Credit: Dongyi Wu
QTBIPOC Performing Artist Hive
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the BIQTPOC Performing Artist Hive was initiated by Estrellx Supernova with support from Daria Garina in the Winter of 2018. We strive to rotate leadership, and a partial list of our members includes jose e. Abad, Europa Grace, Javier Stell-Frésquez, Stephanie Hewett, Zoe Huey, Beatriz Escobar, India Davis, Clarissa Dyas, Nicole Maimon, Dongyi Wu, Chibueze Crouch, Audrey Johnson, and Anna Xu.
QTBIPOC Performing Artist Hive envisions and ignites a multi-modal/multi-dimensional thriving ecosystem of QTBIPOC performing artists in the San Francisco Bay Area through nurturing relationships, sharing resources, and building power among Black, Indigenous, queer and trans artists of color. We intend to create spaces that invite and center - dialogue, generative dissonance, embodied practices, slowing down, rest, reconnection with the earth and its local Indigenous stewards, bending time, dreaming, honing intuition and imagination, seeing the stars. Together we find wholeness, weave interdependence, learn how to heal. We create access / cultural equity and our own representation as we develop the infrastructure to carry our werq forward long-term. We practice mutuality and accountability. This statement too will change as leadership circulates and evolves. We acknowledge that the intelligence and strength of our collective are greater than any one of its parts, and those attributes come from alchemizing our respective gifts through and beyond the intersections of our differences / ancestral lineages. We gather and from there see what wants to happen.
Aesthetic Shift: A Dance Lab
for Equitable Practices
Yayoi Kambara led Aesthetic Shift - A Dance Lab for Equitable Practices, a year-long engagement with a small group of artists including dance educators, social justice advocates, dancers, and choreographers. The group focused on developing physical practices that align with the artists’ cultural equity values, and embodied research with a focus on creating space for their bodies and others while supporting equity, inclusion, and artistic values. Questions this group explored were: How do we unlearn externally-imposed aesthetics (learned dance lineages) ingrained in our body in order to access authentic physical vocabulary and creative practice that aligns with equity values? How can we transmit our authentic vocabulary and values to collaborators? How do we align physical language and cultural values?
In addition to studio-based work, Kambara’s residency included writing and public engagement components, and two co-produced events with B.L.A that featured guest artists Paloma Mcgregor and Liz Lerman.
Yayoi Kambara has been a Bay Area dance artist since 2000. Kambara was a company member with ODC/Dance 2003–2015 and danced as a freelance artist with numerous Bay Area Dance Companies including Sara Shelton Mann Contraband, Scott Wells and Dancers, Flyaway Productions, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, STEAMROLLER, and Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians. She was the Rehearsal Director for AXIS Dance Company during Judith Smith's sabbatical in 2015 and continues to teach company class for AXIS. Kambara currently choreographs and movement direction for Contemporary Opera integrating visual design, including film, with voice and physical storytelling. Kambara finished her fellowship in the 4th Cohort of APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) Leadership Fellows Program in 2020 and lead a year-long Community Engagement Residency for Hope Mohr Dance's Bridge Project "Aesthetic Shift," an exchange between dance educators, social justice activists, and choreographers dedicated to interrogate and analyze the overlap between equity values, creative practices, and organizations. KAMBARA+ was founded in 2015 as a vehicle to produce her choreography, focusing on creating dance performance experiences that cultivate a sense of belonging. She focuses her choreography on diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic differences by creating space for empathy and dialogue. Her project IKKAI means once: a transplanted pilgrimage is commissioned by the San Jose Japanese American Citizens League and will premiere in 2023 in San Jose and San Francisco. IKKAI shares the experiences of those illegally incarcerated during World War II and dares to dream of a collective future where this kind of injustice will never happen again. Kambara is the lead artist for this project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Hewlett 50 Award. She is also a cohort member of Dancing Around Race (DAR) to look at the role race plays in dance production and presentation. DAR asks how our work as artists functions in society and how the communities we engage with are considered, internalized, and reflected through our work. kambaraplus.org
Photo by Deeksha Prakash
LatinXtensions is a culturally centered mentorship and networking program led by choreographer & director David Herrera of David Herrera Performance Company. The 12-month program advises emerging Latinx dance artists in developing their artistic practice. Capacity building focuses on non-profit management skills, producing, grant writing practice, equity best practices, engaging communities, building artistic networks, articulating values, and long-term career goals. To date the organization has awarded 18 mentorships. For more information visit dhperformance.org.
David Herrera is a choreographer, producer, and community leader in San Francisco, California. He grew up in Hollywood, CA influenced by his culturally diverse neighborhood and his Mexican and American heritages. His work provides Latinx/BIPOC artists performance opportunities while challenging non-equitable practices in the modern dance field. David holds B.A.s in American Studies and Theater Arts, and a graduate certificate in Theater from U.C. Santa Cruz. In 2007, he launched David Herrera Performance Company as a response to the lack of Latinx visibility and representation in the U.S. modern dance field. David is a recipient of the National Latino Arts & Culture Leadership Fellowship and Bridge Live Arts’s Community Engagement Residency (2019/20). He has served as advisor to the Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, is an Isadora Duncan Awards committee member, and is a founding member of Dancing Around Race, a community program dedicated to the discussion and implementation of cultural equity in the dance sector led by Gerald Casel. David’s artistic and community work has been supported by the California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Phyllis C. Watts Foundation, CA$H Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation, Salesforce Champion Grant, and the Puffin Foundation. DHPCo. has also held multiple residencies in the Bay Area.
Photo by Randy Basso