April 28, 2015
By S. Nicole Lane
The Sarah Bush Dance Project (SBDP) performed at this years dance anywhere® event at the Berkeley Art Center, amongst the drawings of Claire Colette and sculptures of Rhonda Holberton.
The Oakland based contemporary dance company has promoted strength, feminism, diversity, empowerment, and innovation since 1999. This year, Sarah Bush choreographed a solo called, “Invocation” to the music of composer, Julie Wolf. Sarah originally had plans for the dance to be performed in a different space, however, she enjoyed “shifting some of the movement and motivation for the dance to fit into the experience of being in a gallery, how looking at art makes you feel”.
“Thrilled” to be able to participate in this years event, Sarah states that the “opportunity to connect with another East Bay arts organization” at the BAC was “perfect”. The company has an upcoming Mother’s Day Weekend show at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, entitled, “Rocked By Women” and they were interested in reaching out to new East Bay audiences. “I love making dance accessible to ‘non-dance’ audiences, and site specific work and performances in non-traditional spaces are great ways to do that” she says.
Sarah choreographed and performed her solo by “walking through the gallery room and first studying the drawings, then hearing the first piano notes, being moved to turn my gaze upward to the architecture of the space. As I set the piece in the space it was SUCH a joy to dance this solo with the two other figures! I loved finding and enhancing the gestures and positions in my dance that mimicked the sculptures. It really did feel good to dance with them”. By dancing with the art and the music, she invited participants and viewers to take photos and videos.
The only unexpected occurrence that happened during her performance were that the sculptures “weren’t in the locations that we thought they would be so we had to do some adjusting. It totally worked out. A friend of mine showed up with her hula hoop so we had impromptu hula hooping dance party after I finished performing”.
Sarah interacts and participates in dance anywhere® because it encourages bringing “dance to new spaces, places and people”. Sarah looks forward to dance anywhere® because the yearly event is a “reminder to work in elements of space and place, to keep making dance for non-dance audiences, to encourage everyone to dance, to incorporate the pedestrian into choreography and performance”.
Sarah Bush (photo by Sarah Dereagon)