keeps us moving.

With the start of 2010 come my favorite resolutions: not to procrastinate, to find laughter and joy within challenging moments, and not to worry what others think. Do you have resolutions this year?

Another resolution for the next decade, and to eternity, is to continue to keep dance visible. I am grateful that I work for an organization that has for the past 28 years worked toward this objective. There are a variety of ways to be in service to keeping dance present and this publication is one of the best. Along with the monthly calendar listings, culled from the community, we are lucky to partner with a wide range of writers documenting our growing field.

Within this issue the promise of visibility is fulfilled on a variety of levels. Local choreographer, Heidi Landgraf writes wonderfully of Sean Dorsey’s of-the-moment dance works. A queer theme unfolds as Jorge De Hoyos questions the definition of the “Q” word. The fact this word continues to elicit memories of ugliness and childhood bullying is still a challenge for many, including me. Turn the page and read a conversation between friends in which John Killacky and Trisha Brown delve into her collaboration with Robert Rauschenberg. Also remembering good times past, new writer for In Dance, Linda Johnson, a visiting assistant professor at Mills College, contributes her discovery and obsession of Yvonne Rainer’s seminal work, Trio A.

Take a break from this heady stuff and peruse the wealth of dance shows in January and February: Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton return to YBCA with a stand out from the 2009 season, The Illustrated Book of Invisible Stories; Akram Khan returns to YBCA with his complex rhythms amidst global stylings; the Women on the Way festival, featured inside by Joe Landini, continues to bring voice to an assorted mix of evocative artists. The auditions for the annual SF Ethnic Dance Festival continue to bring out the best in the traditional forms and this year the audition event plays host to dozens of new groups that you can experience at the best dance bargain of the year.

With visibility in mind, Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE program continues with the commission of Erika Chong Shuch’s Love Everywhere. Inspired by the recent attention to marriage equality, the performances on Valentine’s weekend mark the 6-year anniversary from when Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Love Everywhere reflects on the history of marriage, invites audiences into spontaneous celebrations, and incorporates large groups of dancers and non-dancers alike as performers.

I hope that your own resolutions, rituals and desires for this New Year are illuminated, bring inspiration and delight for the year ahead.

This article appeared in the January/February 2010 issue of In Dance.

Wayne Hazzard is a native Californian and as a co-founder is proud to continue his work with the Bay Area dance community as the executive director of Dancers’ Group. Hazzard is a leader in the service field who is known for his work with fiscal sponsorship and on new program development. Hazzard had a distinguished 20-year career performing the works of many notable choreographers including Ed Mock, June Watanabe, Emily Keeler, Aaron Osborne, Joe Goode and Margaret Jenkins. Coinciding with his life as a dancer, Hazzard has and continues to work as an advocate for dance.