If dancers are sighted in an unusual public space, moving seamlessly, you may have stumbled across a site-specific dance project. Innovative choreographers are ditching the stage and going public by choreographing movement in and around public spaces. With the current credit crunch, creating movement in public space is a win win situation as more people are exposed to dance and no one has to worry about paying for a theatre.
I am spearheading a site-specific dance project inside our store at Grant Ave in San Francisco. The show premieres June 5 and 6 and utilizes the stores' front space, window and sidewalk. I enrolled floor manager Chris Cano and local dancer Kristin Cheng to choreograph, as well as our very own educator Anna Carnes to dance. Performing also will be Cameron Growden and Mayuko Ayabe. The goal of this project is to get our feet wet as artists and for our store to move, touch and inspire the community.
Making dance in public spaces has great possibilities. The movement is made in relation to the environment, it is intimate and we get a super work out on the pavement. Not to mention curious crowds watching as we rehearse inside and outside of the store. I am seeing that there does not have to be an announced time and place for dance to be appreciated and seen.
Site-based dance is also happening in Philadelphia where choreographer Kate Watson-Wallace is creating site-based performances that re-imagine everyday spaces such as cars, living rooms and bathrooms. In fact, one of her dancers, Alexandra Holmes, is an ambassador for the lululemon Walnut Street store.
Keep your eyes peeled for random acts of dance in your neighborhood as the epidemic spreads.