BERKELEY DANCE PROJECT 2015 BRINGS THREE EXCITING WORKS
TO ZELLERBACH PLAYHOUSE APRIL 16-25
Berkeley, CA – April 1, 2015 – UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) concludes its 2014/2015 Mainstage season with Berkeley Dance Project 2015, featuring three distinct works by acclaimed choreographers Jo Kreiter, Ann Carlson, and Lisa Wymore. Performed by student dancers, this intimate production showcases the power of moving bodies to tell stories and explore contemporary social issues. Berkeley Dance Project 2015 (BDP), directed by Lisa Wymore, opens Thursday, April 16, 2015 and continues through Saturday, April 25, 2015 in the Zellerbach Playhouse on the UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $13-$20 and can be purchased online through the TDPS Box Office at tdps.berkeley.edu/berkeley-dance-project-2015/ or at the door.
In Berkeley Dance Project 2015, guest choreographer Jo Kreiter leads students in a new piece that utilizes her unique and award-winning style of apparatus-based dance. Combining devised dance with skillful maneuvers on low-flying apparatuses, the piece explores concepts of rescue, vulnerability and interdependence. Kreiter, an award-winning San Francisco-based choreographer with a background in political science, “dances at the intersection of social justice and acrobatic spectacle,” as she puts it. She is also the founder of San Francisco-based Flyaway Productions.
Berkeley Dance Project 2015 also features a new work by director and TDPS Professor Lisa Wymore. The piece explores elements of protest, community and embodiment, examining how large masses of people engage with each other and the environment. Dancers provide their own movement vocabularies, creating a diverse array of choreographic language that enhances individual uniqueness. The diversity is mixed with large uniform choreographic patterns out of which solos, duets and group improvisations erupt.
Wymore’s piece highlights the power of masses of people gathering in public spaces, as well as the power of observing such masses. “To witness bodies moving, particularly in this dance concert, is almost a political act in and of itself,” says Wymore. ” To witness people moving is to acknowledge the presence and power of the body. Moving bodies tell stories and have histories and say things. Each individual is telling a story through their movement.”
For the final piece in Berkeley Dance Project 2015, New-York based choreographer, performer and conceptual artist Ann Carlson restages Flag, a dance that the New York Times called “a convincing symbol of a politically troubled nation.” Originally performed in 1990 as a response to the first Gulf War and the censorship wars of the early 90’s, the piece asks performers to engage in highly physical and emotional actions exploring the performance of nationhood — while dancing on an American flag or a representation of the flag.
Carlson says of her piece, “Flag investigates the presence of a symbol for a particular land mass, in this case the United States, and the rules and performances around the flag: the rituals, care, presentation. What does it mean to willfully play against the ‘rules’ of this symbol? And what does it mean to have a cultural symbol inside a theater? Do the rules still hold?” She continues, “It’s a very different world now than in l990 . . . it will be interesting to see what unfolds as we unearth some of these questions together in this re-mounting.”
Carlson was inspired to remount the piece as part of Berkeley Dance Project 2015 because she is drawn to the historical energy around UC Berkeley as a place of protest, activism, dialogue, and the questioning of the status quo. Carlson is excited to re-stage Flag, especially in the wake of the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. After all, she says, this piece “illuminates the fact that we CAN dance on our flag. It’s an act of inquiry, defiance, love, but it won’t get us imprisoned or killed to participate.”
Berkeley Dance Project 2015 opens Thursday, April 16 and continues through Saturday, April 25, 2015 in the Zellerbach Playhouse on the UC Berkeley campus (at Spieker Plaza across from the Haas Pavilion). Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 PM, Saturday, April 18 at 4 PM and Saturday, April 25 at 8 PM. General admission tickets are $18 online / $20 at the door; Tickets for students, seniors, UC Berkeley Faculty & staff are $13 online / $15 at the door. Tickets are now on sale through the TDPS Box Office at tdps.berkeley.edu/berkeley-dance-project-2015/ or by calling 510-642-8827.
For further information, contact: