Winner of three San Diego Critics Circle Awards including OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY!

Dance/Theatre

0

Queer Theatre

  • January 27-29
    Dance/Theatre 2011
    Artistic Director: Peter G. Kalivas

    New dance works inspired by past Diversionary productions.  Artistic direction by Peter G. Kalivas of The PGK Project. Peter will create a work from music from the recent gay opera premiere of Sextet.  Michael Mizerany and Anjanette Maraya-Ramey return with new works based on Beautiful Thing and  No Exit, respectively.  Lavina Rich (The Twilight of the Golds) and Jhon Stronks (Another American: Asking and Telling) join us for the first time.

    If you love Dance, more dance events listed under Calendar and Special Events.

    Production Sponsor: Diversionary’s Queer Theatre program gives voice to the stories of LGBT people, and is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.  The program honors the ideas, the energy and commitment people have made to write LGBT stories.  More than 70 new plays with LGBT themes get submitted to the program each year. Underwritten in part by the California Institute for Contemporary Arts.

  • Peter G. Kalivas was inspired by Quartet, one of six new chamber opera pieces in Sextet by local composer Nicholas Reveles. Sextet premiered at Diversionary this past October. Like the rest of the piece, the singing in Quartet inspires the action – much like intention and storytelling inspires movement.  In this soulful scene we witness one relationship begin while another ends, and the hope of what could be mixes and mingles with the bitter sadness of something that was and no longer will be. It is here where two dances, each in their own time, weave like these original songs reflecting the fragile desire and want for love we might endure. Peter is artistic director of the Dance/Theatre project. A critically-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher for more than twenty years, Peter’s performances and choreography have been presented worldwide. A Fulbright Scholar, Dance Specialist and Cultural Envoy for the U.S. Department of Education and Culture in Washington D.C., he gives master classes, provides residencies at major Colleges, Universities, and Festivals and creates work for professional companies in addition to his own, The PGK Project (A Contemporary Dance Company). www.thepgkproject.com

    Anjanette Maraya-Ramey chose Jean Paul Sartre’s play, No Exit, which contains philosophical themes of existentialism. The play depicts the arrival to hell for three characters, Garcin, Inez and Estelle. In a stark, windowless room each character realizes that they were put in hell to torment each other. As the room also contains no mirrors, it becomes inevitable that each person formulates self-judgments by the actions or inactions of the other two people. The group dynamics becomes very twisted as each person covets for acceptance. Feelings of lust are intricately exchanged and torture becomes intolerable as they realize there is no escape from hell, as “Hell is other people!” Anjanette writes: “The complexity of Sartre’s philosophy of existentialism forced me to self-reflect and question mortality and my “being for others.” How do my actions or the actions of others determine or shape who I am? I was inspired by these underlying themes and wanted to investigate this notion further through the movement of others. Coincidentally, the movement of the dancers that I work with helps to define who I am as a choreographer. Exploring the idea of “no escape,” I will stage a trio of dancers who are trapped in one room, which will include a door that alludes to their entrance or exit to and from hell. The movement and partnering work is reactive to the intricacies of how we view ourselves and how the people that we encounter throughout or lives can influence our true existence.” Local to San Diego, Maraya-Ramey holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from CalArts. Her choreography has been presented at CalArts Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, and locally at 4x4xFloor, The Movement, Jean Isaacs’ Studio Series, Emerge Dance Festival, Grossmont College and Temecula’s Dance Moves. Anjanette was the Dance Program Director and Resident Musical Theater Choreographer at West Hills High School. She has taught for Malashock Dance School’s Emotion in Motion program and for CalArts Community Arts Program at Plaza De La Raza in Los Angeles. She has also taught at various private studios throughout San Diego County and taught master classes at Grossmont College.
    Peter G. Kalivas was inspired by Quartet, one of six new chamber opera pieces in Sextet by local composer Nicholas Reveles. Sextet premiered at Diversionary this past October. Like the rest of the piece, the singing in Quartet inspires the action – much like intention and storytelling inspires movement.  In this soulful scene we witness one relationship begin while another ends, and the hope of what could be mixes and mingles with the bitter sadness of something that was and no longer will be. It is here where two dances, each in their own time, weave like these original songs reflecting the fragile desire and want for love we might endure. Peter is artistic director of the Dance/Theatre project. A critically-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher for more than twenty years, Peter’s performances and choreography have been presented worldwide. A Fulbright Scholar, Dance Specialist and Cultural Envoy for the U.S. Department of Education and Culture in Washington D.C., he gives master classes, provides residencies at major Colleges, Universities, and Festivals and creates work for professional companies in addition to his own, The PGK Project (A Contemporary Dance Company). www.thepgkproject.com

    Michael Mizerany’s Let Me Into Your Skin, inspired by the play Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey, is being created as a companion piece to last year’s Far From Eden.  Where Far From Eden examined the volatile, violent and sexually carnal relationship of Leopold and Loeb, Let Me Into Your Skin explores the wonderment and excitement of the burgeoning romance between two young men, Ste and Jaime.  Let Me Into Your Skin revels in the anticipation of that first kiss, the tenderness of a slow caress, and the aching desire for carnal pleasure. With music by Trentemoller, the dance will feature performances by Malashock Dance company member Nicholas Strasburg, and local dancer John Fulgham. Michael Mizerany is the Associate Artistic Director for the San Diego-based MALASHOCK DANCE and teaches advanced modern dance at THE MALASHOCK DANCE SCHOOL. Michael studied dance at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and then joined The Modern America Dance Company (MAD/CO) in 1986. After three seasons with MAD/CO, Michael relocated to Los Angeles to join Loretta Livingston & Dancers and, in 1996; Michael joined the internationally renowned Bella Lewitzky Dance Company for their final season of touring. He has also served as a guest artist with such companies as Yorke Dance Project, Francisco Martinez Dance Theater, and Los Angeles Chamber Ballet. Michael has been nominated a record seven times for the Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance, winning the prestigious award in 1995 and 1996 for his solos Tin Soldier and Bump in the Road, respectively. Additionally, Michael was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award for his portrayal of the misogynistic antagonist in John Malashock’s dance film The Soul of Saturday Night. He has danced in venues across the nation, including Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  Michael has choreographed extensively, and his works are in the repertory of such companies as MAD/CO, San Diego Civic Dance Company, Michigan Dance Collective and Malashock Dance.  Most recently, his male duet, Far From Eden, premiered at Diversionary Theater’s Dance/Theatre event and his group work, Bad Company, premiered at Malashock/RAW to much critical acclaim.

    Lavina Rich chose The Twilight of the Golds by Jonathan Tolins to adapt into movement. She says: “After reading the play, I had so many emotions about the two main characters – a brother and sister – I needed to explore their relationship. I think everyone can take something away from this play. We all need to make hard and tough decisions in our life – and these decisions always have consequences. Throughout the play, (Richard) Wagner and opera music play such a big part, but I was hesitant to use any of the pieces. Yet, after starting to develop movement, re-reading the play, I was able to find a perfect piece of Wagner that holds true to the play – but allows me to play a little bit.” Lavina began dancing in 1995 at Grossmont College, where she obtained her Associate’s Degree in Dance. From there, she went on to UCSD to continue her dance experience while earning her Bachelor’s in History. Lavina has had the privilege to train under such talent as Jean Isaacs, Terry Wilson, Peter Kalivas, Monica Bill Barnes, Terri Shipman, and Pat Rincon. Currently, she is a company member with bksoul and working on developing her movement voice through her own choreography. She wishes to thank all those that have inspired and encouraged her along this journey. A special thanks to Peter for allowing her this wonderful opportunity.

    Choreographer jhon r. stronks: “I am often accused of presenting my audiences with seemingly disobedient work that behaves according to its own sanity. At present my work lands somewhere between a cry for personal consciousness and a plea for social justice. My passion for giving address to the gaps between what is believed and what is actual, lead me to the play Another American: Asking and Telling by Marc Wolf. Both the play and the process of writing the play allowed for the largest possible cross section of experiences with ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ In the end no matter the situation the realization was and remains the same – service men and women that are willing to do for their country what their country isn’t willing to do for them. So, I asked myself, what would it feel like to wake up one day to the realization that I had dedicated my life to a cause that would take full advantage of everything I had to offer with no intentions of gratitude or acknowledgment? I didn’t have to search very long to find in my own life, experiences such as these. The solo I have created is a prologue in three parts; Red.White.Blue., a dance in honor of the deep heartache in betrayal and the suffering that accompanies the awakening. Marc Wolf says of his interviewees “They are all people that affected me very powerfully and really challenged my own prejudices, and their patriotism was refreshing. The gay people that I interviewed really believe in the American ideal of what our country could be. But that reality can’t happen for them, and they feel frustrated by that distance between the reality and the ideal.” In the process of making this solo I realize that the strength of faith is not in its depth its darkness or devotion but it willingness to rise to the top and be brightly heard and questioned.” jhon’s work combines the fundamental elements of composition and choreography, with a convergence of movement styles and techniques drawn from his personal movement foundation in Modern, Post-Modern, Jazz, Classical Ballet and Africanist dance training. From this place, jhon dives into the deep end experimenting with alternative dance making structures that are more intuitive and often erratic. The result is often the creation of a free space for the dancing to inhabit, where the context is clear; the eye has choices, and the viewer gets to decide. jhon is the recipient of two 2008 Buff Orpington Awards for Houston Contemporary Dance Achievement, Best Choreographic Work Under 15 Minutes for A View From The Edge and Best Choreographic Work 15 to 40 Minutes for O.K. I’m here… now what? jhon’s choreography has been commissioned by The Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, The Houston Black Dance Festival, The South Dallas Dance Festival, Big Range Dance Festival, Mix Match Dance Festival, The Fresno Dance Collective, In Motion Dance Bermuda, Several Dancers Core’s MFA Houston and Miller Outdoor Projects, California State University, Fresno, Moving in the Spirit, and UNC Greensboro. His most recent full length work; Love and Incarceration: The bankruptcy of righteousness and wrongdoing will be presented at Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles June 3rd and 4th 2011. Yay Dance! http://www.thereinthesunlight.com

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    December 15, 2010

    CONTACTS:
    Dan Kirsch, Executive & Artistic Director
    or Travis Guss, Patron Services Manager
    619.220.6830
    dkirsch@diversionary.org
    tguss@diversionary.org

    New dance works created in “Dance/Theatre” at Diversionary
    Third edition Inspired by Theatre/Created through Dance

    Five local choreographers will each create a new dance work for Diversionary Theatre’s special event, Dance/Theatre 2011, with four performances, January 27-29, 2011. The project was conceived by Peter G. Kalivas of The PGK Project in conjunction with Diversionary’s Executive & Artistic Director Dan Kirsch. This is the third edition of the project. Dance/Theatre merges theatre and dance audiences while presenting universal stories through dance inspired by productions previously staged by Diversionary. “Diversionary has a long history of creating new work, and this project is a great way to connect to the dance community,” said Kirsch. “We’re always excited about the imagination the choreographers bring to interpreting a stage work.”

    The choreographers were given the opportunity to select from 25 years of Diversionary productions and create a new dance work. The choreographers and their inspirations are: Peter G. Kalivas/The PGK Project (Sextet), Anjanette Maraya-Ramey/Independent Choreographer (No Exit), Michael Mizerany/Malashock Dance (Beautiful Thing), Lavina Rich/Independent Choreographer (The Twilight of the Golds), and jhon r. stronks/Independent Choreographer (Another American: Asking and Telling).  Dance/Theatre is underwritten by California Institute for Contemporary Arts.

    Kalivas is artistic director of the Dance/Theatre project. A critically-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher for more than twenty years, Kalivas’ performances and choreography have been presented worldwide. A Fulbright Scholar, Dance Specialist and Cultural Envoy for the U.S. Department of Education and Culture in Washington D.C., he gives master classes, provides residencies at major Colleges, Universities, and Festivals and creates work for professional companies in addition to his own, The PGK Project (A Contemporary Dance Company). www.thepgkproject.com

    Kalivas was inspired by Quartet, one of six new chamber opera pieces in Sextet by local composer Nicholas Reveles. Sextet premiered at Diversionary this past October. Like the rest of the piece, the singing in Quartet inspires the action – much like intention and storytelling inspires movement.  In this soulful scene we witness one relationship begin while another ends, and the hope of what could be mixes and mingles with the bitter sadness of something that was and no longer will be.

    Anjanette Maraya-Ramey chose Jean Paul Sartre’s play, No Exit, which contains philosophical themes of existentialism. The play depicts the arrival to hell for three characters. It is in a stark, windowless room that each character realizes that they were put in hell to torment each other. The group dynamics becomes very twisted as each person covets for acceptance. Feelings of lust are intricately exchanged and torture becomes intolerable as they realize there is no escape from hell, as “Hell is other people!” Maraya-Ramey says the question for her was “How do my actions or the actions of others determine or shape who I am? The movement and partnering work is reactive to the intricacies of how we view ourselves and how the people that we encounter throughout our lives can influence our true existence.”

    Local to San Diego, Maraya-Ramey holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from CalArts. Her choreography has been presented at CalArts Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, and locally at 4x4xFloor, The Movement, Jean Isaacs’ Studio Series, Emerge Dance Festival, Grossmont College and Temecula’s Dance Moves. Anjanette was the Dance Program Director and Resident Musical Theater Choreographer at West Hills High School. She has taught for Malashock Dance School’s Emotion in Motion program and for CalArts Community Arts Program at Plaza De La Raza in Los Angeles. She has also taught at various private studios throughout San Diego County and taught master classes at Grossmont College.

    Michael Mizerany’s Let Me Into Your Skin, inspired by the play Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey, is being created as a companion piece to last year’s Far From Eden.  Where Far From Eden examined the volatile and sexually violent relationship of Leopold and Loeb, Let Me Into Your Skin explores the wonder and excitement of a burgeoning romance between two young men.  Let Me Into Your Skin revels in the anticipation of that first kiss, the tenderness of a slow caress, and the aching desire for carnal pleasure. The dance will feature performances by Malashock Dance company member Nicholas Strasburg, and local dancer John Fulgham.

    Mizerany is the Associate Artistic Director for the San Diego-based Malashock Dance and teaches advanced modern dance at The Malashock Dance School. He studied dance at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and then joined The Modern America Dance Company (MAD/CO) in 1986. He has choreographed extensively, and his works are in the repertory of such companies as MAD/CO, San Diego Civic Dance Company, Michigan Dance Collective and Malashock Dance. Most recently, his male duet, Far From Eden, premiered at Diversionary Theater’s Dance/Theatre event and his group work, Bad Company, premiered at Malashock/RAW to much critical acclaim.

    Lavina Rich has chosen The Twilight of the Golds to adapt into movement. “After reading the play, I had so many emotions about the two main characters – a brother and sister – I needed to explore their relationship,” said Rich. “We all need to make hard and tough decisions in our life, and these decisions always have consequences. Throughout the play, (Richard) Wagner and opera music play such a big part, but I was hesitant to use any of the pieces. Yet, after starting to develop movement, re-reading the play, I was able to find a perfect piece of Wagner that holds true to the play, but allows me to play a little bit.”

    Rich began dancing in 1995 at Grossmont College, where she obtained her Associate’s Degree in Dance. From there, she went on to UCSD to continue her dance experience while earning her Bachelor’s in History. Rich has trained under such talent as Jean Isaacs, Terry Wilson, Peter Kalivas, Monica Bill Barnes, Terri Shipman, and Pat Rincon. Currently, she is a company member with bksoul and working on developing her movement voice through her own choreography.

    Choreographer jhon r. stronks: “I am often accused of presenting my audiences with seemingly disobedient work that behaves according to its own sanity. At present my work lands somewhere between a cry for personal consciousness and a plea for social justice. My passion for giving address to the gaps between what is believed and what is actual, lead me to the play Another American: Asking and Telling by Marc Wolf. Both the play and the process of writing the play allowed for the largest possible cross section of experiences with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In the end, no matter the situation, the realization was and remains the same; service men and women that are willing to do for their country what their country isn’t willing to do for them. So, I asked myself, what would it feel like to wake up one day to the realization that I had dedicated my life to a cause that would take full advantage of everything I had to offer with no intentions of gratitude or acknowledgment?”

    “The solo I have created is a prologue in three parts – Red.White.Blue., a dance in honor of the deep heartache in betrayal and the suffering that accompanies the awakening. Marc Wolf says of his interviewees “They are all people that affected me very powerfully and really challenged my own prejudices, and their patriotism was refreshing. The gay people that I interviewed really believe in the American ideal of what our country could be. But that reality can’t happen for them, and they feel frustrated by that distance between the reality and the ideal.” In the process of making this solo I realize that the strength of faith is not in its depth its darkness or devotion but it willingness to rise to the top and be brightly heard and questioned.” http://www.thereinthesunlight.com

    Started in 1986, the mission of Diversionary Theatre is to produce plays with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes that portray characters in their complexity and diversity both historically and contemporarily.

    Dance/Theatre (Inspired by Theatre/Created through Dance) will be performed January 27-29 at Diversionary Theatre, located at 4545 Park Boulevard in San Diego. Performance times are: Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm and Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm. Tickets are $24 for all performances. For information, call the Diversionary box office at 619.220.0097 or log on to www.diversionary.org.

    – END –

    Financial support for Diversionary Theatre is provided in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

  • Malashock Dance presents: Malashock/RAW: Stripped
    January 21-22, 2011 at 8pm.

    Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/malashock
    Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/malashockdance
    Read our blog: malashockdance.org/blog

  • sandiego.com – San Diego Arts
    DANCE/THEATRE 2011 At Diversionary
    Retelling stories without words
    By Kris Eitland • Fri, Jan 28th, 2011

    For Dance/Theatre at Diversionary, choreographers create dances drawn from 25 years of Diversionary productions. For the third edition, five choreographers ably reinterpret stage works through movement about loving and volatile relationships, lust and hell, patriotism and betrayal.

    On view through Saturday, January 29, the program is a fast and engaging journey that condenses deep emotion, imagery and themes into an hour show.

    It’s a potent formula, conceived by Peter G. Kalivas and The PGK Project, in conjunction with Diversionary’s Artistic Director, Dan Kirsch. In the wrong hands, the production could be a mess, or feel like artistic meddling, but Kalivas and the other four choreographers take the essence of the plays and offer work that is imaginative and genuine.

    Kalivas’ Beginning to End is inspired by an opera piece in Sextet, by composer Nicholas Reveles. Two women and two men contrast the giddiness of a new relationship with the tiring and sad nature of one that is ending. The two dances are performed in parallel yet woven together. The fascination is seeing the relationships grow and die at the same time.

    Lavina Rich interprets the play The Twilight of the Golds, by Jonathan Tolins, with expressive gestures in the realm of a contemporary ballet. A young woman runs backwards, her brother taps her shoulders, and they break into horseplay. Sequences with windmill arms and bobble head wiggles further their carefree lives. But the woman soon reveals a secret. Her fingers tremble over her belly, and she flails wildly when her brother rejects her. Still, their gaze is solid, suggesting they will stick together through the tough times ahead.

    Red.White.Blue, choreographed and danced by jhon r. stronks, explores the feelings of betrayal and fortitude spurred by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” themes within Marc Wolf’s play, Another American: Asking and Telling. With his back to the audience, he shakes and convulses. Even his fingers flop. Eerie tones combine with his exhaustive breath. He rises from his back into a human bridge. That process begins to drag, but ultimately, he stands tall and swirls smoothly into a proud salute, and you can’t miss that “eyes-on-you” gesture often seen in war movies.

    Michael Mizerany, artistic director of Malashock Dance, is known for his athletic and sensuous style, and his duet Let Me Into Your Skin, is an exciting yet tender exploration of romance between two men.

    Program notes say the dance is inspired by two plays, Beautiful Thing, by Jonathan Harvey and Far From Eden, a work about the sexually violent relationship of Leopold and Loeb. But Mizerany goes in another direction. He understands nuance and crafts his dance with a universal appeal. While sections of his dance are vaguely homoerotic, everyone can relate to that awkward first glance. That first touch of skin on skin, and of course the electric zing of desire. Dancers Nicholas Strasburg and John Fulgham are superb in lifts, and they can act. One is more experienced, and the other is reluctant – you know the story – but their expressions and timing build tension, and their interactions never feel hokey. Regardless of your sexual orientation, under Mizerany’s direction, their experience feels humanly real and loving.

    As a launching point, Anjanette Maraya-Ramey selected Jean Paul Sartre’s play, No Exit, about the arrival to hell for three characters. In her dance, Freedom and Confinement, a man and two women step through a doorway and become trapped in a vicious love triangle, but there’s no real love here. Costuming is black and edgy, and dancers Viviana Alcazar, Katie Griffin, and Julio Velazquez are a naughty and very twisted trio. They slither over a settee and glare at each other with disdain. They seem to enjoy the torture and attention. It’s all very sexy and wrong, a train wreck that you can’t get enough of. Fire-red lighting illuminates sets by ion theatre and Bret Young in this lustful and polished dance theater work.

Comments are closed.