Everything is set to launch another rich dance season and September marks the return of new productions, programs and renewed theaters that reflect our robust growing community.
I’ve purposefully used the words rich and growing to contradict the notion that art-making should be equated with being poor. We are absolutely under-resourced, yet within the realm of a difficult economy there are expansive ideas taking place to motivate and arouse our inner artist.
Take for instance CHIME Across Borders, Margaret Jenkins’ brainchild that allows local choreographers to work with national artists. The official launch of Jenkins’ Borders will allow artists to apply to work with the phenomenal Ralph Lemon in mentorship over a year of activities. Open to all styles of choreography, the selected artists also receive a grant to support their work. Brilliant!
During travels to conferences and festivals over the summer, word of programs and projects like CHIME, the building of the new ODC Theater, the Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces website project, Joe Goode’s four-week return of “Traveling Light,” Central Market Arts festival and our new re-granting program, New Stages for Dance, were the envy of colleagues, presenters, service organizations and artists. “You are so lucky in the Bay Area” was common and “Please bring your programs and community to us.”
Dreaming up resourceful new programs is nothing unique to artists and certainly not the super-creative of this region. What’s unusual is that all of this activity takes place during a fluctuating economy, amidst a national financial system that has experts predicting doom one day and resurgence the next. While more dramatic at this time than others, navigating a financial ebb and flow is what arts entities do best.
Reflecting on a strong dance ecosystem, Julie Potter’s in-depth observations bring focus to a host of national dialogues that address the shifting exchange of ideas and survival. Enjoy digging into Claudia Bauer’s heady fall preview that will whet your appetite for the abundance of dance delights September through December. This month we launch a three-part series by local choreographer Mary Carbonara that looks to reveal some of the transformative experiences that have motivated our community of dance artists.
Loss invariably comes with expansion and change and while we have gained much it is always hard to let go of space for dance. Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, or as known to an older generation, Jon Sims Center, will be greatly missed for its funky charm and acceptance of fresh and risky new work.
Enjoy the ride, and may your view be inspired.
This article appeared in the September 2010 issue of In Dance.