Dance Discourse Project #20

ALL THE PRACTICE: What we’re really making…

Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 7:30pm
Z Space, 450 Florida St, SF

In DDP #20, hosted by Z Space, guest moderators Jesse Hewit and Larry Arrington asked: How do we address a dominant system of values about art, in which the worth of our artistry is measured by our ability to produce a string of sellable art-objects/deliverables? How do we insist on the value of our practices; the actions that exist long before and after our “pieces” are done, our funding is dry, and our careers have likely been made socio-economically impossible?

Hewit and Arrington were joined by panelists Dia Dear, Nina Haft, Margaret Jenkins, Brontez Purnell, and Sara Shelton Mann—together with the audience—to engage deeply in this conversation.



Guest moderators Jesse Hewit and Larry Arrington included this DDP in their weeklong engagement with Z Space (Nov 11-16), ALL THE PRACTICE. The week included at least five evenings of participatory action, conversation, performance and practice sharing, all invested in rallying around the value of practice. Hewit and Arrington are both artists working at various intersections of dance and social discourse, and ALL THE PRACTICE is presented by the two artists in partnership with Z Space.

Dia Dear’s performance art combines gay club aesthetics of appearance, movement, and attitude to create emotionally visceral and visually fascinating images through live performance. Dia began performing in February 2011, coming to art making through participation in gay nightlife, and their art education and practice is informed by this lineage.

Nina Haft directs Nina Haft & Company, a Bay Area-based ensemble known since 2000 for works of gender and cultural commentary, and site-specific performance. Nina also teaches at Cal State University East Bay and at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.

Margaret Jenkins is a choreographer as well as a designer of unique community-based dance projects like Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME). Since 1976, when she founded her company, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company has been a part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco, dedicated to the making and touring of new work, international exchange, and programs that support choreographic mentorship.

Since 2010, the Brontez Purnell Dance Company has been presenting experimental dance and movement theatre works with a radically open understanding of the forms, bodies, and idioms of dance. Brontez Purnell—author of the cult zine Fag School and frontman for his band The Younger Lovers—along with founding company member Sophia Wang, build works that combine punk rock subversion, free jazz improvisation, and a company comprised of movers and artists of all disciplines.

Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, and teacher since 1967. In 1979 she started the company Contraband as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body and spiritual practice into a unified system of research. Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project that is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions, and is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.

This DDP is being hosted at Z Space, a regional theater and performing arts company located in San Francisco. Z Space commissions and develops its own works; it also presents works created by other organizations.

Download the press release