Sarah Bush Dance Project
Rocked By Women
May 9-11, 2014
Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco
Uplifting, bold, poetic, this contemporary dance company shares a powerful story paying homage to the fearless women from the Feminist Movement, Women’s Music and beyond. Inspired by pioneers from the 1970s to today, the work celebrates female artists and leaders who remind us of the courage it takes to live fully as women.
Featuring expressive choreography by Sarah Bush, the ensemble performs a series of interlocking vignettes, celebrating the strength of sisterhood. The talented artists support one another in dynamic twists, jumps and group lifts in Sarah Bush’s signature fusion of urban contemporary movement vocabulary.
“One of the gifts of this show is the opportunity to tell stories and engage in dialogue with different generations of women,” reflects Sarah Bush, “having conversations with elders, women leaders and with women younger than me. The process is accomplishing the mission of passing along important histories and important experiences.”
Commissioned by Queer Cultural Center for National Queer Arts Festival in 2011, Rocked By Women was co-produced at the African-American Art & Culture Complex in San Francisco before a sold-out audience. SBDP organized a panel discussion with featured leaders and artists. Fans have praised the show. Singer/Songwriter Ferron wrote “A huge thank you and great gratitude for sustaining such an emotional legacy through dance and movement.” On October 12th, 2013, at ODC Studio B in San Francisco, SBDP produced Rocked By Women: Panel and Performance Excerpts, where six esteemed female leaders discussed ideas of feminism & art from 1970-today, and responded to several dance pieces choreographed by Sarah Bush. The stories from the guest panelists added context and deepened the meaning of the dance pieces.
Sarah began an exciting new collaboration with playwright and theater director Becca Wolff to shape a strong dramatic arc for the show. Becca notes “Developing the narrative of Rocked By Women with Sarah has been thrilling and enlightening for me. Her love of women’s music is totally infectious, and her ability to express that love through dance and choreography is amazing. I am also grateful that through her personal story I discovered new parts of my own history – the story behind the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Olivia Records and Club Q. I look forward to others having this same experience!”
Another new collaborator, Julie Wolf, adds texture and depth to the story with an original music score. Julie has appeared on stages around the world and on numerous critically acclaimed recordings. She has collaborated with Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Maceo Parker, Amy Ray, Bruce Cokburn and Sia, among many others.
The new full-length evening show provides an opportunity for audiences to laugh and cry together, while healing, learning and feeling empowered by seeing pieces of history often untold. Holly Near, singer/songwriter and activist, said “We will probably be completely forgotten if there’s not young women like Sarah who are determined to remember.”
Photo by Desdemona Burgin
This performance was funded by the Blum Family Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and generous individual supporters.