We’re at the half-point in the year and it’s time to remind ourselves of the good job we do and then find time to indulge in a little extra special comfort. For me, that could mean a long walk, the beach, a favorite tune, a nap, window-shopping, holding hands with my husband, a movie, or calling my sister to chat and laugh. These are some of my favorite re-charging activities. They provide the inspiration and insight to tackle my to-do list. Finding ways to re-imagine and refresh our selves is ageless and ongoing. I bet you have a long lovely list of comforting things.
Standing out for me this month is the theme of visibility. It permeates every sector of society, yet the notion of being seen is particularly pertinent to those in the performing arts. Is success just about showing up? Does being present for each moment, no matter the outcome, ensure that we are fully participating in the directions our life is heading? To respond to these questions, it is helpful to stay away from judgment of how we are seen and what that audience–of one or 1,000–might be thinking. This strategy is to continue to show up, do the work, make projects, find funding and resources, perform, keep the attention on dance, thriving, while taking time to reflect and seek fun.
It used to be that June and the ensuing summer months were a time to take off from rehearsals and performances. Yet, in our anything-can-happen-at-anytime world, we are experiencing the production of shows throughout the year, and the variety of times and locations are expanding.
As previewed in the May issue of In Dance, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival opens its 33rd season and highlights for a solid month an outstanding line up of dance. We are proud to partner with World Arts West, the presenters of the Festival, for the monthly Rotunda Dance Series. On June 3rd, the Festival kicks-off with a special opening ceremony and performance honoring the Rumsen Ohlone Tribe, featuring tribal song and dance, and the presentation of the Festival’s annual Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award to Tribal Chief Tony Cerda. Mary Ellen Hunt’s article provides insight into the ongoing struggle of the Ohlone and the emotional and financial realities that go into changing the federal government’s designation that they are a “terminated” tribe.
Mary Carbonara asks a totally different set of questions as she choreographically explores the controversial topic of killing–in the context of war. Based on her previous rigorous and highly physical work, these performances are not to be missed and premiere at Kunst-Stoff’s new space. Other standouts to consider attending this month are: Joe Goode’s new piece The Rambler at YBCA, Janice Garrett/Charlie Moulton’s work at ODC Theater, Sara Shelton Mann/David Szlasa’s ZEROPOINT, Nina Haft, and Dance Elixir among others with the SF International Arts Festival. Many more outstanding events can be found in this month’s print and online calendar.
A special treat will take place in the East Bay as Grown Women Dance Collective presents their annual Juneteenth Celebration, the oldest national celebration commemorating African American liberation from slavery. Tonya Amos describes the program as “honoring African American musical artists that have died since the year 2000 such as James Brown, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and Nina Simone.” With music like that, you will rock your seat.
Take time to acknowledge your specialness; and take time to comfort yourself.
— Wayne Hazzard, Executive Director
This article appeared in the June 2011 issue of In Dance.