CLASS FOR A CAUSE – Smuin’s Vote-Based Choreography

Ben, hiphop

SMUIN ANNOUNCES CLASS FOR A CAUSE: DEMOCRACY IN MOTION FEATURING AUDIENCE INTERACTIVE, VOTE-BASED CHOREOGRAPHY

5:30pm, Friday, October 23, 2020

Smuin Contemporary Ballet announces a special iteration of its popular Class for a Cause series to celebrate the centennial of the 19th amendment and honor the suffragettes who paved the way for women voters. Designed for both dancers and non-dancers to enjoy, Class for a Cause: Democracy in Motion is a choreography seminar that will be led by Imagery Artistic Director and former Smuin Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert, with the assistance of talented Smuin alums Valerie Harmon, Nicole Haskins, and Ben Needham-Wood. Utilizing the Zoom polling feature, participants will have the unique opportunity to “cast their ballot” in creating original dance works by voting on choreographic choices. Attendees will then get to immediately experience how their vote impacts the creative process. All proceeds from this class will benefit the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political nonprofit that encourages informed and active participation in government. Class for a Cause: Democracy in Motion will take place 5:30pm, Friday, October 23. Tickets are offered on a sliding scale from $6 – $20, and participants must register 30 minutes in advance to receive the Zoom link. For more information or to register, the public may visit  Smuin classes www.smuinclasses.org.

Ben Needham Wood, Photo_Keith Sutter

Smuin launched its Class for a Cause series following a successful fundraising class June 2, in which all class tuition revenue was donated to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Smuin Ballet Master Amy London said, “We want to use our art to continue to positively impact issues that are important to our community.” Proceeds from further Class for a Cause events have benefited the African American Art and Culture Complex, Center for Black Equity, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund.

Class for a Cause: Democracy in Motion will be led by Imagery Artistic Director and former Smuin Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert, along with former Smuin artists Valerie Harmon, Nicole Haskins, and Ben Needham-Wood. Seiwert will begin by presenting a simple movement phrase and leading a workshop demonstrating the various tools choreographers can use to transform movement into endless choreographic possibilities and beautiful creations. Harmon, Haskins, and Needham-Wood will then apply the choices, as voted on by audience members in the moment, to create three distinct works derived from the same original movement. Participants may dance along or simply watch and experience how their votes impact the works and affect the choreographic outcome in real-time. Seiwert was mentored by Michael Smuin for eight of her nine years as a dancer at the Company, becoming Smuin’s Choreographer in Residence upon her retirement from dancing in 2008. As a choreographer, she has pushed the boundaries of dance, collaborating with artists of other disciplines and experimenting with all of its various forms and expressions from a classical base—making her an invaluable voice in the national dance community.

Smuin Ballet Petal

ABOUT SMUIN

For more than 25 years Smuin has pushed the boundaries of contemporary ballet by presenting works that engage and delight audiences with their uncommon physicality and expression. Founded in San Francisco in 1994 by Tony and Emmy award-winning choreographer Michael Smuin, the company is committed to creating work that merges the diverse vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance. Since 2007, Artistic Director Celia Fushille has built on Michael Smuin’s legacy by creating her own vision and expanding the company’s repertoire. Fushille has invited numerous choreographers to create works that highlight the Smuin artists’ extraordinary versatility, presenting pieces that are unique, joyful, athletic, and inventive. Smuin moved into its first permanent home in San Francisco in the fall of 2019. The company began offering dance classes at the Smuin Center for Dance in January 2020, which are continuing remotely with the launch of its virtual class offerings. Its in-person classes will resume in-studio once it is safe to do so.

Valerie ballet

WHAT:          Smuin Contemporary Ballet announces a special iteration of its popular Class for a Cause series to celebrate the centennial of the 19th amendment and honor the suffragettes who paved the way for women voters. Designed for both dancers and non-dancers to enjoy, Class for a Cause: Democracy in Motion is a choreography seminar that will be led by Imagery Artistic Director and former Smuin Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert, with the assistance of talented Smuin alums Valerie Harmon, Nicole Haskins, and Ben Needham-Wood. Utilizing the Zoom polling feature, participants will have the unique opportunity to “cast their ballot” in creating original dance works by voting on choreographic choices. Attendees will then get to immediately experience how their vote impacts the creative process. All proceeds from this class will benefit the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political nonprofit that encourages informed and active participation in government.

COST:            Tickets are offered on a sliding scale from $6 – $20.

WHERE:       ONLINE – This class is Zoom-based. Participants must register 30 minutes in advance to receive the Zoom link. For more information or to register, the public may visit Smuin classes

DATES:          5:30pm, Friday, October 23

Photos: Courtesy of Smuin Ballet

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