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Yerba Buena Center For The Arts Presents Liz Lerman's WICKED BODIES

Performances run Friday–Sunday, October 28–30, 2022.

Yerba Buena Center For The Arts Presents Liz Lerman's WICKED BODIES

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will present Wicked Bodies, an interactive dance-theater piece by visionary choreographer and YBCA Senior Fellow Liz Lerman. Performances take place Friday, October 28-Sunday, October 30 at The Blue Shield of California Theater in San Francisco.

Wicked Bodies reflects on many issues centering women and their bodies that have persisted for centuries: fear of bodily functions, horror at what knowledge women might possess, disgust at the way women carry on their daily existence, and the crumbling of beauty as women age. This timely work explores the culture of old crones, evil stepmothers, and the use of the female body as a source of fear by governments and institutions.

The inspiration for the work came after Lerman visited an art exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery entitled Witches and Wicked Bodies. The exhibition covered 500 years of prints and drawings of witches. Lerman was struck by how women's bodies were depicted as strange, lethal, and poisonous-yet also powerful.

"Every culture has its witches and every historical period-even now-has its witches," said Lerman. "So when you realize that thousands of these women who were depicted were criminalized and essentially murdered completely legally, I thought this was something worth looking more into."

Part epic, part fable, Wicked Bodies investigates ways in which anti-patriarchal wisdom has emerged over time even as it has been misunderstood, negated, and legislated against.

Following its premiere at the Green Music Center in Sonoma in April, Wicked Bodies toured to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and Arizona State University's ASU Gammage before landing at YBCA. Co-choreographed by Keith Thompson, each performance invites local dancers to be part of the experience and performance. Lerman's cast of performers includes Will Bond, Leah Cox, Miko Doi-Smith, nia love, Paloma McGregor, Ruby Morales, Elisa García-Radcliffe, Vincent E. Thomas, and the local dancers performing at YBCA will include Cecilia Loretta Egidi, Jo Kreiter, Valerie Lâm, Nicole Hielscher, Carola Zertuche, SAMMAY Peñaflor Dizon, Amber Julian, Giuliana Blasi, and My-Linh Le.

The theater at YBCA will be transformed into an intimate space for this production, with audiences seated in small, interactive pods for the first act, before the performers move to the stage for the second act.

Wicked Bodies is presented in conjunction with a major new multidisciplinary exhibition Brett Cook & Liz Lerman: Reflection & Action. A retrospective in forward motion, this deep dive into the past, present, and future of these two artists' revolutionary practices is free and open to the public beginning Thursday, October 20, with a large public opening celebration on Sunday, October 30 from 4-7pm, following the 2pm performance of Wicked Bodies.


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