Beatrice Potter seems to know what the effects of eating lettuce are, but if you want to find out yourself, don’t miss this performance of One Hundred Feet. For details visit
. My projection design work in collaboration with Yolande Snaith. Sound design by Nicholas Drasher, lighting design by Wen-Ling Liao.
in December 2012, Patricia Rincon and I headed to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico to research the local indigenous population and how they have adapted to contemporary life. We filmed some movement sequences in response to the interviews in two locations: El Charco del Ingenio and at the Centro de Bellas Artes, which has a room with an unfinished Siqueiros mural. These well-kept secrets of San Miguel de Allende gave us the inspiration to begin our new film project.
We are still inteviewing and looking at sites to present this work for the next season of the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective. I’m excited about working on a new film project, a new dance that reaches into my roots in Mexico, and to be moving again, after recovering from a car accident that happened a year ago.
There are many avenues to explore with a couple of new projects in the works. For now, the work is in focusing the projects and finding the right partners to bring these projects to fruition. I look forward to sharing with you these projects as they come into being.
Tonight is the opening of Arts In Action: Connected. As co-choreographer, I’ve experimented with my fellow choreographers and UCSD Professors Patricia Rincon and Robert Castro to interweave our choreography both in time and in space, through the outdoor and indoor areas of UCSD’s CalIT2 building and the beautiful Atkinson Hall. This high-tech hub is our low-tech playground. We are bringing in the spirit of an experimental “happening” in a raw, almost bare-bones way to reveal the inner guts of our process, of the building itself, and of the dancer’s inner thoughts and fears which they speak, write and dance throughout the evening to this exciting and dynamic architectural space.
I’ve come to appreciate this process and I am honored to be carrying forward an annual tradition initiated just three years ago by my dear friend Jade Power, who took a risk in making sure art was meaningful, moral, active and a place for conversation. She was responding to the Compton Cookout frat party, a scandalous event created by UCSD students that ended up being condemned by UCSD Administrators. Enter Jade with Arts In Action. Then came Prof. Rincon, Head of Dance at UCSD, and Prof. Castro, Director of the Chicano Theatre Ensemble at UCSD, who made it possible to continue Arts In Action, now in its third year. But how to you continue the informal, accidental spirit of a “happening” with a traditional, professional and well-organized technical and production staff? I love the managers and technicians at UCSD, don’t get me wrong. But weren’t “happenings” more of a happy accident? What defines a happening in this day-and-age?
Walking that edge of accident and organization, I recall my experiences collaborating with Gage Copenhaver and a diverse group of local artists to create Project Cathedral in 2000, a monthly happening at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Banker’s Hill that went on for three years. I recall many years of performing and organizing children’s field trips to San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. And performing in host of site-specific events with the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, namely at MOCA’s TNT and in a beautiful private Zen Garden in Encinitas. All of these had different degrees of organization, support, flow and very different types of audiences. Arts In Action is beginning to build momentum and a following, now with the support of the best theatre production & technical staff ever (in my humble opinion). Yet, how do we keep the “happening” spirit alive and well? To be continued…
Arts In Action: Connected
November 30 & December 1, 2012
Meet at 7:10, Begins at 7:30
UCSD’s CalIT2 Atkinson Hall
Download flyer with map: Connected_Postcard
Anna Stump (visual artist), Chris Komashko (electronic musician) and I collaborated at Autumn Lights LA 2010 on September 25th, 2012. I perform/model while Anna captures my figure on paper in a live-size painting. Chris sets the ambiance and the timing. The theme is Women In Water, namely the Birth of Venus, the Lady of the Lake, and La Llorona as our foundation images. The questions is: how do two women artists perceive each others bodies after giving birth to two children?
Somebody sent me an email with this comic and the above text. I have not yet been able to track the origin of this email. The compelling message has not left my mind in the days that have passed since I first received it. The tone of this message may capture the current sentiment in the general population of the United States, but commemorating the passing of Steve Jobs can also take on a more playful tone:
Nothing personal against Bill Gates. There would be no Jobs without Gates (right?). However, I do cherish the idea of seeing both of them smile at each other, even as their body language reveals the undertone of a conversation that spanned over many years, with billions of dollars at play.
These two men have been instrumental in shaping the technological environment we live in today. They have transformed it to such a degree that we can now take screens with us wherever we go (with mobile videoconferencing now available to all) and we can store all our documents and share them on a cloud.
Thanks to programs such as the Broadband Initiative and the $100 computer, the world wide web is now available to a majority of the world. Though it is not a perfect world, and not a perfect world wide web, these two men have developed the hardware and the collaborations that has made social media and the web blossom beyond our imagination, making and creating governments, saving and destroying lives. We make “friends” now, things go “viral” and researchers know that “crowdsourcing” works. Ah yes, now I have a new word to “add” to my dictionary until “they” upgrade it.
First Lady Michelle Obama “destroys” twitter and an amateur video is linked to a deadly assault to the U.S. Embassy in Libya. In the wake of the Arab Spring and in the shadow of 9/11, the Bush Era and an economic Depression, I live in a world of uncertainty where Obama tries to create a health care program for all and he is challenged regularly by Congress, where teachers are being fired because of an under-funded law forcing schools to teach to the test instead of teach to learn, where the question of what tomorrow will bring is met with uncertainty.
I have found that facing this uncertainty, knowing that things will continue to change, has me reflecting upon the ideas of groundlessness and impermanence. Did anyone think Steve Jobs would always be around to come up with the next best thing? That is why great people surround themselves with a great team of people that helps build something significant. A team that is committed to sticking around after they are gone. I am faced with the situation of my own impermanence, and the impermanence of those above me, whose legacy I carry into the future.
In the end you might ask, if you have been following my blog, what does this have to do with dance anyway? My answer is Everything. I think of some of the places where I teach dance, where the modern dance ideas of Humphrey/Limon, Graham and Horton are still the foundation of modern dance technique. It might be the local thing here, and a good history lesson, but in the rest of the world, those techniques are old news. The world of “contemporary” dance now takes after many influences, mixtures, blends of techniques beginning with masters such as George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Pina Bauch and Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker among others.
This video of Wayne McGregor giving a talk and a demonstration of his process for TED shows just how different modern dance and ballet are from the mid-20th Century. Though McGregor is sometimes a controversial figure, both because of his ideas and his methods, he has the strength of character to withstand these challenges and continue to grow. He is open about his process and he wants to talk about it, generating a legacy of his own, and surrounding himself with people who may proliferate his work. Here’s the video:
So Steve, if you are up there on one of them iClouds, maybe you can give me a hand with downloading the next upgrade in contemporary dance, with a tweet and some outreach, a great team, proliferation, distribution, and a generous dose of uncertainty. You never know what gates I may find before me.
Earlier this month I participated in Cal Lab Kitchen’s showing of 100 Feet, a solo conceived and choreographed by Yolande Snaith, with sound design by Nick Drahser. The projection work I’ve been doing for this piece is still using the same material from last year’s version, but the timing, the sequence, the interaction with the images is quite different. I’ve committed to using VPT for this piece, and as long as my Korg sliders work, the projections go on live and I’m a happy camper.
I’ve come to realize the existentialist core of this piece. I have to say that Nick’s music is instrumental in this process, no pun intended. After talking to Yolande, she made it clear which of the 50 women’s voices is at that existentialist core:
The minute you or anybody else knows what you are you are not it, you are what you or anybody else knows you are and as everything in living is made up of finding out what you are it is extraordinarily difficult really not to know what you are and yet to be that thing. -Gertrude Stein
To see Jim Carmody’s photos of this private showing visit
Save the date for the full performance of 100 Feet at Space 4 Art October 27-28 @ 8:PM.
Collaborations: Teachers and Artists is holding its (our) Closing Reception on Saturday, August 18th @ 11:00 AM at the South Chula Vista Public Library. Come and see what the results are of sharing the art-making process with children across San Diego County. It’s been about 1 1/2 years since I’ve started working with CoTA (I’m still fairly new at it), a tight knit group of artists working diligently with children in inner-city schools, training teachers to use the arts to enhance their standards-based teaching. The visual artist in me continues to open through this work. See some of it at cotaprogram.org.
I’ve also started working diligently on the video installation design of 100 Feet with choreographer Yolande Snaith and now sound designer Nick Drasher. Yolande is completely re-working her solo and its very exciting to see the new developments take shape. The performance is coming up on October 25 & 25 at Space 4 Art, so stay tuned. It’s going to be everything BUT soporific.
Last but not least, as Assistant Director of the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, I announce that the company will have a workshop-audition in September. The date is to be announced.
See you here, there and everywhere.
Did you know that February 2012 marks one year since I began working with CoTA? An acronym for Collaborations: Teachers and Artists, CoTA is a professional development program for teachers to help them integrate the arts into their teaching style.
As a CoTA artist, I get to work closely with teachers and the other CoTA artists, a healthy creative lot of brilliant art educators, to bring new projects to life. The students transform incredibly from the beginning to the end of their project, creating a wave of change throughout the school, enlivening the connection between process and learning. I am truly happy to be a part of this organization.
My supervisor Danielle and a brilliant wordpress programmer named Angela, our director Dennis and the Board have worked tirelessly for the last year to bring the new CoTA website to life. The website went live two weeks ago and now it’s such a treat to see it available for all to see. Check it out! Go to cotaprogram.org now and see the power art has on the lives of young people in the inner city.
Congratulations CoTA! I didn’t get a free coffee for our one year anniversary but I got a bunch of hugs, stickers and stretchy toys from the kindergartners I taught last Friday after our first meeting of the quarter, and that was priceless.
As a new year comes into focus, it amazes me how things change in beautiful yet unexpected ways. With the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective and Collaboration of Teachers and Artists, I get many opportunities to grow artistically and to pass down the legacy to the younger generations in meaningful ways. What more could I ask for?
My relationships with UCSD, Southwestern College and now SD City College continue to develop. Kudos to my UCSD students who created dance on film. You can check out their blogs and videos at
. There is something deeply gratifying about seeing this wonderful city through its children.
At the top of my list of the most awesome recent events was my son’s art exhibit. What else can a mother ask for? A preschool that encourages children to be inspired by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy is truly remarkable.
Now I’m diving into Winter/Spring, preparing for PRDC’s first company audition in a long time, and preparing a work about home and motherhood with dance artist Tonnie Samaritano (save the date, April 12-14). Many changes happening this 2012 indeed. So in order to welcome the new, I am checking to make sure I’ve let go of enough old stuff to make room for the amazing-ness.
My motto for the year is an Apache blessing a good friend sent me recently:
may the sun bring you new energy by day,
may the moon softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your being.
may you walk gently through the world and know
its beauty all the days of your life.
Patricia Rincon and I will be presenting a film I helped translate and produce called “Latino Now: Landscapes of Desire,” conceived and directed by Patricia Rincon and Paula Zacharias. The documentary film explores people’s ideas about the American Dream and integrates dance as an extension of the stories being told. The film will be screened at 3:PM with a Q/A session afterwards.
Dozens of vibrant arts and cultural organizations will be there presenting performances, workshops, demonstrations, food and exhibits to kick off National Arts and Humanities Month.
Join us for the fun, FREE event on the Big Bay and get a preview of an exciting fall season of Arts and Culture in San Diego.
To find out more, visit