YBCAway is a program initiated by Director of Performing Arts, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, that awards $500 micro-commissions towards the production costs of companies based in the five counties of the San Francisco Bay Area to present evening-length performances during the 2012-13 season. YBCAway artists also receive six hours of free rehearsal time and marketing support for their performances. These awards are the product of an institution-wide curatorial exercise that recognizes excellence in dance, music, comedy, and theater beyond what YBCA presents in our two primary performance spaces. The recipients of these micro-commissions have been chosen exclusively by the staff of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
The 2012-13 YBCAway commissions include:
Alayo Dance Company was formed in 2001 by Ramón Ramos Alayo and is the resident company of CubaCaribe. As director and choreographer, his work is an innovative fusion of Afro-Cuban modern, folkloric, and popular Cuban dance. He eloquently articulates his aesthetic vision through a synthesis of these dance styles, citing from each traditions, movements, narratives, and concepts indicative of Cuban culture. It is far more diverse than most of the modern dance circuit. In Cuba, at the National School of Arts, all dance students are taught modern and traditional styles of dance and music, and the forms are not considered as disassociated as they are in the United States. Combining elements of both to produce Afro-Cuban contemporary dance allows the artist to tell a rich story from a broad palette of movement styles that is indicative of Cuban culture, but the combination of which is rarely seen in the Bay Area. Alayo Dance Company was featured in "Dance Across America," published in National Geographic Magazine (2006). Alayo’s performance venues include; Dance Mission Theater, Sonoma Country Wine Theater, Laney College Theater, La Peña Cultural Center, ODC Theater, Teatro Mella and Teatro Martí. Alayo has choreographed ten evening-length works that fuse modern, Cuban folkloric, and popular dance—a fusion that is intrinsic to Cuban culture but rarely seen in the Bay Area—and that center around social themes such as health and racism from an Afro-Cuban perspective.
Ramón Ramos Alayo, Artistic Director and Co-founder of CubaCaribe and Alayo Dance Company, was selected by the Cuban government to study dance in Santiago de Cuba at age 11. In 1990 he earned a master’s degree in contemporary and folkloric dance and dance education from the Havana's National School of Art. He was a principal dancer with several prominent Cuban dance companies, including Danza del Caribe and Narcisco Medina Contemporary Dance Company, touring throughout Europe, Belize, and Canada. His success continued after relocating to the U.S. in 1997; he has performed as a dancer with numerous outstanding companies, including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, Zaccho Dance Theatre, and Robert Moses’ Kin. Ramon currently teaches Cuban popular dance, Afro-Cuban modern dance, and children's movement at several local dance studios and schools. He is respected throughout the Bay Area as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of Alayo Dance Company. In 2003, Ramos co-founded and became artistic director of CubaCaribe, a nonprofit with the mission of preserving and promoting the rich cultural and artistic traditions of the Carribbean and its diaspora. Alayo Dance Company is the resident company of CubaCaribe. Organizational funding support includes San Francisco Arts Commission, Haas Foundation, ACTA, CA$H – Theater Bay Area, Zellerbach Family Foundation, the LEF Foundation, Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commissions’ Cultural Equity Initiatives and Organization Project Grants, and California Arts Council. He received the prestigious Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation’s “Emerging Choreographer’s Award” (2005) to develop his piece, Blood + Sugar. Ramos was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for the ensemble performance of Los Guedes, performed at CubaCaribe Festival (2006). Most recently, he was recognized as “Best Dance Dynamo” in the SF Bay Guardian’s “Best of the Bay” (2009), and was the recipient of an SF Bay Guardian 2010 Goldie Award, hailed by dance critic Rita Felciano as “the best Afro-Cuban dancer whose choreography stands well beyond traditional modes.”
Bad Unkl Sista is a revolutionary physical theater performance ensemble that has been captivating audiences for over a decade with its unique fusion of movement, costuming, music, and theater.
Anastazia Louise, founder and artistic director of Bad Unkl Sista, offers a personally developed style that combines more than 20 years of performance experience distilled from a vast array of teachers and collaborators. Her Butoh-based physical theater approach focuses on creative, proactive human development within our present-day social context. There is a continual focus on the pathways of transcribing and uniting outer and inner landscapes into a physical expression in order to reach all witnesses at a personal level.
Having grown up teaching alongside her mother in the dance studio adjoining their home, Anastazia never experienced a separation between dance and daily life. She joined Ritual Space Performance Art Collective in 1991, went on to work with Aura Fischbeck Dance in 1994, and then became a core member of the Carpetbag Brigade Physical Theater Company from 2000-2009, where she first began designing and hand-sewing company costumes. This is where Anastazia’s unique fusion of performance with costuming began.
Anastazia was introduced to Butoh through Diego Piñón (Butoh Ritual Mexicano) in 2002, and his teachings have since been an ongoing influence and inspiration for all her performance work. Other primary influences include Hiroko and Koichi Tamano, Sankai Juku, Katsura Kan, and Vangeline. She has participated in collaborative work with an array of internationally recognized artists including Flam Chen, Mizu Desierto, Human Nature Dance Company, Totter Todd, Soriah, Arizona Classical Theater, Nathan Montgomery (Syzygy Butoh), Richochet, The LA Stilt Circus, and VerbaBola. She has also been a resident performer at Supperclub San Francisco since 2006.
Anastazia founded Bad Unkl Sista in 2002, and has since produced hundreds of large-scale performances for local and regional promoters and festivals including Tsunami on the Square, Sea of Dreams, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Steven Raspa Productions, The Crucible, Symbiosis, Spiderball, Raygun Rocketship, The Exploratorium, Lovefest, Yuri’s Night at NASA, Lovesick, Maker Faire, Pandora’s Trunk, and Artpod. Her most recent work includes costuming, choreography, and performance for the British trio The Tiger Lillies, in a film that will serve as the visual backdrop for their upcoming 2012 world tour.
Ben Randle has directed Sweeney Todd for Ray of Light Theatre; Into the Clear Blue Sky by JC Lee for Sleepwalkers Theatre (BATCC Nomination: Best Director, Scenic Design); Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus (CounterPULSE, Mama Calizo Voice Factory); The Fisherman’s Wife and Chalk Boy for Impact Theatre; Last Five Years; Treefall, Don’t Ask, Doubt (BATCC Nomination: Best Director), Baptized to the Bone, and Friends are Forever at New Conservatory Theatre Center. Ben has a B.A. from San Francisco State University and was a member of Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab 2010. Next: The Submission by Jeff Talbott and Pansy, a new play with solo artist Evan Johnson, both for NCTC; also, he will premiere a new collaboration with trixxie carr (Tiny Dionysus) in spring 2013 based on Salome.
Capacitor Performance synthesizes the human body with abstract structures and interactive media to create science-inspired shows that deepen audience connection with the natural world.
Capacitor encourages contact with scientific concepts in ways that allow audiences of all ages to see patterns and relationships inherent in nature and the cosmos. Through performance that incorporates a wide range of disciplines including dance, interactive video, cirque nouveau, and visual art, Capacitor personalizes large, abstract concepts and in doing so, transcends cultural barriers and widens the scope of basic human experience. Informed by the spirit of scientific inquiry, the company uses a laboratory-style process, which features artists in working collaboration with the world’s leading scientific minds to develop its performances.
From the movement of the human diaphragm to the story of evolution, from the behavior of electricity to genetic manipulation, from the birth of the moon to the cycles of digestion—natural and synthetic processes form the basis for Capacitor’s study of performance. Obsessed with the mechanics of the human body as well as machines that propel the body through space, Capacitor artists have become masters of rigging systems, coutures of wearable sculpture, and engineers of large-scale props designed to stretch the limits of physical poetry.
Capacitor’s past works have tackled the creation of the universe (Within Outer Spaces, 2001), the past and the future of mankind (future species, 2000), video-gaming (Avatars, 2002-03), the forest ecosystem (biome, 2007), flower reproduction (The Perfect Flower, 2009), and the ocean (Okeanos, 2012). The company performs extensively, delivering extended runs in New York's HERE Mainstage and the American Theatre of Actors; San Francisco's Herbst Pavillion, Cowell Theater, Project Artaud Theater, the Exploratorium, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Union Square, San Francisco Gay Pride Festival, and SOMArts Gallery; and at Burning Man. Capacitor has been commissioned to create original works for the TED 2009 Conference, the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco International Airport, and the Salvadorian Gymnastics Team. In addition, Artistic Director Jodi Lomask’s contemplative use of dance, technology, and science has won her invitations to speak at the Monaco Dance Forum, the Ecological Society of America, the American Physical Society, The City University New York, Dance USA’s 20/20 Vision Series, TEDxBerkeley, BLUEMiND Summit, and the Bay Area Science Festival.
Touring is an integral part of Capacitor’s effort to bring its innovative approach to art-making to as wide an audience as possible. Nationally, Capacitor has been presented at the TED Conference 2009, the Krannert Center at University of Illinois, the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase College, Louisville's Brown Theater, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (Florida), University of Maine, University of Virginia, NASA, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, 314 Project in Chicago, Albuquerque’s VSA North Fourth Art Center, and many others. Internationally, Capacitor has performed in Malaysia for ReVolVolution, in Canada for the Festival for International Dance Artists, in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, and twice in San Salvador as guests of the American Embassy.
Jodi Lomask, Artistic Director, has been commissioned to create original works for NASA, TED, San Francisco International Airport, Computers and Structures, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Salvadorian Olympic Gymnastics Team. She has collaborated with world-renowned research scientists to create original dance works that draw attention to critical environmental issues. Upon founding Capacitor in 1997, Lomask began exploring non-traditional combinations of arts and sciences through movement. Prior to founding Capacitor, she was a dance and technology specialist at the Monaco Dance Forum in 2002 and 2004 and has been invited to speak at such conferences and events as Ecological Society of America, the American Physical Society, CUNY's Communicating Science through the Performing Arts, the BLUEMiND Summit, the Bay Area Science Festivals EDF meeting, and TEDxBerkeley. Her work has been covered by Nature, Wired.com, RES Magazine, Shift Magazine, NBC 11’s Tech Now!, CNET Radio, TECH TV, NPR, Dance Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, The New York Times, and National Geographic's Wild Chronicles, among other media outlets.
A graduate of the dance conservatory at SUNY Purchase College, Lomask has trained at the Royal Ballet Academy, Merce Cunningham Studio, London Contemporary Dance School, the Rotterdam Dansacademie, L’Espace Catastrophe, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. She has performed with Project Bandaloop, Kneejerk, Erica Essner Performance Co-op, Zaccho Dance Theatre, and Capacitor and has taught workshops and classes in modern dance technique at universities across the United States. She has also participated in CHIME, a mentorship program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and is a resident artist at Yaddo Artist Colony and the Djarassi Resident Artists Program. Lomask has created performance concepts for the World Showcase and Future World in Disney's Epcot Center and has consulted for IDEO.
Lomask designs movement structures out of steel, bungee, fiberglass, and wood. Her choreography unites unique characters and innovative performance devices with distinctive movement textures for Capacitor's signature synthesis of visual magic and raw athleticism. Defined by a sculptural approach to the body, costuming, and props, her inventive choreographic solutions emerge from problems born of conceptual, physical, and spatial parameters. Lomask sees the world as an amalgam of seemingly contradictory yet synergistic perspectives. The daughter of a biomedical research engineer and a visual artist, Lomask spent her childhood going to laboratories and gallery openings. She weaves these two worlds into the tapestry of her work, creating highly visual, biological images and rhythms.
Erika Chong Shuch is a choreographer and director who makes original performance work with her company, the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, a resident company at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. Erika was recently a resident at Berkeley Rep’s Groundfloor program where she worked with collaborators Michelle Carter and Allen Wilner to recreate After All, originally commissioned by YBCA in 2008. In 2011, Erika was commissioned by Chang Mu Dance Company and Daejeon Metropolitan Dance Company in Korea to create two new works inspired by and in collaboration with North Korean defectors. Erika’s work has been commissioned by Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE program (Love Everywhere, 2010). A recipient of the Gerbode Foundation’s Emerging Choreographer Award and a Goldie Award, Erika’s work has been supported by residencies at Mullae Art Space in Seoul, de Young Museum, ACT’s New Works Program, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Djerassi. Erika worked for two years under the mentorship of Joe Goode through CHIME, a program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and was a guest choreographer for Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange to create new work for the Corcoran Gallery of Art Washington, D.C. She also directs plays such as The Lily’s Revenge by Taylor Mac at the Magic Theatre, and God’s Ear, by Jenny Schwartz, for the Shotgun Players. Erika works regularly as a choreographer for Cal Shakes and played Ariel in the recent production of The Tempest directed by Jonathan Moscone. Upcoming collaborative/choreographic projects include: The Unfortunates at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Conference of the Birds at the Folger Theater in Washington, D.C., and Eric Ehn’s Soulographiet/Dogsbody at LaMaMa in New York. Erika is an adjunct faculty member at A.C.T.’s MFA program; develops new work with students as a guest artist at universities such as UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, Naropa University, and San Diego State; and teaches workshops to folks interested in creating interdisciplinary work.
Composer Francis Wong was a co-founder of Asian Improv aRts in 1987, a production and recording company dedicated to promoting the work of Asian American jazz musicians. He had extensive prior experience with collaboration, working with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Asian American Dance Performances, poet and playwright Genny Lim, filmmaker Steven Okazaki, and others.
Originally from North Carolina, Katie Faulkner received her MFA in dance performance and choreography from Mills College in 2002. Since graduating from Mills, Faulkner has performed the works of Bill T. Jones, Randee Paufve, Stephen Petronio, June Watanabe, Victoria Marks, Abigail Hosein, Kim Epifano, and Ann Carlson. She has worked with several of these choreographers as a dancer with AXIS Dance Company, with which she has performed both locally and nationally between 2003 and 2007. She has enjoyed teaching students of all ages and abilities around the country and at institutions such as Santa Clara University, Marin Ballet, UC Berkeley, Mills College, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and she is currently on faculties of the University of San Francisco and ODC.
Since founding little seismic dance company in 2006, Faulkner’s choreographic and film work have received support in the form of numerous commissions, residencies, and awards, including support from The Zellerbach Family Foundation, Theater Bay Area, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center AIR Program, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. She was in residence at ODC Theater from 2009-2011. She has received Isadora Duncan Dance (Izzie) Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and Performance as well as nominations in the categories of Music/Text/Sound and Visual Design. She received a Special Isadora Duncan Dance Award, with collaborator Benjamin Goldman for her 2008 dance film, LOOM. In 2011 she received the top prize for her duet Until We Know for Sure in the Joyce Theater A.W.A.R.D. Show competition as well as the San Francisco Bay Guardian GOLDIE Award (Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award) for dance.
Lisa Townsend Company (LTCo) performs experimental contemporary dance that draws on raw physicality, intimate gesture, and a theatrical sensibility. LTCo has been presented in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Europe. Venues and festivals include St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery, P.S. 122, Dixon Place, Movement Research at the Judson Church, La Chalibaude Festival, L.A.'s Dance Kaleidoscope, Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (L.A.C.E.), West Wave Dance at Project Artaud Theater, Cowell Theater, Dance Mission Theater, and CounterPULSE through their Artist Commissioning Residency Program (ARC). LTCo has co-produced evenings at L.A.C.E., L.A.’s Downtown Playhouse, ODC Theater, and for two seasons at Joyce SoHo in New York. LTCo has received support from Meet the Composer (NYC), Marin Arts Council, Theater Bay Area, Zellerbach Family Foundation, in residency at ODC Theater, and as a Creative Capital Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts. Next up LTCo will be premiering their dance film CLUTCH in winter 2012.
Her project, Cherchez la femme (Look for the Woman), is a kinetic, high-contrast series of dances and dance films whose protagonists seduce their audience through the identities and words of women characters in film noir. Rita Hayworth in Lady from Shanghi is a spinning facet of light in the disco ball of this dance, as is Barbara Stanwyck’s character from Double Indemnity. Five stories unfold, dreamlike and abstract, creating complexity and obfuscated narrative through the mosaic of dance, song, and fractured dialogue. The music and musicians on stage act as a counter-balance and as the reflective glue in this dark collage. Created by Lisa Townsend and performed by Lisa Townsend Company with the eclectic improvisation trio of Piro Patton on bass, Michael Bello on saxophone, and Michael Pinkham on drums. Cherchez la femme: no matter what the problem, a woman is at the heart of it.
Malia Movement Company (MMCo) was created by Malia Connor in 1992 as a vessel to bring together and heal women of varying ethnicities, ages, body types, and socio-economic status through the art of dance. Malia and her company firmly believe that all people can find inspiration in one another, and are dedicated to creating opportunities for this using different mediums and platforms of theater. Through numerous performances with a wide range of dancers, vocalists, poets, visual artists, and audiences, Malia Movement Company’s programs have evolved into visual meditations—experiences that embody a seamless blend of Malia’s fluid movement vocabulary, social consciousness, and commitment to artistic diversity.
As student of theater and performance for 25 years, Sigourney has specialized in physical theater, improvisation, and site-specific performance. Six years ago he fled the proscenium stage and traditional venues and refocused his energies on go-go performance installations and the populist stages of the nightlife. Two years ago he created drag persona VivvyAnne ForeverMORE and has since performed on stages and festivals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London, and in the de Young, the New Museum (NYC) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In 2008, Sigourney founded the performance group OX, of which he is the artistic director.
Sigourney also produces the WORK MORE! series, a twice a year drag production featuring nightlife performers presented in a “real” theater context, where their processes are exposed, and their boundaries pushed. As a writer, his work has been featured as part of the Radar Reading series alongside San Francisco’s Poet Laureate. With OX, founded in 2008, Mica Sigourney, explores the tension between artifice and authenticity through non-traditional physical theater, improvisation, and site-specific performance. OX self-produces large-cast live theater events, participates in large group shows, and co-curates evening-length performances using traditional queer modalities of theatrics such as drag, nightlife entertainment, and go-go performance as a point of departure. OX is a loose-knit group of fiercely committed, magically present, and challengingly individual solo performers who come together to make whole works greater than the sum of their individualities under the creative direction of Mica Sigourney.
Blindsight artistic director Paige Starling Sorvillo is a choreographer and improvising performing artist based in San Francisco and Berlin. Sorvillo's works are impulsed by specific images and/or obstructions, fragments of text, and emotional/physical states, while her performative dialect is deeply influenced by her work in Japanese Butoh dance, Ruth Zaporah's Action Theater, and western contemporary dance. Sorvillo has been honored to work with Butoh artists Minako Seki, Yuko Kaseki, and Shinichi Iova-Koga, as well as to study with artists including SU-EN, Yumiko Yoshioka, and many others. Sorvillo and her company, Blindsight, have been presented in New York, Boston, Germany, and the Czech Republic, as well as throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco International Arts Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens' ChoreoFest, the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, NOHspace, CounterPULSE, and the MilkBar International Live Film Festival. Sorvillo and Blindsight have been honored to collaborate with visual artists Eric Koziol, Ian Winters, and Lucy HG, and sound artists Evelyn Ficarra, George Cremaschi, Liz Allbee, Kanoko Nishi, Matthias Bossi, and Jon Raskin. Sorvillo performed at the Kennedy Center with composer Koji Nakano in February 2011 and her major works, Imaginary facts Necessary fiction and in apt, this wasn't a natural disaster (a collaboration with composer Evelyn Ficarra) premiered later in 2011.
A nationally prominent spoken-word artist from San Francisco, published poet, playwright, and award-winning novelist who also holds an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. Paul S. Flores was raised on the Tijuana / San Diego border and issues of immigration, border experience, and Latino identity are central to his work. A versatile artist and a key collaborator in many ground-breaking theater projects, Flores’ playwriting and stage performance credits include REPRESENTA! (Dir. Danny Hoch), Fear of a Brown Planet (Dir. Tony Garcia), The Fruitvale Project, and No Man’s Land. He received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Award in 2003 for his novel Along the Border Lies (ZYZZYVA First Novel), and has received the National Performance Network Creation Commission twice (2004 and 2006), a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant (2006), and a grant from the California Center for Cultural Innovation in 2007. Flores has more than ten years of experience creating, organizing, and producing highly successful educational youth poetry programs in spoken word and literacy development as the former program director of Youth Speaks, Inc. Flores has been an invited lecturer and featured performer at over 100 high schools and universities in the United States and has performed at the National Hip-Hop Festival in Havana, Cuba; the America Libre Hip-Hop Festival in Mexico City; the Hip-Hop Theater Festival: Bay Area; and was featured on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on HBO. Flores is an original member of the San Francisco-based performance ensemble Los Delicados Poetas del Sol, and founding artistic director of Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word. Paul Flores also conducts youth violence prevention and gang awareness trainings for the Spanish Speaking Unity Council and the City of Oakland Department of Human Services Measure Y Anti-Violence Campaign.
Since college in the 1990s, Huang has lived in a rent-controlled apartment a few blocks south of the UC Berkeley campus, a modest residence also known as the Dana Street Theater. Shortly after christening his bedroom a neighborhood playhouse, Huang founded a DIY delicacy known as the Home Theater Festival (HTF). Accomplished with little more than a website and the willing participation of friends and strangers around the world, 2011's second annual HTF included 30 shows across the Bay Area, New York, Japan, the Czech Republic, and Australia.
Huang's own work, wildly ludicrous and rigorously un-PC, is that of a conceptual comedian. Context is often key (arriving at an anti-gay demonstration, for instance, with a rice cooker pot on his head, a homemade sign reading "No Fags on the Moon," and a bounding enthusiasm that flummoxes demonstrators, counter-demonstrators, and cops alike). He travels somewhat incongruously in contemporary dance and performance circles, including recent appearances at Too Much! and the National Queer Arts Festival. "There are a lot of shows that will be like, modern dance, modern dance, modern dance — me — modern dance, lesbian poetry," he allows.
Excerpted from: www.sfbg.com/2011/11/08/goldies-2011-philip-huang
Stacey Printz is the artistic director of the Printz Dance Project (PDP) and is a Bay Area-based choreographer, dancer, and educator. She received her sociology and dance degrees from UC Irvine. In addition to teaching at Alonzo King’s LINES Dance Center, she has been or is currently on staff at ACT, St. Mary’s College, Sonoma State University, and RoCo and has taught classes and workshops for universities and studios across the U.S. (including classes in New York, Memphis, Los Angeles, Utah, Kentucky, Idaho, Colorado, and more). Internationally, she has taught in Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Lithuania, Ireland, and Italy. Her most recent show, Hover Space, premiered to high praise, packed houses, and reviewers saying, “With a talented cast, unique concept and inventive movement, Hover Space is a slam dunk,” and “the 'hovering' second stage was brilliant.” Her company has performed in San Francisco for 11 years, and has toured across the nation and internationally in Russia, Lithuania, and Ireland. Printz also collaborates on multi-genre, full-evening performing arts pieces including Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s internationally recognized works, Scourge and the break/s. She recently choreographed Joseph’s latest highly acclaimed piece, red, black and GREEN: a blues, which premiered at YBCA and is currently touring the country.
RAWdance performs works that expose an intimate, honest core, the essence of our relationships and identities. The company explores the power and vulnerability of the human body through driven, visceral movement. Envisioned by co-founders Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, RAWdance crafts pieces balancing dance with theatrical elements and athletic movement with intellectual themes.
Sean Dorsey is an award-winning San Francisco-based choreographer and dancer. Recognized as the nation's first-out transgender modern dance choreographer, Dorsey has won audiences and accolades from San Francisco to New York with his powerful dances that provide a window into transgender and queer experience. Dorsey's acclaimed style is a fusion of dance, storytelling, and theater. Praised as "exquisite" (BalletTanz), "breathtaking" (San Francisco Bay Guardian), "stunning dance" (SF Bay Times), Dorsey has gained national attention for demystifying modern dance with his highly accessible, articulate, deeply moving work that is followed by transgender, queer, and straight audiences alike. Dorsey has been awarded two Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and the Goldie Award for Performance. He was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” and his concert Uncovered: The Diary Project was named in the “Top Dances of The Year” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Dorsey was named “San Francisco’s Best Dance/Performance Company” by SF Weekly, and has been named one of the top ten in Bay Area dance by both the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the Bay Area Reporter. BalletTanz, Europe’s leading dance magazine, named Dorsey one of the international dance scene’s most promising choreographers. He has performed his work extensively throughout San Francisco and on tour across the U.S. and Canada.
Dorsey has been profiled on PBS, NPR, and in Time Out New York, Out, The Advocate, American Theater, the San Francisco Chronicle, Curve, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, the Bay Area Reporter, Boston’s Bay Area Windows, Make/Shift, and many others. Dorsey has collaborated with artists including the Wachowskis (the directors of The Matrix series), Kate Bornstein, and Antony and the Johnsons.
Dorsey’s new concert, The Secret History of Love, received major commissions from the National Performance Network’s Creation Fund, Boston’s The Theater Offensive, Chicago’s Links Hall, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, the Queer Cultural Center, the Creative Work Fund, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Dorsey has also received commissions from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Highways Performance Space with support from the James Irvine Foundation.
Dorsey is the founder and artistic director of Fresh Meat Productions, the nation’s first organization to create and present year-round multidisciplinary transgender arts programs. Fresh Meat’s programs include the outrageously popular annual Fresh Meat Festival of transgender and queer performance, Sean Dorsey Dance’s local and touring performances, and media arts events.
“Smitten by old-time American country music, Toshio Hirano left Tokyo with a twang in his heart for where the grass is bluer.” (Joel Selvin, senior pop music critic, San Francisco Chronicle, published March 9, 2006)
Zaccho Dance Theatre (ZDT) creates and presents performance work that investigates dance as it relates to place. Artistic Director Joanna Haigood's creative work focuses on making dances that use natural, architectural, and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Haigood's innovative work involves in-depth research into the history and the character of sites, often involving local communities in the creative process, and typically integrates aerial flight and suspension as ways of expanding performers' spatial and dynamic range. In addition, Zaccho provides performances in San Francisco, nationally and internationally, as well as an arts education program for the local community.
This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Panta Rhea Foundation.
YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
National Endowment for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.