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; its 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 Kumus 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

This article appeared in the October 2011 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.