Connected_ProjectionTonight is the opening of Arts In Action: Connected.  As co-choreographer, I’ve experimented with my fellow choreographers and UCSD Professors Patricia Rincon and Robert Castro to interweave our choreography both in time and in space, through the outdoor and indoor areas of UCSD’s CalIT2 building and the beautiful Atkinson Hall.  This high-tech hub is our low-tech playground.  We are bringing in the spirit of an experimental “happening” in a raw, almost bare-bones way to reveal the inner guts of our process, of the building itself, and of the dancer’s inner thoughts and fears which they speak, write and dance throughout the evening to this exciting and dynamic architectural space.

I’ve come to appreciate this process and I am honored to be carrying forward an annual tradition initiated just three years ago by my dear friend Jade Power, who took a risk in making sure art was meaningful, moral, active and a place for conversation.  She was responding to the Compton Cookout frat party, a scandalous event created by UCSD students that ended up being condemned by UCSD Administrators.  Enter Jade with Arts In Action.  Then came Prof. Rincon, Head of Dance at UCSD, and Prof. Castro, Director of the Chicano Theatre Ensemble at UCSD, who made it possible to continue Arts In Action, now in its third year.  But how to you continue the informal, accidental spirit of a “happening” with a traditional, professional and well-organized technical and production staff?  I love the managers and technicians at UCSD, don’t get me wrong.  But weren’t “happenings” more of a happy accident?  What defines a happening in this day-and-age?

Walking that edge of accident and organization, I recall my experiences collaborating with Gage Copenhaver and a diverse group of local artists to create Project Cathedral in 2000, a monthly happening at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Banker’s Hill that went on for three years.  I recall many years of performing and organizing children’s field trips to San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances.  And performing in host of site-specific events with the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, namely at MOCA’s TNT and in a beautiful private Zen Garden in Encinitas.  All of these had different degrees of organization, support, flow and very different types of audiences.  Arts In Action is beginning to build momentum and a following, now with the support of the best theatre production & technical staff ever (in my humble opinion).  Yet, how do we keep the “happening” spirit alive and well?  To be continued…

Arts In Action: Connected
November 30 & December 1, 2012
Meet at 7:10, Begins at 7:30
UCSD’s CalIT2 Atkinson Hall

Download flyer with map: Connected_Postcard



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