Welcome, Oct 2011

By Wayne Hazzard

October 1, 2011, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

I’m curious, when we watch a performance, how many of our aspirations are imbedded in understanding a particular moment or work? Are we imprinting our own creativity on others’ work/dances? How much of our agenda can we let go of to better understand an artistic idea? I’m challenging myself to ask these questions as I explore the rich performance landscape this fall. How about you? What questions are on your mind?

Anything is possible. Whatever we imagine can be realized.

This provoking and provocative credo permeates creativity and can be experienced daily within a variety of performance settings. Stages, staircases, sidewalks, walls, roofs, doorways, tables–each provide the potential to create kinetic and visual desires that morph into an artistic lusciousness.

At a recent outdoor performance in Oakland, amidst a crowd of thousands that grew by the minute, Project Bandaloop’s aptly titled “Bound(less),” generated an atmosphere of wonderment and infinite possibility as the dancers found flight along the great wall that was their stage. Both spectacle and spectacular entertainment, “Bound(less)” will be remembered as a soul-searching work; it’s evocative images made kids gasp, and simultaneously inspired them to dream of hanging off tall structures. For the rest of us, it was a reminder that choreographic ideas are vast.

There is no better way to explore the promise of dance and its impromptu impact on an audience than to take it out of the theater. Site-specific work continues to delight viewers and provide inspiration to choreographers. Katie Faulkner’s recent foray will be in full swing this month at locations in downtown San Francisco. With a cast of 20 dancers, and multimedia interventions staged by Michael Trigilio, these artists probe and question ideas of belonging. Do I belong in this marriage? This body? This religion? This Burger King? This career? This social network? Join us for this ONSITE commission through October 9, and see if your questions of belonging are answered.

Unlimited opportunities abound in the Bay Area to see dance at its best and most promising. Take for instance, the chance you have this month to see Hula shows blending traditional stories that preserve and educate while bringing new images that reinterpret what it means to be working within a tradition. Patrick Makuakane and other Kumu’s in our region are at once promoting their form as timeless and modern, and Katie Gaydos’ article profiles hula’s guardians and mavericks of the form.

October marks the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s Grants for the Arts program, which pre-dates the National Endowment for the Arts. To help celebrate, Dancers’ Group’s Rotunda Dance Series will present a free performance with Theatre Flamenco, Makuakane’s Hawaiian dance company and a cast member of Beach Blanket Babylon, at Noon, Friday, October 7, in the City Hall Rotunda. Please join us to help celebrate Grants for the Arts milestone and stay after the show for a reception with food and beverages.

Dream big and enjoy the moments, because, anything is possible.

— Wayne Hazzard, Executive Director

Wayne Hazzard, Executive Director Wayne 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; and he was acknowledged as a 2015 Gerbode Professional Development Fellow. Before his manifold career in arts management, Hazzard had a distinguished 20-year career performing with many notable choreographers and companies including the Joe Goode Performance Group, Margaret Jenkins Dance Co, Ed Mock & Co, June Watanabe, Emily Keeler, Aaron Osborne and more. Coinciding with his life as a dancer, Hazzard has and continues to work as an advocate for dance. For his unique artistic vision, Hazzard has received numerous awards, including an Isadora Duncan Award for his innovation, dedication, and contribution to the field of dance. And a Sangam Arts 2018 Mosaic America Impact Award. Hazzard has served as an advisor and panelist with such organizations as the Center for Cultural Innovation, DanceUSA, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs, and Dance Advance in Philadelphia. He was recently appointed to serve on the Funding Advisory Committee for the City of Oakland.