Welcome, Jul/Aug 2013

By Wayne Hazzard


As the seduction of summer activities—vacations, barbecues, beach walks—linger, I remind myself how essential it is to have another activity to celebrate my successes. Not a boastful task, but one that loosens the hold on the notion that I must always push forward to do more, be more, achieve more. This remembering of accomplishments, and invariably, people touched— hopefully of good deeds done—makes me pause and reflect. Then, when I inevitably leap into new projects, or imagine an innovative initiative, I have some breathing space to appreciate where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished.

It creates an opportunity to absorb new sights, sounds and perspectives—the perfect mindset in which to see a performance. It’s the territory that artists build for the viewer and what is so transformative about being present at a show. Along with reminding myself to appreciate and acknowledge what has come before, I bring this open mindedness, which I am calling infinity-head, a frame applicable not only to art-viewing, but my activities of daily living.

As with all resolutions, I will have to continually re-invest in this idea of infinity-head, broadening my expectations to the experience that is before me. Did I mention I am on a three week detox, which has eliminated caffeine, sugar, dairy, gluten and alcohol? Could this be influencing my senses and my interest in seeing things differently? Has the act of taking away allowed me to see more? Time will reveal answers but in the moment, the vista is grand.

How we perceive and are perceived, is a recurring theme for any artistic endeavor, and dance might have more of a special relationship to this notion. Over the next few months, this broad and even complicated theme is explored and deeply investigated in the upcoming Performing Diaspora festival that returns to CounterPULSE in August. In Dance features Rob Taylor’s piece, which delves into the festival’s goal of providing space for artists who are interested in integrating contemporary performance practices with their traditional forms. Taylor writes, “Performing Diaspora is not for artists who want to cherry-pick cultural cues to incorporate into a post-modern novelty as ornaments.”

Additional investigations of sight and form continue over the summer and you will find insights into one such project, Amy Seiwert’s annual SKETCH festival, now in its third year. Claudia Bauer speaks with Seiwert and reveals why a much sought after choreographer in the ballet world is taking time to create a forum for other artists to “challenge expectations,” this year’s theme.

Kim Epifano premieres a new work this month in a beautiful and distinctive location: inside The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In the aptly titled Botany’s Breath, Heather Desaulniers writes about this unique project that speaks to how we define the notion of collaboration.

After reading through this issue, which reveals more stories about going deeper inside Flamenco and how to move to Berlin, among others, join me in recalling the small and large accomplishments that abound in our lives. Let’s tell ourselves how good of a job we are doing. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t hold back. It feels marvelous to acknowledge the people we impact, and the work we do.

Knowing that it matters to us will also matter to others.

Summer on.
Wayne Hazzard

This article appeared in the July/August 2013 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.