Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents
the WORLD PREMIERE of dawsondancesf’s
by Gregory Dawson
Part of the 10th anniversary season of the boundary-breaking
contemporary ballet company dawsondancesf
Performances feature live music from saxophonist Richard Howell,
Classical Revolution Quartet, and composer-arranger Ron Kurti
Friday–Saturday, January 27–28, 2017, 8 p.m.
YBCA Theater, 700 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94103
(SAN FRANCISCO) – (November 28, 2016) Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) announces the world premiere of artistic director Gregory Dawson’s les vérités, a work celebrating dawsondancesf’s past decade of dance performances, featuring influential artists who have supported their craft since dawsondancesf’s inception in 2007. dawsondancesf is known for its rich, raw, highly energized style of movement and its focus on creative experimentation.
With les vérités Dawson builds on these elements and revisits choreographic themes that have been vital to the growth of the company, including disrupting traditional forms of choreographic process and creating compositions that allow the audience to feel a part of the performance. Live music from renowned saxophonist Richard Howell, Classical Revolution Quartet, and composer-arranger Ron Kurti as well as visual media by John Ramirez provide a backdrop for the evening. les vérités will run in the YBCA Theater on Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28, 2017, at 8 p.m.
“With les vérités I’m reexamining some ideas that I’ve explored in the past, and focusing on the dancing, no frills, just the deep honesty of movement,” explains Dawson. He adds that the dancers of dawsondancesf are a uniquely daring group, many of whom he has trained for many years from young students to seasoned professionals. “That long, rich relationship means we can work fearlessly together and generate a work like les vérités that gets to the deepest core of great dancing.”
“Gregory Dawson’s precision and ingenuity are hallmarks of storied and soulful craftsmanship,” remarks Marc Bamuthi Joseph, YBCA’s Chief of Program and Pedagogy. “His company draws a clear line to his roots with Alonzo King while breathing fresh air into an original atmosphere full of social curiosity and literary heft. I couldn’t be more excited to be hosting dawsondancesf here at YBCA.”
Live music for les vérités will be performed by Classical Revolution Quartet, joined by guest saxophonist Richard Howell, who won a 2014 Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) for his collaboration with Dawson on bird’s eye view for the Black Choreographers Festival.
The score is arranged by Ron Kurti, who joined forces with dawsondancesf after seeing the company perform in 2014. Since their first collaboration on Dawson’s love child, they have developed a unique audio language that augments movement using bass-heavy textures and hypnotic rhythms. The sound informs the movement, and the movement informs the sound, to create transformative and immersive environments.
The dawsondancesf dancers are Ilaria Guerra, Isaiah Bindel, DJ Duncan, Jordan Drew, Madison Otto, Cameron Lasater, Erik Debono, and Frankie Lee Peterson III. Stage design is by Jamie Emerick with costumes by Joan Raymond.
The 10th anniversary season of dawsondancesf is made possible by the generous support of dawsondancesf’s donors, staff, and Board of Directors, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Dance Center, Dance Mission, Zellerbach Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, First Republic Bank, Theatre Bay Area, Dancers’ Group, and funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.
About Gregory Dawson
Gregory P. Dawson, former LINES Ballet dancer, received his BA from Saint Mary’s College. In 2007 he formed dawsondancesf as an outlet for his choreographic goals and vision. Shortly thereafter, he created which light in the sky is us for Company C Contemporary Ballet (nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for choreography) and became assistant director of the California State Summer School of the Arts’ Dance Department in Southern California.
In the fall 2011, Dawson became artistic director of Dawson Wallace Dance Project in Denver (formerly David Taylor Dance), and the Denver Post named him “the best choreographer in Denver.” Soon after, Dawson received a CHIME grant, partnering him with choreographic mentor Elizabeth Streb for one year.
In September 2013, dawsondancesf reestablished its presence in San Francisco with the world premiere of fabbrica materasso d’argento at Zaccho Dance Theatre. Following this, Dawson created bird’s eye view (a collaboration with the Richard Howell Quintet) for the 2014 Black Choreographers Festival, which received an Isadora Duncan Award. dawsondancesf presented MONOCHROME at the BAN7 Festival 2014 in San Francisco. In fall 2014 Dawson premiered in this moment with Richard Howell. The Zellerbach Foundation funded dawsondancesf’s next premiere, intrinsic motion project, and in summer 2015 the company completed its fifth weeklong residency at CSSSA’s summer intensive at CalArts, where Dawson is assistant to the chair.
In spring 2015, dawsondancesf premiered Intima, produced by Al’myra Communications, which collaborated with Ali Kaf (visuals) and Ashraf Kateb (music). dawsondancesf made its New York debut in in fall 2014 at Baruch College, returning September 25–27, 2015. Additionally, Dawson has created commissions for Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, University of Kansas City Dance Department, and Menlowe Ballet. He currently teaches and choreographs for all the LINES Ballet education programs.
Founded in 2007 by artistic director Gregory P. Dawson, dawsondancesf breaks down the usual barriers of classical ballet and brings to light the strength and beauty that artists possess within themselves, allowing them to explore their voices through choreography and vision. Through this process, artists transform themselves, audiences, and the world of dance. The company has been in residence at the California State Summer School of the Arts’ Dance Department (CSSSA) in Southern California since 2007. Soon after the premiere of les vérités at YBCA in early 2017, dawsondancesf will present Dawson’s evening-length premiere RITE 17!, set to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. For more information about dawsondancesf, visit www.dawsondancesf.org.
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: www.ybca.org; 415.978.2700.
WHO/WHAT: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) presents the world premiere of dawsondancesf’s les vérités. Part of dawsondancesf’s 10th anniversary season, les vérités is a celebration of the company’s first decade in dance, featuring influential artists who have supported their craft. Aiming to evoke a deep truth about the company’s artistry, style, and legacy, les vérités will include live music by Richard Howell, the Classical Revolution Quartet, and Ron Kurti, as well as visual media by John Ramirez.
Choreography by Gregory Dawson; live music by Classical Revolution Quartet. Collaborators include Richard Howell (saxophonist), Ron Kurti (composer-arranger), John Ramirez (visual media), Jamie Emerick (set design), and Joan Raymond (costumes).
WHERE: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
WHEN: Friday, January 27, 2017, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, January 28, 2017, at 8 p.m.
TOTAL RUN TIME: approx. 75 minutes, with intermission
TICKETS: https://ybca.org/whats-on/les-verites / 415.978.2787
General: $20–$35 advance / $25–$35 at the door
Seniors, teachers, and students: $21–$27 advance / $22–$31 at the door
YBCA members: $16–$24
All Access members: Free (limit 1)