AXIS Dance Company Closes Out 2018 With A Flourish & Announces Collaboration With Arthur Pita

Following a successful 4-city tour of Florida that included a well-received appearance at the Forward Motion Physically Integrated Dance Festival in Miami, the company brings its vaunted skill set back to the Bay Area with select performances that include a newly reconceived staging of Robert Dekkers' Flutter, along with AXIS Artistic Director Marc Brew's Quartet No.1 to the Berkeley Ballet Theater, that will then be followed by a collaboration with Crowded Fire Theater, Star Finch, and Ensemble Mik Nawooj at the Bay View Opera House in San Francisco entitled Death Become Life: Banish Darkness, all before segueing to its 2019-20 season that will include a special Oakland-based educational event for Dance Access Day in February, as well as the world premiere of Alice in Oakland-their ambitious and much anticipated collaboration with Arthur Pita-coming to and co-presented by Z Space in San Francisco, November 2019

AXIS' In Motion Intimate Benefit featuring Robert Dekkers' Flutter and Marc Brew's Quartet No. 1, October 26 at Berkeley Ballet Theater, 7-10pm; Tickets $75.00 can be purchased HERE; Death Become Life: Banish Darkness, November 16-17 at the Bayview Opera House tickets can be purchased by phone or crowdedfire.org; February Family Matinee for Dance Access Day info at www.axisdancecompany.org (tickets on sale beginning November 1); more information and tickets to be announced in 2019 for Arthur Pita's Alice in Oakland's fall premiere at ZSpace

San Francisco, October 15, 2018-AXIS Dance Company will present a benefit performance at Berkeley Ballet Theater on Friday, October 26, where the company will perform a sneak preview of Robert Dekker's Flutter and Marc Brew's, Quartet No. 1. Flutter was originally staged for Post: Ballet with an all-female cast, an all-male cast, and then a mixed gender cast; the work has been refocused by Dekkers through the lens of physically integrated dance as a way of highlighting the skills of the individual AXIS dancers as well as how they come together as a cohesive company.

Meanwhile, Brew's Quartet No. 1 explores the strength and fragility of two women in isolation, all driven by the stunning and at times somber score of Leoš Janá?ek's String Quartet No. 1, inspired by the Leo Tolstoy novella The Kreutzer Sonata. This is widely considered to represent Janá?ek at his chamber music peak. In addition to the performances, this intimate evening will include drinks, hors d'oeuvres and a dance party hosted by AXIS Dancers.

What: In Motion Benefit featuring Robert Dekkers' Flutter & Marc Brew's Quartet No. 1
When: October 26, 7-10pm
Where: Berkeley Ballet Theater, 1370 10thStreet, Berkeley
Tickets: $75.00 can be purchased HERE


Death Become Life: Banish Darkness is an immersive event merging hip hop, dance, and theater where those attending will be drawn into a journey of one woman's life who finds herself thinking, "Nothing feels real anymore-what could I possibly still believe in?" Audiences will be invited to build her world with her, dance with friends and strangers, and take an active role or step back, all as a means of "finding breath in our common humanity."

This multi-disciplinary vision unites JooWan Kim, a composer who samples classical composition techniques & hip-hop for his orchestral Ensemble Mik Nawooj who will be performing live and Crowded Fire Theater Company, which has 20 years of experience developing innovative new plays that break traditional boundaries. Together with AXIS Dance Company's Artistic Director Marc Brew's choreography performed by AXIS dancers, and supported by Presenting Sponsor the Bayview Opera House, Death Become Life: Banish Darknessis a unique communal event that pulls in the audience as a final collaborator.

What: Death Become Life: Banish Darkness - a future vision by Crowded Fire Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Star Finch, and Ensemble Mik Nawooj
When: November 16 at 8pm, November 17 at 3pm and 8pm
Where: Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rdStreet, SF
Tickets: Box Office by phone (415) 523-0034 ext 1, crowdedfire.org or (415) 523-0034 ext 0


New to Dance Access Day this year, an annual field-trip destination for students in downtown Oakland, AXIS will be offering a family matinee on Saturday, February 9th. This revamped youth performance will incorporate increased accessibility components and the ever-popular interactive component of AXIS' youth programming. Audiences will leave empowered with the message that difference is what makes us powerful.

What: Dance Access Day with AXIS Dance Company
When: February 9th, 2pm.
Where: Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street, Oakland, CA
Tickets: Go on sale November 1stat axisdance.org

***

Alice in Oakland is AXIS Artistic Director Marc Brew's first international commission, which will see the company working with renowned UK-based dance theater artist Arthur Pita, as well as set and costume collaborator Yann Seabra who will partner on the project which is to be the largest scale AXIS project to date. The work will be co-presented for its premiere on October 25, 2019 by the San Francisco based Z Space, a theater devoted to artistic risk taking and collaboration.

Working with AXIS' integrated company of dancers, Pita's dance theater work Alice in Oakland will explore the intimate and perhaps even seemingly surreal stories associated with the growing rate of homelessness and conditions homeless individuals face in the bay area. As part of the process, Pita and AXIS dancers and staff will partner with the Coalition of Homelessness to conduct workshops and interviews as a means of informing the development and content for the piece. A short video about the development of Alice in Oakland can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xjtEQWE0oKiirsN82

What: Alice in Oakland, a collaboration with Arthur Pita
When: October 25-26 at 8 pm and October 27 at 2 pm.
Where: Z Space, 450 Florida Street, SF
Tickets: www.zspace.org

About Marc Brew
Acclaimed International choreographer and AXIS Artistic Director Marc Brew trained as a professional dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. He has been working in the UK and Internationally for the past 20 years as a director, choreographer, dancer, teacher and speaker; with the Australian Ballet Company, State Theatre Ballet Company of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre, CandoCo Dance Company and AXIS Dance Company. Marc was Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre, Associate Artistic Director with Ballet Cymru in Wales and was Associate Artist in 2015 at Tramway Theatre in Glasgow. Since 2008 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and his recent choreographic commissions include Scottish Ballet, Ballet Cymru, YDance, AXIS Dance Company (USA), Candoco Dance Company (UK), Touch Compass (NZ), Amy Seiwert's Imagery (USA), GDance, Scottish Dance Theatre, Greewnwich & Docklands International Festival and City of London Festival (UK). Marc was featured by Time Out Magazine as the best of the new breed of London's Rising Dance Talent and was presented with a Centenary Medal for Outstanding Contribution as a dancer and choreographer. His work Remember When was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Performance (individual) and his recent solo work For Now, I Am... was listed in The Guardian's Top 10 Dance Shows for 2016. For more information visit: www.marcbrew.com

About AXIS Dance Company
AXIS Dance Company exists to change the face of dance and disability. Located in Oakland, California AXIS has been accomplishing this for 31 years through three pillars of activity: Artistry, Advocacy, and Education. AXIS Dance Company is the nation's most acclaimed ensembles of disabled and non-disabled performers. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, AXIS appointed internationally renowned choreographer Marc Brew Artistic Director. Under the Artistic Direction of Judith Smith from 1997-2016, AXIS' collaborators included Bill T. Jones, Stephen Petronio, Yvonne Rainer, Ann Carlson, Joe Goode, Marc Brew, Meredith Monk and Joan Jeanrenaud. AXIS has toured to over 100 cities in the USA, Europe and Russia. The Company has received seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and has appeared twice on So You Think You Can Dance. AXIS hosted the first ever National and Regional Convenings on the Future of Physically Integrated Dance in 2016. AXIS provides unparalleled integrated dance education and outreach programs that engage people with and without disabilities to access dance opportunities. For more information visit axisdance.org.

About JooWan Kim
After a successful performance of a novelty piece which featured an MC and chamber ensemble while completing his master's degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, composer JooWan Kim had a profound shift in the direction of his writing. He felt that he found a way out of the stifling contemporary concert music aesthetic in this new way of composition. JooWan crystallized his ideas into Method Sampling, a principle of borrowing or sampling of rationales from related as well as unrelated fields, then reframing them into one's own system. In 2010, Kim recruited his best friend from college, EMN's executive director, Christopher Nicholas, to push the project forward in a serious way. Since then, his group Ensemble Mik Nawooj has attracted some of the most excellent classical musicians and MCs in the SF Bay Area while gaining national attention from outlets such as National Geographic, Global People's Summit in partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnerships, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, NPR, Pitchfork, Upworthy, NowThis, and more. He is represented by Opus 3 Artists.

About Mina Morita
Mina Morita is the Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theater, a critically acclaimed, intrepid, female-led company dedicated to developing a fierce contemporary theater canon that reflects the plurality of our world. Previously, she served as the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre-and a founding member of its Ground Floor program; as Board President of Shotgun Players; as a 2014 Lincoln Center Director's Lab participant; as one of the founding members of Bay Area Children's Theatre; as Community Arts Panelist with the Zellerbach Family Foundation; and Guest Artist at UC Berkeley and Stanford University. She is a recipient of Theatre Bay Area's 2014 award for Best Director of a Musical: Tier II and TBA's 2016, 40@40 award for her impact on Bay Area Theater. In 2015, Mina was honored to share her story on TEDx, and in 2016, she was chosen as one of the YBCA100, for "asking questions and making provocations that will shape the future of culture."

About Star Finch
Star Finch: A Campo Santo member, in 2016 Finch was the lead writer on their Babylon is Burning, an adaptation of Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop. Her play, H.O.M.E (Hookers on Mars Eventually) was also produced by Campo Santo. In 2017, AlterTheater produced her play Bondage (Princess Grace Award semi-finalist) and TheaterFirst will be producing her work along with 12 playwrights in The Participants. Finch is currently one of three writers in Crowded Fire's R&D Lab. She holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Creative Writing, from SF State and is a Bay Area Native.

About Ensemble Mik Nawooj
Ensemble Mik Nawooj Led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim, Hip Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) creates New Concert Music by sampling principles of Hip-Hop and Classical. Executed with MCs/lyricists Do D.A.T. and Sandman, a lyric soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, drums and bass, the music is rigorous, nuanced, accessible, and free from the dogmas of Western European concert music aesthetic. The result has "EMN join an elite crew of Oakland artists-Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You), Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Fantastic Negrito and others-who are changing national and global cultural conversations with their work" (NPR).

About Crowded Fire Theater
Crowded Fire Theater's ensemble produces poetic, bold theater created by new and contemporary artists. We seek to engage our community by producing adventurous work, innovative in structure, which addresses the diverse political and social concerns of our audiences. Crowded Fire was recently described in American Theatre Magazine as "instrumental in introducing the Bay Area to new writers who push the boundaries of what theatre can be" and "one of the most reliable local stops for high-quality new work by diverse voices."

About Arthur Pita
Arthur Pita is Portuguese. He studied dance in Johannesburg and at London Contemporary Dance School. His choreographic work includes: Salome (San Francisco Ballet); The Ballad of Mack and Ginny for Edward Watson and Wendy Whelan (The Linbury Theatre Royal Opera House and New York City Center); Death Defying Dances (BodyTraffic, LA); Run Mary Run for Natalia Osipova & Sergei Polunin (Sadler's Wells & worldwide tour); The Little Match Girl, Jerwood Dance House DanceEast, Sadler's Wells, Worldwide touring; The Metamorphosis(South Bank Award for dance, National Dance Award for best modern choreography and Olivier Award nomination) for The Linbury Studio Theatre Royal Opera House and The Joyce Theatre New York, A Dream Within a Midsummer Night's Dream (Olivier Award nomination) for Ballet Black and Volver Volver a solo for Ed Watson for Men In Motion at London Coliseum and La Versiliana Festival Tuscany.

As a collaborator Arthur's credits as choreographer include: Saint Joan and Les Liasons Dangereuses (also Broadway) for Donmar Warehouse; Our Country's Good, Mappa Mundi, Women Beware Women and Detroit for the Royal National Theatre; The Treatment, Caledonian Road and Becky Shaw for the Almeida Theatre; La Boheme and Show Boat at the Royal Albert Hall; Carmen and The Rise and Fall of The City of Mahagonny for The Royal Opera House; The Winter's Tale for Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford, London and New York); and The Glass Menageriefor the Young Vic.

About Z Space
Z Space empowers artistic risk, collaboration and camaraderie amongst artists, audience and staff in the service of creating, developing and presenting new work.

Operating two venues in San Francisco's historic Mission District, a main stage and a black box theater, Z Space host's new works from a variety of performance disciplines year-round. Keystone initiatives include New Work, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works, Word for Word, a resident theatre company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage, and Youth Arts, an arts education program promoting literacy and engaging students' creativity.



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