Welcome, Jan/Feb 2014

By Wayne Hazzard

January 1, 2014, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

THE PERENNIAL CRAVING for new beginnings—creative, practical, success or health-based—are abundantly present at the start of each new year. This universal desire to move forward comprises the imaginative impulses that artists compose daily. I’m already thankful for the marvelous productions that are soon to abound, and I look forward to all that lies ahead personally and professionally. The dance community’s onward trajectory will assuredly provide the inevitable surprise that garner awards of all kinds, while providing a plethora of poignant moments.

Our latest endeavors will always be influenced by our experiences, and this past year has provided me with some indelible instances that continue to influence my life/work/dance viewing. Last June, I was blessed to be part of Amara Tabor-Smith’s epic dance that paid tribute to our beloved teacher Ed Mock. The memories resonate deeply, such as: dancing with Joanna Haigood and Shakiri; hearing stories of Ed and a city struggling to embrace the horror of AIDS; and so many of these moments were revealed through Marvin K. White’s oratorical conjuring that guided performers and audience over the five hour travelling ambition of loss, love, inspiration and the desire to pay tribute and connect with our elders. Marvin is one of many in the dance community who are acknowledged with an Izzie nomination. On page 15, you can read about all the artists and organizations who are being recognized with nominations.

A variety of innovative undertakings are also featured within. Our lead story covers the expansion of Joanne Haigood’s decades long work with aerial arts in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunters’ Point district that will provide additional opportunities to study a form she has helped nurture and redefine.

Major activity is taking place at Ballet San Jose with the appointment of José Manuel Carreño, a former American Ballet Theatre star who retired from the stage in 2011. Claudia Bauer delves into the back-story of what transpired to place Carreño at the helm of the South Bay institution while creating ties to ABT’s repertory, costumes and ballet curriculum that is now being taught at BSJ’s school.

Another testament to a deepening of dance in our community is the expanding forums that acknowledge the range, depth and quality of work here. There is the long standing Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Izzies) that currently has amassed the largest annual list of honorees. Complementing the Izzies is the 7th annual Dancers Choice Award that is accepting nominations through January 15. Then, the newly formed LiveBlessay event, created by BayAreaDanceWatch, that has as it mission “to honor the local dancers and dance leaders with a professional, creative awards show that rises to the level of the artistic endeavors of the artists themselves.” This event will take place on January 12. Many other award events transpire throughout the year, like World Arts West’s lifetime achievement awards and Jo Kreiter’s tribute to Women. These nominations and award-giving speaks to a community rich in dance that understands the importance of acknowledging our successes.

May your 2014 be filled with sparkle—along with a good dose of loving laughter— that supplies you with generous, evocative, heroic, happy, dynamic and seriously good thoughts.

—Wayne Hazzard

This article appeared in the January/February 2014 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.