With the blossoming buds of Spring, I am eager to feel the sun on my face and the flower of ideas that motivate. Yet my thoughts fill with more questions than answers. Big questions. Like: What is the perfect body? What does age have to do with dancing? Are we communicating in ways that are readily or easily understood? Are we always conscious of the choices we are making? And do we need to be? Then there are the nuanced perceptions to the question of physical perfection, and are those responses even within our control?
The title of a current exhibition at Intersection for the Art’s 5M gallery–“Hiding in Plain Sight” intrigues me. The hiding-while-still-observable metaphor has stirred a complexity of feelings and even more questions: What does it really mean to be visible when you create dances? What messages are projected when an audience sees us? Are we always understood? In our enlightened world, especially those of us living in the ueber-leftist and politically correct Bay Area, there are numerous prejudgments each person harbors when it comes to bodies, dancing and stylistic ideals.
Even with raising the uncertain issues of perfect bodies and ways we are seen, I am clear about continuing to find resources to reveal our growing, vital, eclectic–sometimes misunderstood–dance scene to audiences that help unhide our artistic regional gems. In short, live dance events need more exposure, which translates to more performance dates in theaters and more visibility for these events on television, radio, the internet, newspapers, magazines, billboards, BART and MUNI station signs, street corner kiosk posters, banners on light poles and buses and taxis–extolling the hundreds of opportunities to attend dance each month. Of course this marketing requires resources and needs to happen locally, and hopefully influence the nation. No more small postcards. Let’s think big, bigger, biggest. Too grandiose? Maybe Spring has sprung.
On the scale of larger things, the 13th annual Bay Area National Dance Week festival will provide opportunities to experience, for free, over 400 classes, workshops, performances, demonstrations, and open houses that showcase and make visible the wealth of body-based art in our region. Join us for One Dance, the flash-mob style kick-off event at Union Square on Friday, April 22nd at noon.
Within, find articles on the disabled body, aging, 29 effeminate gestures, taking time off from dance, and an interview with a superstar ballet choreographer who is as comfortable working with pop stars and Harry Potter. Additional queerness continues in the interview with drag star Monique Jenkinson, revealing that this woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman really is a dancer. You can catch one of her stunning incarnations on April Fools’ day at the Rotunda Dance Series, where costumes or other kinds of silliness are encouraged.
Whatever you do this month, get out there, make a splash.
–Wayne Hazzard, executive director