Deborah Slater Dance Theater
LINE OF BEAUTY
Meditations on the Everyday
Presented by Deborah Slater Dance Theater (duration 60 minutes)
These performances of LINE OF BEAUTY were supported in part by a generous grant from the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
LINE OF BEAUTY, Chapter Four: Meditations on the Everyday is a luscious new DSDT dance exploring the power of the senses through movement by the dancers, poems by prizewinning poet Jane Hirshfield with music from Albert Mathias, Lori B. And Fred Frith. DSDT showcases a dynamic performance inviting viewers to experience the present moment and awakens their sensory faculties. The intimate, shared experience reinforces our primal need for connection – told not through technology but through interaction with one another in the material world.
The LINE OF BEAUTY Series was inspired originally by Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses, and the title came from painter William Hogarth’s essay, Line of Beauty. He posited that S-shaped curves lines signify liveliness, while straight lines signify stasis or death. Beauty here refers to that which can be seen, touched, tasted, heard and felt--similarly espoused in Ackerman’s poems. These 5 senses (and the dancers’ sense memories) are the initial source of all the movement in the piece (the ‘base phrase’).
For this chapter (#4: Meditations on the Everyday), inspired by the writing of poet Jane Hirshfield, DSDT is embarking on a series of studies of small moments, ‘noticings’ as writer Kirsten Rian called them when describing Hirshfield’s work. ‘The little noticing’s go first and quietly accumulate in the corner of lost things, that first spring crocus, no, go even closer -- the way the color divides and splays on the petals.’ ‘Jane Hirshfield’s poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence—desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connection with others and the wider community of creatures and objects with which we share our lives.’ (http://barclayagency.com/hirshfield.html) Guided by the writing, Ms. Slater and her collaborators are following the trail back to those small things that give us grace, endurance and understanding, if only for a few seconds in our too full lives.
As in all DSDT productions, this evening is collaboration between all the artists involved. Each brings their skills, their intelligence, their experience and their commitment. I especially want to thank Anna Greenberg & Derek Harris for their considerable contributions as well as Melissa Caywood and Andrew Merrell, contributors in previous iterations.
Deborah Slater Dance Theater (DSDT) is a professional dance-theater company dedicated to the creation and production of evening-length work that explores timely social issues using original movement, text and music. Employing multi-media and devised theater techniques, Izzie Award-winning Deborah Slater Dance Theater (DSDT) does visually gorgeous, acrobatic, devised talking dance.
Founded in 1989, Deborah Slater Dance Theater (DSDT), under the umbrella of Art of the Matter, is dedicated to the creation of live performance exploring social issues, and creating paths through life’s experiences. Using dance, education and outreach to the community, DSDT has created over 20 evening length works reaching over 30,000 people. Rep includes the 2007 Izzie Award-winning HOTEL OF MEMORIES, featured on KQED TV’s SPARK, & Izzie nominees A HOLE IN THE WORLD, about the death of a parent, and THE SLEEPWATCHERS, inspired by sleep specialist Dr. William Dement. THE DESIRE LINE, chosen for Joyce SoHo’s 2009 Winter Season, performed to sold-out houses in NY, and 2010’s MEN THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN GRASS, based on poems by Deep Ecologist/Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin, celebrated 20 years of DSDT. NIGHT FALLS, a play with movement about aging, created in collaboration with playwright Julie Hebert and funded by the Gerbode Fdn, premiered in Oct 11 at ODC Theater and was voted one of the TOP TEN Performances in 2011 by the SF Bay Guardian. DSDT provides assemblies and residencies in schools throughout the Bay Area. DSDT features workshops, performances, residencies & artists in the schools.
Run by Art of the Matter, STUDIO 210 has served as a subsidized, inexpensive space for up and coming choreographers, actors, directors, fashion designers and photographers, serving hundreds of artists as a rehearsal, class and performing space for over 30 years. It is the home of DSDT and has operated continuously since 1980. 2012 featured The February Festival featuring DSDT company members and invited emerging choreographers. 2015 marks the fourth 210 Summer Residency Program. The Residency offers a more sustained program for young choreographers focusing on free studio time, feedback from professionals, and a produced Residency showcase. Studio 210 provides a home for Bare Bones Butoh, preparing to offer their 30th performance in the studio.