Spinning Yarns Dance Collective in partnership with Robin Anderson and Chicago-based RE | Dance will produce Standing in the Current at Dance Mission Theater on June 4-6, 2010.  With a shared interest in peoples' stories, the production highlights many different characters journeys' through the terrain of human fragility and strength.  The show's three works explore the contrast of leading and being guided, controlling and surrendering, and transitioning in both calm and out of control states.   Together both groups' choreographic investigations display the vulnerability of individuals' stories.

Standing in the Current:  Robin Anderson and RE | Dance

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Second Youngest Sister is a work that delves into the construction of the artistic mind.  Both delicate and frenetic, the trio, explores the intertwined relationship of three characters caught within one young female writer’s reality and creative imagination.  It uses the relationship between author and characters as a symbol for psychological unravelling and the desire to connect. Through images of sight, blindness, and travel, the work communicates the sensitive terrain of human frailty.  With a focus on the development of recognizable characters, situations, and events, Robin Anderson and RE | Dance ground their work in dance, theatre and sculpture, creating rich visual images that bring to life environments for dancers to inhabit and viewers to engage through all of their senses.

Preview a clip of the trio on You Tube.

Standing in the Current:  Spinning Yarns Dance Collective

Holding On and Letting GoFor Amy draws on Donham’s experiences as an interfaith chaplain and the sudden death of her sister in a rock climbing accident.  Holding On and Letting Go began with imagery from a story of a woman spreading her brother‘s ashes into the ocean at Sutro Baths.  Evolving through a series of metaphors, the dance invokes images of support as the dancers embody both literal and figurative understandings of holding on and letting go:  kelp forests enveloped and sustained by water; a fish transforming into a bird in order to fly, a person climbing a cliff with birds soaring above it, and a final dance for four couples where one partner is already gone.  The dance allowed the choreographer to express feelings regarding the loss of her sister for which she had no words.

Holding On and Letting Go II explores transitions, sacred space, and impermanence.  The dance will draw on choreographer Susan Donham’s experiences as an interfaith chaplain at UCSF Medical Center, as well as on the experiences of the company’s dancers.   Holding On and Letting Go II will explore how people undergo transitions, both within a dance and within life.  A hospital brings many forms of transitions in stark relief, from healing and loss on many scales to the extremes of birth and death.  Chaplains enter into sacred space each time they enter a patient’s room, or encounter a mother in the hallway, weeping as she updates the rest of the family on her cell phone.  Dancers create sacred space in class, in dressing rooms, and on stage; they write their art in space, shaping, carving, creating it through their movement.  The dance will explore these ideas through physical metaphors of holding on and letting go: of entering and exiting, cradling and being cradled, and confining and releasing.

About the Company:  Robin Anderson and RE | Dance

The original version of The Mysterious Disappearance of the Second Youngest Sister premiered at The Ohio State University in December of 2006.  Recently, it was featured in RE | Dance’s presentation of Portraits Triptych at Links Hall in Chicago on Jan 15-17, 2010.   Artists Robin Anderson, Michael Estanich and Lucy Riner will expand  upon its original version for its June presentation in San Francisco.  Building upon their past proven success as collaborators, Anderson, Estanich and Riner are dedicated to long distance collaborations as a way to expand upon the exposure of local dance communities.  Utilizing local resources, their collaborations, much like a cultural exchange, allow artists to broaden their perspective and exposure to dance that may otherwise be limited to their local communities.  RE | Dance, led by Estanich and Riner,  is committed to producing an annual season in Chicago under these philosophies, generating collaborations with artists from New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Georgia and beyond, and thus, offering a significant impact on each of these cities’ local dance communities. 

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About the Company:  Spinning Yarns Dance Collective

Spinning Yarns Dance Collective’s mission is to explore fundamental human themes through movement, metaphor, and story.  SYDC was founded by Susan Donham and Apryl Renee in 1998.  Standing in the Current is our 12th annual home season.  Spinning Yarns has both self-produced performances and co-produced shows with Right Brain Performancelab, Jenice Acosta Movers, and kelly kemp & dancers.  The company has performed in showcases throughout the Bay Area, as well as the WestWave Dance Festival, Collaboration:  Music and Dance, and the Goose Route Dance Festival in West Virginia. 

Artists’ Biographies:  Robin Anderson and RE | Dance

Robin Anderson received her MFA in dance performance with a focus on audience development from The Ohio State University in 2006.  That same year she received the Kathryn Karipides Scholarship from the Cleveland Arts Prize, which gave her the opportunity to attend Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria to study with Benoit Lachambre and Ultima Vez company member Laura Aires.  For over twelve years, Robin has performed, choreographed, taught and served in various arts administrative positions in Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio and San Francisco.  While in Columbus, she performed in numerous works of Bebe Miller’s and performed in an array of dance theatre works by Larry Keigwin, Michael Estanich, Melanie Bales and Kristin Hapke.  In Portland, she performed in a variety of site specific works led by Linda K. Johnson, Tracy Broyles, and Greg Bielemeier.  In addition to dancing for Spinning Yarns, Robin currently applies her passion of audience development to her work as Director of Alonzo King LINES Dance Center.

Michael Estanich earned his MFA from The Ohio State University in 2006 and his BFA from Denison University in 1995.  He has performed throughout the Midwest, Texas, and at Dance Theatre Workshop in NYC and was a company member of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak in Chicago from1997-2003.  His own choreography has been presented at Links Hall, and a variety of performance venues, art galleries, and dance festivals throughout Chicago and Ohio. He has been a guest artist at several colleges and universities. While at OSU, he performed in works by Melanie Bales, Blake Beckham, and New York artists Bebe Miller and Larry Keigwan and the reconstruction of Mark Morris’ acclaimed All Fours.  In addition to serving on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point for the past four years, he has consistently produced work in Chicago and Wisconsin.

Lucy Vurusic-Riner is a native Chicagoan who has been supporting and contributing to the dance community for over fifteen years. She received her BS Degree in dance and dance education from Illinois State University.  Lucy has been a member of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak Dance Company, RTG Dance Company and Matthew Hollis’ “The Power of Cheer.”  She has also had the opportunity to be part of the community cast of White Oak Dance Project and David Dorfman Dance. Currently, she is the Director of Dance at Oak Park and River Forest High School. In 2005, Lucy completed her Masters Degree in Education from National Louis University, received the Midwest Dance Teacher of the Year award, and was the youngest of four finalists for the National Dance Teacher of the Year award.

Artists’ Biographies:  Spinning Yarns Dance Collective

Susan Donham’s choreography combines release and traditional modern techniques, interweaving a love of dance and storytelling.  She received her M.A. in dance from American University in 1994 and has been creating work in the Bay Area since 1995.  In addition to her choreographic work, Donham has performed for Eclipse Dance Theater, Khadra International Dance Theater, Right Brain Performancelab, Jenice Acosta Movers, and in the work of Apryl Seech, Marisa Pugliano, Jen Minore, and Joe Landini.  She is currently a student at Starr King School for the Ministry, the Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, and working at UCSF Medical Center as a chaplain intern.

SYDC Dancers and Collaborators