Feet First: San Francisco's Subject to Change (Cara Rose DeFabio and Abby Neitlich Rappoport) perform at the Dead Cow Gallery on Saturday, June 7, as part of a month-long dance festival.
The Tannery hosts a dance a day for 24 days.
By Will Mosher
The Tannery Arts Center is stretching its wings by hosting its first public dance festival, and it's going to be long--really long. "Discourse Off the Walls: a Month of Dance in a Small Room" is a project of Sarah Day and Daniel Bear Davis of the 4-year-old company Shah and Blah Productions. For 24 days, dancers will perform nightly at 8pm (5pm on June 6 and June 22) in pieces lasting from several minutes to several hours. But this isn't just about dance. It's about, among other things, interdisciplinary dance, which means getting artists who work in other mediums to work for the mini-project-within-a-project, titled "Authored Indeterminacies--A Dance a Day." For example, local oil painter Andrew Purchin will paint a canvas onstage while interpretive dancers, well, interpret what he's doing, which might seem like mixing oil and water, but somehow it works. Day explains that they want to put content before form by putting paintings before artists.
Day and Davis are also stretching the limits of their own and other dancers' artistic and physical abilities by staging a five-hour-long durational piece on June 22. Day acknowledges that five hours might be an uncomfortable length of time to for the average person to spend watching dance, so she's encouraging spectators to come and go according to their own schedules.
There are also curated events that promise to give the curious and dance-ignorant a quick education about the world of dance. Each Tuesday during the festival will be the tongue-twisting 2x2xTu-Tu Tuesdays--either duets, two-minute pieces, pieces in 2x2 spaces or pieces that involve tu-tus, depending the mood of the organizers. Other special events will be organized by day of the week, such as the women's (June 13) and men's (June 27) solo works on Fridays and the Dance Film Nights on Wednesdays.
Performers, who hail from the Monterey and San Francisco bay areas, include Day, Davis, Miranda Janeschild, Ana Flecha, Sharon Took-Zazoya, LaLeeLee Physical Theatre, Wide Blue Yonder, Carpetbag Brigade, Kitsune, Anson Smith, Frieda Kipar and Lesley Castellano, among others. All performances will be in the intimate Dead Cow Gallery, which Day describes, ironically or not, as a "raw space." Suffice it to say that June will offer a nice smorgasbord of challenging and accessible dance.
DISCOURSE OFF THE WALLS: A MONTH OF DANCE IN A SMALL ROOM Friday, June 6, at 5pm at the Dead Cow Gallery, 1040 River St., Santa Cruz, through Sunday, June 29, with daily performances at 8pm (except June 22, 5pm). Admission is $5-$15.
Send a letter to the editor about this story.