The Vault: Bay Area Legends

Digital Program for "The Vault: Bay Area Legends"

Thursday, June 6 @ 7:30pm at Delancey St. Theater

Program runtime: 60 minutes
Screening will be followed immediately by a Q&A and reception

San Francisco Dance Film Festival honors four Bay Area choreographers – Ellen BrombergJoe GoodeMargaret Jenkins, and Brenda Way – and the filmmakers with whom they created historic dance films for national public television in 1989 and 1991.

In 1989, the PBS series “Alive From Off Center” made an unprecedented pitch to KQED TV to produce collaborative dance pieces representing the best dance in San Francisco. The result was three films produced for KQED by Linda Schaller: “Shorebirds Atlantic”, “The Black Dress”, and “29 Effeminate Gestures”. The fourth film on our program, “Loose the Thread”, came two years later as part of a full-length program celebrating ODC/Dance’s 20th anniversary. The success and longevity of these films are a testament to the quality of the Bay Area choreographers, dancers, and production teams involved that were tasked with reinterpreting the avant-garde dance works for television.

Tonight’s program pays tribute to the creators of these works with a theatrical, archival screening followed by a conversation with the choreographers. Please join us as we raise a glass to our amazing local dance artists and filmmakers. They are still making history!

The Program:

Shorebirds Atlantic

Shorebirds Atlantic

Gino Tanasescu
Margaret Jenkins
(United States, 1989) 8:03
Two strangers meet on the Atlantic City strand.

An abandoned Gerber baby food factory in Oakland sets an eerie mood for this poignant duet between choreographer Margaret Jenkins and Rinde Eckert. Filmed on a cold January night, director Gino Tanasescu pushes the boundaries of staging to adapt “Shorebirds Atlantic” – originally a longer performance piece – for the screen. The film features music and text by Rinde Eckert, plus ocean wave special effects by Tim Schaller. 

This film was originally broadcast on PBS’s “Alive From Off Center” series. It is screened by permission of Twin Cities Public Television and KQED, Inc.

The Black Dress

The Black Dress

Gino Tanasescu
Ellen Bromberg
(United States, 1989) 7:40
Six dancers break out of stereotypes of the 50s and 60s in this reflection on uniformity and feminine liberation.

Ellen Bromberg’s “The Black Dress” was originally set in a black box and based on a painting by Alex Katz. With director Gino Tanasescu and set designer Ken Short, a formal set with a hand-painted dance floor and flexible walls was assembled in the old KQED studios at 8th and Brannan. Accompanied by special effects from Tim Schaller, the setting created a space for the six dancers to break out of stereotypes of the 50s and 60s: black dresses and black pumps. “The Black Dress” features performances by Wendy Diamond, Francie Glycenfer, Julie Kane, Lisa McCaughrean, Anne Reeb, and Jean Sullivan with music by Paul Strum, Andy Kulberg, and Chris Michie.

This film was originally broadcast on PBS’s “Alive From Off Center” series. It is screened by permission of Twin Cities Public Television and KQED, Inc.

29 Effeminate Gestures

29 Effeminate Gestures

Tim Boxell
Joe Goode
(United States, 1989) 8:00
A meditation on gender and identity.

Joe Goode first created “29 Effeminate Gestures” as a solo for himself in 1987 and the piece has since become a staple of gender studies in universities. In this adaptation for the screen, Joe Goode chose to combine elements from the solo to create a unique look at suppressed effeminate gestures and emotions. Set designer Ken Short and director Tim Boxell created a surreal car shop setting within the KQED studios. This film featuers performers Joe Goode, Liz Carpenter, Suellen Einarsen, Gregory Rolnick, and Peter Rothblatt with music by Erik Ian Walker. 

“It’s not just about gender and sexuality. It’s also about masculinity and femininity. Hyper-feminine gestures, even on women, are treated by society with contempt and scorn. What is it that is so terrifying? Is it the overtly expressive nature of the response? Is it the extravagance?” — Joe Goode

This film was originally broadcast on PBS’s “Alive From Off Center” series. It is screened by permission of Twin Cities Public Television and KQED, Inc.

Loose the Thread

Loose The Thread

Wendy Blair Slick
Brenda Way
(United States, 1991) 13:11
Set in early 20th century London, "Loose the Thread" examines Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Produced by KQED as part of a full-length program celebrating ODC/Dance’s 20th Anniversary, “Loose the Thread” is based on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsberg group in the early 20th century. ODC Artistic Director and choreographer Brenda Way collaborated with producer/director Wendy Slick to create this dance-for-television portrait of the famous Bohemian artists and their unconventional lifestyles. The piece features music by Paul Dresher with performances by KT Nelson, Arturo Fernandez, Julie Kanter, Mae Chesney, Ney Fonseca, Lisa Wallgren, Lizanne McAdams, Frank Evertt, and Richard Chen See.

This film was originally broadcast on KQED TV and this short version later on PBS’s “Alive From Off Center” series. It is screened by permission of Twin Cities Public Television and KQED, Inc.