Welcome, Oct 2013

By Wayne Hazzard

October 1, 2013, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

STARTING A CREATIVE ENDEAVOR takes courage. Then it takes work. Then it takes finding funding for the project. Then, of course, it takes more work. Then the really fun part happens—an audience gets to watch. Courage, work, money, more work, most likely more money spent and then the performances. All this depending on the courage to start.

Like any journey, a creative one has instances of joy, tedium, inspiration and frustration, informing the whole. The how, what and why of this artistic expedition is determined by the consistent refinement of ideas, as well as finding clever and unique ways around obstacles—real or imagined. All guiding and influencing the direction of the final product, the piece, the performance.

Millions of artists function in scenarios such as these; they provide the foundation for our creations, for our dances. The impetus for a work—the work—can come from a lengthily researched master-vision, a piece of music, a book, a dream, a conversation, a feeling, a pastiche of ideas and of course, all, or none. There is no correct, no direct, path guiding an artistic ride.

The myth about creating—on any scale and within any medium—is that it is easy, the proverbial walk in the park. And yet for anyone that has made dance or is attempting to take on the moniker of an artist, understands, or quickly comes to realize, that work as an artist is work, like and unlike any other work.

The work theme, prevalent in this month’s issue, nestles nicely with the notion of stepping forward boldly, with courage; exemplified best by our three interviews. Two take notice of visiting companies; the third highlights the work of local choreographer and beloved teacher Dana Lawton, interviewed by Janice Garrett. Creating works that address iconic people and complex social issues is nothing new to Bill T. Jones and in the interview by Marc Bamuthi Joseph we are treated to a variety 30pmof insights into Mr. Jones’ process. Niloufar Talebi takes the interview format with Rosanna Gamson, and adds a twist to their conversation that allows them both to discuss the entry point to the collaboration on Layla Means Night, a re-telling and re-framing of the story of One Thousand and One Nights.

These interviews lead to part one of a two-part series on the evolution of KUNST-STOFF Arts that describes the next steps that Yannis Adoniou and Tomi Paasonen will take in what Adoniou describes as “a natural evolution” of his work and “unchartered territory.” Company member Katie Gaydos reveals aspects of what these two men are reaching.

Rounding out this issue, is an article by Farah Yasmeen Shaikh addressing the questions of how a dancer might work in, and even carry on, a traditional dance form when that tradition/form/culture lies outside of her own. Shaikh speaks with three artists who share their challenges, and ultimate commitment to study, teach and preserve the dances of Bharatnatyam, Hula and Kathak.

These articles and more are updated monthly on our new website. If you discover a favorite writer, search for them on dancersgroup.org, and share their words with your friends.

Let’s get to work and have some fun—courage!
—Wayne Hazzard

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.