Welcome, Sep 2013

By Wayne Hazzard

September 1, 2013, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

Often, Opulent Opportunities co-mingle with high/low art and do-it-yourself sensibilities, mixing cultures and movements—figurative and literal—that collide and complicate the total truth of the occasion. At some future time, the observer perceives these truths that can confirm, or catapult, or even surprise us into the next new moment. These instances, performative or not, are fun; also hard, and either way, they are a time to acknowledge and appreciate where we are as a dance community within a shifting landscape that is the San Francisco Bay Area of now.

It is a time full of social ease where the dance community, and of course other artists, find resources by kick-starting, tweeting, posting and poking, all the while making virtual friends that help us stay in contact with a host of others that might be called friends, lovers, colleagues and audiences. Yet the hunt continues for new friends, lovers, colleagues and audiences, mostly by way of a fast flurry of fingertip communiqués, along keyboards and other electronic screens, which initially inform and then distract.

I am/we are facile and fecund, always ready to play mash-up with forms, ideas, structure and duration. Open to working with the latest modes of communication—unless you’ve decided to eschew technology, this is how we roll these days.

What the hell? What does this mean? What am I trying to say? Is this all just art-babble—hyping an anything-goes tune and a love of abundant abundance? Well of course and, well, of course not. Let’s just say I am on a verbal whorl that provokes me to do more, see more, feel more, imbibe more. Join me, come along for the ride as we experience the making of more dances, seeing more dances, and assuredly, supporting dance-making and dancers, costumers, lighting designers, composers, set designers, technicians, photographers and all the other creatives who construct dance.

The summer has been busy, and September launches a packed fall season of dance activities and performances. Dancers’ Group’s program director, Michelle Lynch, provides a snapshot of this wide range of productions—over 70— that encompass many nontraditional perspectives in traditional theaters, and vice-aversa, throughout the Bay Area.

Festivals continually serve as a primer for both experienced artists never seen before and past dance favorites, and over the next two months you can discover—on screen and on stage—new images and choreographic ideas during the 4th annual SF Dance Film Festival. For more traditional dance viewing, check out West Wave Dance Festival’s new format, which forges ahead to celebrate 22 years of championing a mix of existing and new talent. Both festivals are featured stories within these pages.

To ensure readers have enough time to plan to attend Dimension Dance Theater’s 40th anniversary performance, taking place the first week of October, Dancers’ Group has asked first time writer for In Dance, Latanya d. Tigner, to reveal a variety of the milestones that factored into how Dimension’s artistic directors responded to the time and shaped its history as the oldest African American dance company on the West Coast.

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I love alliteration. So Erin Mei-Ling Stuart’s SPEAK column that lays bare her interest in investigating primates and prayers, has me hooked. Stuart’s newest piece, Monkey Gone to Heaven—not to be confused with a 1960’s Jerry Lewis movie— has her grappling with the aforementioned topics in what she describes as exploring the space between the two.

Assuredly, most artists are interested in making known their vision of complex ideas and subject matter; therefore it makes sense that choreographers are digging deeper to show a physicalized space so clear and compelling that it takes our breath away, returning us again and again to movement’s power—an act both more simple and more complicated than we ever realize.

Take time this fall to embrace the passionate potential of dance, and fall in love again.
—Wayne Hazzard

This article appeared in the September 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.