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What if, as the bird, we could land on a wire or the sand –
free from boundaries?

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June 16-19, 2022

Presidio Theatre, SF

This performance will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission

Artists

Artistic & Choreographic Direction: Margaret Jenkins

Choreographic & Rehearsal Assistant: Kelly Del Rosario

Composer: Paul Dresher with Joel Davel

Text & Narrative Structure: Michael Palmer with Rinde Eckert

Production Design: Jack Beuttler

Costume Design: Mary Domenico

Sound Design: Jacob Felix Heule

 

MJDC Dancer/Collaborators:

Allegra Bautista, Corey Brady,

Tristan Ching Hartmann, Carolina Czechowska,

Kelly Del Rosario, Olivia Caldeira Holston

 

Collaborating International Artists:

Cross Move Lab (US/China)

Guanglei Hui (Artistic Director, Performer)

Yahui Lu (Resident Choreographer, Performer)

 

Kolben Dance Company (Israel)

Amir Kolben (Artistic Director)

Nitzan Bardichev (Dancer Emeritus)

Irit Amichai Gabinet (Dancer Emeritus)

 

Tanusree Shankar Dance Company (India)

Tanusree Shankar (Artistic Director)

Indranil Ghosh (Performer)

Joyita Pal (Performer)

Guest Performer: Rinde Eckert

Readers: Michael Palmer, Ellen McLaughlin

Live Music: Dresher/Davel Invented Instrument Duo

Clarinet Loop: Ned Rothenberg

Harmonic Tuning Fork Sample: From invented instrument built by Daniel Schmidt

 

“Racer" by Paul Dresher

Performed by David Abel (violin), Julie Steinberg (piano)

 

"Cage Machine" (excerpt) by Paul Dresher

David Abel (violin soloist)

Phil Aaberg (keyboard)

Paul  Hanson (bassoon)

Amy Knoles (electronic percussion)

Gene Reffkin (electronic percussion)

Craig Fry (second violin)

Paul Dresher (electric guitar)

In Partnership with the Presidio Theatre

We are honored to work with the Presidio Theatre as our presenting partner towards the premiere of Global Moves, and to share our work in this beautifully renovated theatre! Built in 1939 by the U.S. Army, the Presidio Theatre served as an entertainment hub for the military and their families for nearly six decades, screening movies and hosting radio broadcasts and live events with artists including Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Marlene Dietrich, and Loretta Young. In 1994 it was turned over to the National Park Service, and in 2019 this Spanish Colonial style building was meticulously renovated and reopened through the support of Peggy Haas and the Presidio Trust.

Artist Bios

Performance Texts

Artist Statements

Margaret Jenkins: In this time of pandemics and deeply troubling ruptures across the globe, gathering together with artists from many countries feels more necessary than ever. Making work is about making community, and as we gather from our scattered provinces to better understand the state of things, Global Moves asks: what are the stories; what is to be done?

 

I began collaborating internationally in 2003, first in India, then China and Israel, spending time in each country learning to trust the stories and mysteries that the body holds as we built each work. I found the experiences deeply transformative, surrendering to all that was unfamiliar, whether the heat, traffic, architecture, or the politics of place. The questions provoked over these years of working together inspired me to bring us together, to share what has transpired in the interim and continue to learn from one another. Global Moves, through movement, music, narrative, and visual design, examines how we all navigate our streets, political conflicts, and private longings.

 

Global Moves also brings into full relief my work with many long-time collaborators, including poet Michael Palmer, composer Paul Dresher, and writer/performer Rinde Eckert. Since 1973, Michael Palmer and I have made dozens of works – his language and thinking provide haunting poetic landscapes that propel, provoke, and inform our work. Essential to our history has been the question: are we going somewhere other than where we have been? I have worked with Paul Dresher since 1985, and his capacity to support the hidden and multiple meanings of a work through his wide range of music compositions, along with his sensitivity to movement, have made him an invaluable collaborator. Rinde Eckert and I, since 1987, have made four duets and numerous works with the whole Company. Rinde sings and the rehearsal room becomes quiet; his narration makes the studio walls vibrate with meaning; when Rinde moves, his formidable presence invites you to move with him.

The MJDC dancer/collaborators and artistic collaborators are critical to the development of my work. Together they create the physical, gestural, narrative, and musical landscapes by layering, disrupting rhythms, and shattering expectations as well as
spatial planes. Our exchange is both silent and vocal, deeply intense while supportive – which allows the work to unfold with multiple meanings. I am grateful to all of them for their art, their humanity, and their constant generosity.

 

Paul Dresher: It is with great excitement that the Paul Dresher Ensemble continues our nearly four-decade long collaboration with Margaret Jenkins and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company during which time we have collaborated on over a dozen works, all of which except the very first, have featured the Dresher Ensemble performing the music live. For Global Moves, I’ll be composing and performing the score with my long-time collaborator Joel Davel using a mix of invented acoustic and electronic musical instruments along with the amazing vocal, musical, movement, and theatrical talents of my even-longer collaborator Rinde Eckert.  It is also a great pleasure return to the collaborative relationships with the international dance artists from India, China, and Israel that were first forged in earlier collaborations with MJDC starting in 2006. Thus, one of my musical goals in this score will be to acknowledge, integrate, and celebrate the musical cultures and sonic environments of our international collaborators.

Michael Palmer: You might think, after all this time, after all these travels, travails, attempts, that experience would render the process orderly, almost, so to speak, natural. Of course not. To begin, one must once again return to the beginning, to the chaos of beginnings, where thoughts and steps, sounds and words, are new, even unrecognizable. Where the voyage itself, in remembering other voyages, and imagining future ones, suggests no distinct and discrete, or final, destination. Where, like the hummingbird, one flies forward and sometimes backward in order to keep going. Where roles must be reimagined and reintegrated, purposes rethought and refined. “Meaning,” in the turbulence of the present? “Beauty,” an obsolete, even suspect, term? And yet one asserts, insists upon, company, its possibility. Overcoming. Presence, despite all. The possible, despite all. Contact.

Rinde Eckert: When I was four, I grabbed a little colorful ball off the shelf in some store. My mother let me keep it. She explained that the colors were all different countries, that one of them was ours. I learned the names of those countries, memorized their various colors and shapes. That little globe is gone now, and I have long since forgotten the colors. In my memory, they run together.

Guanglei Hui: Time flies, and within the blink of an eye we have lived with the virus for two and a half years – from panic to relief. It has been 13 years since the last time I performed with MJDC, and I'm really happy to be working together again on this world premiere work, Global Moves. This work is rooted with a strong cultural backbone, and reflects the authentic feeling of our current social phenomenon. Every time I work with MJDC, it gives me a great deal of inspiration to better understand the world from different perspectives. I look forward to returning to the big family of MJDC again – to meet and reunite with every artist!

Irit Amichai Gabinet: Global Moves, and its predecessor Breathing at the Boundaries, allowed me to finally reach out to the outside world. Covid restrictions and implications, as well as maternity leave, kept me at home, my little box in the world. Being able to go back to art-making, alongside the generous artists that are part of these projects, rejuvenated me and brought me great hope. We all share feelings, thoughts and experiences, which can be processed and dealt with through art. We are all alone in this together, so why won't we connect and get some new perspectives? Diminish the distances between our seemingly different worlds, between times, between places and non-places. Re-find the power of human interaction, however restricted it is.

Tanusree Shankar: In the current pandemic, people all over the world are going through immense difficulties, particularly so the artists. Under the circumstances, Global Moves comes as a breath of fresh air – a lifeline where we can connect, communicate and learn from others across countries. Global Moves is more relevant today where we have all devised unique methods to connect, share and bond without traveling out of our homes. This virtual connection, though unusual, inspires us to work beyond the physical shackles to create something beautiful. Working with MJDC after so many years again seems like a dream fulfilled, and to work with artists from China and Israel as well seems an extension of that fulfilled dream. This project enables us to share and learn from each other – not only our work, but also our cultures – to create a new piece.

Production Team

MARGARET JENKINS DANCE COMPANY

 

Artistic Director: Margaret Jenkins

Managing Director: Kegan Marling

Production Manager: David Robertson

Company Manager: Mary Kuhn

Company Assistant: Chelsea Marie Hill

Costume Assistant: Melissa Wortman

Bookkeeper: Bonnie Ayers-Namkung

Management Advisor: Art Becofsky

 Artist Representative & Visas: Cathy Pruzan    

Poster & Brochure Design: Kevin Clarke    

Marketing Advisor: Jennifer Morla    

Publicist: Mary Carbonara    

Social Media Manager: Joe Mazza    

 

Board of Directors

Marcia Hofer, Margaret Jenkins, Mindy Kershner, Rhys Mason, Michael Palmer, Albert Wax

 

PRESIDIO THEATRE    

Executive Director: Robert Martin    

Director of Operations & Community Relations: Jen Tait    

Director of Development & Communications: Matthew Keefe    

Marketing & Programs Manager: Max Gustafson    

Production Manager: Patty Ann Farrell    

Technical Director: Jeff Gregory

Production Assistant: Alessandra Waste
Facilities Manager: Damon Pierson

SPECIAL THANKS

Alexander V. Nichols, Anna Burke, City Dance Studios, Dominique Pelletey, Gussie Stewart,

Jennifer Morla, Jill Lynch, Joe Goode Annex, Michael Palmer & Cathy Simon,

Paul Dresher Ensemble, and the San Francisco Ballet

Supporters

Global Moves is an honored recipient of the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, launched in 2017 to celebrate the foundation’s 50th anniversary. It is a five-year, $8 million initiative supporting the creation and premiere of 50 new works from outstanding artists working in five performing arts disciplines. The largest commissioning effort of its kind in the country, the initiative is a symbol of the Hewlett Foundation’s longstanding commitment to supporting art that matters to the people and communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Hewlett Foundation has supported the arts in the region for more than 50 years, and currently makes grants of roughly $20 million per year to more than 200 nonprofit arts organizations, mostly in the form of long-term general operating support. More information about the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions can be found at: hewlett.org/50Commissions.

Global Moves is also graciously funded by The Bernard Osher Foundation, Cathy & Jim Koshland, The Fleishhacker Foundation, Hellman Foundation, John Sanger Family Foundation, Judith Brown Meyers Fund, Kenneth Rainin Foundation,
Michael P.N.A. Hormel (in loving remembrance of James C. Hormel), The National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and many generous individuals.

Performance Text

 
 
 

Who Are They

 

Who are they, dancing among the fields and in the ruins? Among the cafes and along the shore? Do they even know? Do they need to know? Who are we who watch and wonder? Do we even know? We in our rags and jeweled crowns, our caves and castles, dachas, pagodas and pavilions, our longhouses and high-rises, villas and flats?

Early and late, near and far, underway or not. Parallel lines stretching toward horizon. A tunnel, a bridge above a gorge, a field glowing gold. A ruined tower, a factory in flames.

Yet are not all provinces filled with similar birds singing similar songs on similar fences? Can we not be more like those birds?  Can we not light on some limb stretching out over a border wall, perch wherever, for a moments rest?

How long have we been asking these questions?
After how many trains taken? Provinces crossed, re-crossed.
And what questions will be asked of us? How many? at what borders?
What do we call ourselves, here, after all this moving, all these questions?
The planets must have changed their alignment by now, mustn’t they?
Pulling us one way or another.

Still, we shared some level ground, did we not, in the courtyard?
Wasn’t our footing sure?  Didn’t the light make the colors shine?
Didn’t we see each other with a kind of clarity?
Why do we move in here among these tiers of seats, these footlights and panels
Is it the overwhelming heat of the day that makes us long for shelter?
Or is it so we can see the planets, know what sign we’re under,
know what moon governs the order of our going.

Who Are They (reprise)
 

Who are they, dancing among the fields and in the ruins? Among the cafes and along the shore? Do they even know? Do they need to know? Who are we who watch and wonder? Do we even know? We in our rags and jeweled crowns, our caves and castles, dachas, pagodas and pavilions, our longhouses and high-rises, villas and flats? Who are they, dancing among the fields and in the ruins?


 

22-Berlin (From our window…)

 

From our train window as we roll on, a broad plain where flakes of snow are dancing in a light breeze, afloat on the breeze and slowly descending. Pine covered hills in the distance, and then suddenly darkness, a howling darkness, as we enter a tunnel. Soon enough we emerge into the light of day, and the dance reappears before our eyes. Yet it appears now that it is not snow we are witnessing in its slow descent, but ash, ash settling on a plain of parched grasses, small fires springing up wherever it comes to earth. And then a second tunnel, the roaring darkness once again into which we are plunged, jolted as always, until we regain the light, and what had been ash now appears to be bodies, wingless birds perhaps, singed by fire and falling as if in slow motion, as if in a dream of falling, but in the full brightness of day.