AXIS Dance Company Crosses The Bridge To San Francisco This May At Z Space
The City of Oakland represents in San Francisco when AXIS Dance Company, the country's leading physically integrated dance company crosses the bridge and comes to Z Space in the Mission District as part of its 30th anniversary celebration, and its first season under new Artistic Director, Marc Brew. The program will feature Radical Impact, a new work produced in collaboration with composer JooWan Kim, Artistic Director of Oakland-based Hip Hop Orchestra, Ensemble Mik Nawooj. The original score for the piece will be performed live by string quartet.The program will also include a restaging of Amy Seiwert's The Reflective Surface. Seiwert, who is now the newly appointed Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet, originally made the piece for the 2013 home season, but due to dancer injury, it was never performed (though much talked about). This restaging will feature an original music composition by Darren Johnston. "I have always admired this work by Amy Seiwert," says Brew, "but I only saw it performed as excerpts at assembly performances and felt it deserved to be seen on the main stage in all its full glory with lights, costumes and staging so the audience can enjoy this wonderful work that pushes our dancers to new limits. I am thrilled for this piece to be re-worked by Amy on our new company dancers. They are loving the process and working with Amy, she is brilliant." AXIS will also debut a completely new work for this Z Space stop, Historias rotas, which translates to 'Broken stories.' This piece came about after Brew approached Nadia Adame-who danced with the company from 2001 through 2003-to choreograph a new work. "Historias rotas is about all those stories we carry in our lives that make us who we are," says Adame. "Using stories, memories, words and moments from my own life, I wanted to tell a story of how we carry our personal "baggage" us with us at all times. Sometimes its negative, sometimes its positive-do we want to keep the negative or the positive ones to continue the road we are traveling? That is up to us." Radical Impact marks the first time AXIS has collaborated with JooWan Kim, the Artistic Director of Ensemble Mik Nawooj. JooWan has composed a string quartet which will be played live. "I was interested in working with JooWan because he challenges stereotypes and blurs the lines between Hip Hop and classical techniques in order to create a hybrid of new possibilities. We both are Oakland based and proud rule breakers of traditional stereotypes of dance and music. As soon as I heard his work I was hooked, and knew it would push me in new directions as a choreographer." "After meeting with JooWan and his Executive Director Christopher Nicholas," says Brew, "I became very intrigued with how to integrate the different elements into his compositional work. So I brought everyone into the studio together to explore the possibilities of what we could create together and how we could feed off each other artistically. It was very exciting." As part of its 30th anniversary, AXIS Dance Company curated and presented in New York for the first time ever when they joined the roster of Gibney Dance's POP series in November. This first season under Brew follows the passing of the torch from founder Judith Smith, who passed the torch after close to 20 years in the role of Artistic Director. Smith decided to exit her Executive Director role in February of 2018, and passed that torch onto Robin Anderson, who had been Engagement Director for the company. While Smith first became aware of Brew close to 20 years ago, his first official encounter with AXIS was in 2011, when he came stateside to choreograph the extremely well received Full of Words, "which got me hooked on the virtuosity, passion and dedication of the company." At 20 years of age, while enjoying a blossoming professional dance career, Brew was injured in a head-on car collision while dancing with PACT Ballet in South Africa that left him paralyzed from the chest down with a spinal cord injury and using a wheelchair. "But" as he recently told the BBC Arts for a profile on him and his accomplished career, "I was still a dancer. I couldn't just stop because I couldn't walk anymore." In 2016, The Guardian in the UK listed Brew's For Now I Am as one of the top 10 dance performances of the year, in which the writer notes the "exhilaration and triumph" of the performance. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/dec/14/top-10-dance-of-2016-judith-mackrell What: Radical Impact Tour: AXIS Dance Company Celebrates 30 Years
When: May 4-6, 2018
Time: Friday, May 4 & Saturday May 5 at 8pm; Sunday May 6 at 2pm
Where: Z Space, 450 Florida Street, SF
Tickets: $20-$35, with low-income discounts available; special opening night per-show reception from 6-7pm + performance tickets: $75.00; all ticket options available at zspace.org Note: as part of its commitment to increasing accessibility to the arts, AXIS will offer ASL interpretation for the Saturday evening performance along with a post performance Q & A. In addition, there will be a pre-show access tour of the stage on Sunday from 1-1:20 pm geared towards those individuals with visual impairments, who will then also be given headphones for the 2pm matinee in order to enjoy audio descriptions in real time.
About Marc Brew
?Acclaimed International choreographer 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 19 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 as Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre and Guest Artistic Director with AXIS Dance Company. Since 2008 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and is currently Associate Artistic Director with Ballet Cymru in Wales and was Associate Artist in 2015 at Tramway Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland where he is now based. Recent choreographic commissions include Scottish Ballet, Ballet Cymru, 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 Guardians Top 10 Dance Shows for 2016. More information www.marcbrew.com About Ensemble Mik Nawooj
Ensemble Mik Nawooj is a composer ensemble that performs the innovative music of composer/pianist JooWan Kim who injects Western European Classical compositional techniques into such genres as hip-hop, rock & pop. Featuring a 6-piece chamber orchestra, 2 MCs, deep funk drums and a lyric soprano, the group has been featured on ABC 7, MTV, NBC, NPR, The New Yorker & more. 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 30 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, AXIS appointed internationally renowned choreographer Marc Brew Artistic Director in 2017. Under the Artistic Direction of Judith Smith from 1997-2016, AXIS' collaborators include 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.