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Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Presents




By Sara Shelton Mann with David Szlasa

“When [Mann] leads audience members in…therapeutic movement alchemy, the air crackles with exuberance.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Friday & Saturday, December 4 & 5, 2015, 5 – 10 p.m.

YBCA Forum, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, Calif. 94103

SAN FRANCISCO – (November 13, 2015) In the world premiere of the first retrospective of her career, famed choreographer, writer and healer Sara Shelton Mann live-directs former members of her historic ensemble Contraband, along with other past collaborators. The ambitious five-hour event is part performance marathon, part gallery show, and part intimate party where the audience is invited to become immersed in the catalytic body of work by this six-time Isadora Duncan winner, renowned for changing the landscape of contemporary performance.

“My art is of a piece with my healing work and political engagement,” explains Mann. “It is meant to reveal and transmit the story of our collective humanity—our potential for excellence in a time of global change.”

Guest artists for these one-time-only performances include: Larry Arrington (Laura Arrington Dance), Jess Curtis (Jess Curtis/Gravity), Kim Epifano (Epiphany Productions), Keith Hennessy (Circo Zero Performance), Kathleen Hermesdorf (La Alertnativa), Jesse Hewit, Albert Mathias (La Alertnativa), Jose Navarrete (Navarrete x Kajiyama), and more.

“The Bay Area arts ecology owes a radical debt to Sara Shelton Mann and her fearless intellectual curiosity,” Adds Marc Bamuthi Joseph, chief of program and pedagogy. “As the aesthetic and demographic landscape changes, Sara’s forethought and lineage grounds us all in incessant art that has drawn creative truth seekers to the Bay Area for generations.”

This rare reunion of Mann’s Contraband will integrate dance with spoken word/text, art and video installations, live music, and re-workings of her past productions. A remaking of Religare will also be integral to the program, which was a groundbreaking work, originally performed in1986 that mixed installation and live art with dance and music.

“I believe that our energetic bodies convey deeper-rooted messages than any culture or identity can express,” says Mann. “My work begins with structured exercises designed to make contact with these messages as they are expressed through the energetic body. As kinesthetic perception is refined, we perceive messages—the Morse code of our collective body—in the patterning of energy, tissue and motility. These messages form stories, and these stories form the ‘performance’. I have come to believe that the exploration of these stories form a vital collective heritage that transcends the artifact of performance.”

The scored performance section of Erasing Time will range from three to four hours followed by a celebration featuring all of the performers. A combination of standing and ADA seating will be available (with in-and-out privileges), and the audience will be encouraged to take photos and shoot video throughout the event.

About the Artists

Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, and teacher since 1967. She was a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Lewis in New York City before moving to Canada where she met Andrew Harwood and fell in love with contact improvisation. In 1979 she moved to San Francisco and started the company Contraband as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body, and spiritual practice into a unified system of research. Among her awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, six Isadora Duncan Awards, and the SF Bay Guardian Goldie Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Szlasa’s work spans performance, video, public art and social practice. The production of Szlasa’s work is rooted in a commitment to social and ecological sustainability. It leverages the power of remix and re-appropriation of popular imagery, ideas and actions in unexpected ways, challenging structures of authority and inspiring social change.

Erasing Time Ticketing Information

Friday, December 4:

$25 advance/$30 at the door

Senior, Teacher, Student: $20 advance / $25 at the door

YBCA Member: $20 / YBCA:You FREE

Group 10+: $20 / Senior, Teacher, Student Group 10+: $15

Check In: $28

Saturday, December 5:

$30 advance/$35 at the door

Senior, Teacher, Student: $25 in advance / $30 at the door

YBCA Member: $20 / YBCA:You FREE

Group 10+: $25 / Senior, Teacher, Student Group 10+: $20

Check In: $33

Discount and group rates available through the YBCA Box Office: 415.978.2787.


This project is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

YBCA Performances 15-16 are made possible in part by: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and

About Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary arts centers. Founded in 1993, YBCA’s mission is to generate culture that moves people. Through powerful art experiences, thoughtful and provocative content, and deep opportunities for participation, YBCA is committed to creating an inclusive culture that awakens personal and societal transformation.

YBCA presents a wide variety of programming year-round, including performing arts, visual arts, film/video and civic engagement. YBCA venues include the Forum, Screening Room, Galleries and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. For tickets and information, call 415.978.ARTS (2787).


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