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Joe Goode Performance Group: As We Go (World Premiere)
August 4, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Two dancers lie amid grass and branches looking up through a picture frame.
An immersive performance experience incorporating dance, text, music, and visual effects, inviting audiences to consider the body – its fragility and imperfection along with its surprising durability and ephemeral beauty – and the fearfulness that accompanies the inevitable demise of the physical body. As We Go asks viewers to reconsider the wondrous complexities of living and dying. This 75-minute performance takes small audience groups through the various spaces of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, including the Forum, Gallery, and the more intimate spaces like offices, stairwells, and hallways, curated to provide viewers unique experiences with each iteration. A special free preview performance takes place on Wednesday, August 2 at 7pm.
Motivated by the Covid pandemic – and fresh awareness of our collective mortality – Artistic Director Joe Goode and the creative team re-contemplate the body in all its ephemeral fragility and miraculous unpredictability. Through As We Go, Goode re-confronts themes from his early career – defined by working through and in response to the AIDS crisis – capturing how social inequalities and oppressive systems in the US impact how we live, how we die and how we are cared for when we are aging or ill.
“This new pandemic has illustrated – perhaps even more forcefully – that we, as a culture, do not know what to do with death except to ignore and deny it,” explains Goode. “While tragic, global health crises like the AIDS epidemic – and now the COVID pandemic – shed light on the possibility that perhaps our relationship to our own mortality can be an entry point into exploring our body’s best kept secrets. How do we wake up to the ephemeral nature of our bodies? Can we begin to see this not as something to fear but as an essential and beautiful part of the life journey?”
As We Go incorporates dance, text, music and visual effects and is developed through a community engagement process with medical professionals in the field of chronic-illness and end-of-life care and community members identifying as elders and/or with chronic health challenges. JGPG’s artistic team use (with permission and citation) the verbatim language from interviews with community partners to develop songs and script material for a culminating performance event. This production furthers JGPG’s commitment to working within an intersectional equity framework in project design and implementation, building and maintaining authentic relationships with QTBIPOC creative and community partners, as they have been among the most disproportionately affected by the pandemic.