New Aerial Dance GRACE AND DELIA ARE GONE Comes to Firehouse at Fort Mason Center
Celebrating its 20th-anniversary season, Flyaway Productions has announced its newest aerial dance, GRACE AND DELIA ARE GONE, a site-specific work created for the Firehouse at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.
Set to a commissioned score by Carla Kihlstedt, with set and rigging design by Sean Riley, and lighting design by Matthew Antaky, GRACE AND DELIA ARE GONE explores the topic of violence against women through the lens of murder ballads.
GRACE AND DELIA ARE GONE runs September 22 to October 2, with 8 p.m.shows Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 7:30 p.m. shows on Sundays as well as Wednesday, September 28. Tickets are $22 - $30, and go on sale August 1 at fortmason.org. GRACE AND DELIA ARE GONE is a co-presentation of Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.
"Since founding Flyaway Productions in 1996, I have devoted my energy to making dances about the experiences of women from a social justice perspective," said choreographer and artistic director Jo Kreiter. "Grace and Delia addresses the all-too-commonplace subject of violence against women, and it takes inspiration from history both in the form of traditional murder ballads, and in the site itself, a former military base."
Among the topics Kreiter has tackled over her two-decade career are the hidden history of women who built the Bay Area's bridges; the lives of older homeless women living on the streets; the activists who established The Women's Building in San Francisco; and women touched by wage insecurity in the garment industry. Last year Kreiter completed a monumental trilogy about poverty in urban America.
Grace and Delia frames a few chosen ballads, exploring stories of women who, like the figures named in the title, were killed by their lovers either for being pregnant or for talking back. "Grace and Delia takes the point of view of the women victims, rather than the more typical perspective of their killers," adds Kreiter.
Joining the project is composer, violinist and vocalist Kihlstedt, who has collaborated with Kreiter on several award-winning works over the years including Niagara Falling(2012), Live Billboard Project (2006) and Maybe Grief is a Good Bird Flyaway Low(2002). A founding member of numerous music groups including Tin Hat Trio (renamed Tin Hat) and, with Matthias Bossi, the duo Rabbit Rabbit, Kihlstedt has been invited to perform with artists as various as the International Contemporary Ensemble, Tom Waits and Fred Frith.
Kihlstedt will repurpose a few traditional murder ballads, integrating her own voice and craft into what is typically heard as folk music. She will also write new material to reflect the experience of contemporary women. Seven women dancers will join the ensemble for Grace and Delia including Laura Ellis, Sonsherée Giles, Marystarr Hope, Yayoi Kambara, Megan Lowe, Karla Quintero and Alayna Stroud.
For more information about Flyaway Productions visit flyawayproductions.com.
Jo Kreiter is a choreographer with a background in political science. Through dance she engages imagination, physical innovation and the political conflicts we live within. Her lineage includes gymnastics, Chinese pole acrobatics and 14 years as a principal dancer with Joanna Haigood. Kreiter/Flyaway is the recipient of recent awards from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Rainin Foundation, the Isadora Duncan Dance Committee, the Center for Cultural Innovation, Cal Shakespeare, the Gerbode Foundation, CHIME Across Borders, the Creative Work Fund and the MAP Fund. Her articles have been published in Contact Quarterly, In Dance, STREET ART San Francisco and Site Dance -- the first book written on contemporary site-specific performance.
Flyaway Productions is an apparatus-based dance company that explores the range and power of female physicality and advances social issues in the public realm. Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Jo Kreiter, the company uses the artistry of spinning, flying, and exquisite suspension to engage political and social issues. Flyaway creates dances on both architectural and fabricated steel objects, typically off the ground, with dancers suspended anywhere from 2 to 100 feet above ground level. The company creates a sense of spectacle to make a lasting impression with an audience, striving for the right balance of awe, provocation and daring. Flyaway has developed nationally recognized expertise in creating and presenting site-specific performance work. Since 1996, the company has presented or co-presented numerous large scale works including: Mission Wall Dances, Copra Dock Dances,How to be a Citizen, The Live Billboard Project, Singing Praises, The Ballad of Polly Ann, Niagara Falling, Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane, and Needles to Thread.
Flyaway's site-specific works are often free to the public, engaging a wide audience that otherwise might never attend a professional dance performance. Recent projects include dances for The Women's Building Centennial; the Rincon Annex, commemorating its labor history; and in Niagara Falling at 7th and Market Streets in San Francisco, giving a human face to urban decay and renewal. Through its KIDFLY and GIRLFLY Programs, Flyaway also provides youth dance training that stimulates awareness of the physical body and of the social framework that undervalues women and girls.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture is a dynamic arts and culture center encompassing 13 waterfront acres and featuring more than 25 performance and gallery spaces, including the Festival Pavilion and the Cowell Theater. Established in 1977, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture annually hosts hundreds of arts events that attract over 1.2 million visitors.
Entering its fifth year, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture's supported arts programming was established to encourage exploration of new work within the dozens of venues on the historic campus. Curated events are selected based upon their artistic innovation, social impact and cultural relevance. Program participants are supported by Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture through grant funding and in-kind use of the campus's iconic venues. Since its inception, thousands of visitors have attended dozens of performances, exhibitions and productions supported by Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.
Pictured: Alayna Stroud (foreground) and Sonsherée Giles. Photo by RJ Muna.