Loose ends are being tied together in preparation for the upcoming coffeehouse performances. This time, there’s a much larger cast (3 musicians, 4 dancers, 4 poets) and some new venues. Inspired by the Beat Generation, there are some wild and unpredictable moments throughout. Meanwhile, Keith has interviewed about 15 men in concert dance in both LA and San Diego. He’s talked to men who range in age from their twenties to their seventies. Intimate, personal and revealing.
The crowdfunding campaign for Why American Men Dance has been going VERY well and, with only a little over a week left, Keith is setting up interviews with LA-area men. Meanwhile, rehearsals with Louie Cornejo and newcomer Rebeca Hernandez have begun to create a new coffeehouse dance, Gone Cat Daddy. This non-traditionally cast quartet-to-be, inspired by the Beat Generation writers Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs and Cassady will be part of the coffeehouse series this spring. Details TBA.
The coffeehouse performance series went terrifically this year, all across the county. This time, the program included a poetry reading and a music set surrounding the dance, giving audiences a diverse hour of performance. The cafes were welcoming and the audiences were responsive at each location. Thanks to all the artists who participated!
Keith is now working on a video documentary, Why American Men Dance, asking an intergenerational group of men in dance how and why they got started and what keeps them still in the field.
In spite of its quiet demeanor, the fall has been tremendously productive, both administratively and fiscally! The company has been awarded two small 2-year grants from the LA County Arts Commission and the LA Department of Cultural Affairs that will help us create new work both this year and next!!
In addition, we were just funded to present Dancing Marx in Newport Beach sometime before September 2012. These dances will draw from our site-specific experience of Timeless: Marxist Dances at the Beach, yet be reconfigured for this different location.
At the moment, however, Rachel Lopez, Louie Cornejo and I are in the studio creating the work that will be part of the next installment of Coffeehouse Dances. These free performances will premiere this spring in cafes throughout LA (details TBA). We are exploring a selected history of events that have taken place in java joints across the country and across the globe, with accompaniment that ranges from French accordion tunes to Moroccan explosions and beatnik poetry and bongos. As always, stay tuned!!
We’re putting the final touches on Dancing With Ghosts, which we’ll premiere on the opening night of the Bootleg Dance Festival. We’re sharing the program with two outstanding choreographers and we’ll present this new work alongside an updated Repeat After Me! Lots of great dancing and Cajun and Conjunto accordion music, to boot!
Immediately following that, Keith becomes the artist in residence at the Santa Monica Community Beach House! For ten weeks, he and the dancers will explore movement and other possibilities at this historic and breathtaking site—the previous home of screen actress Marion Davies built by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. This culminates in a performance in May with additional opportunities for the public to share this unique experience–open rehearsals, gatherings and online activities–to be announced.
We’re beginning rehearsals for our spring 2011 season, with new dancers and a performance as part of the Bootleg Theater Dance Festival in March. We’re working from home movie footage to recall movement from a not too distant past and create a companion piece to Repeat After Me that will be accompanied by a live accordion band. More later!
NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop, a center for new dance around the world, contacted us to ask for a photo and some quotes from Keith about his participation in the Fresh Tracks showcase program in 1994. DTW is planning a 45-year celebration of this biannual performance series this December with a catalog including images and input from all the past and present artists involved. Keith premiered Slip Knot there . . . and we’re still highlighting the piece in our Coffeehouse Dances!
In August, the photo (above) of Ken Takermoto in Blackbirds Flying Home taken by Rollence Patugan in 2009 was selected to be included on the homepage of the California Cultural Data Project website. The site, a fiscal accounting resource for all California not-for-profit arts organizations, kept the photo on the page for several months.
Four Headed Dance III was a resounding success in April, with sold out houses, a live webcast and good work all around! Click here to watch the premiere of our twenty-minute sextet, Repeat After Me.