What a year this has been! As you might imagine, taking on artistic directorship in this particular year has been at times daunting, at other times exhilarating and completely heartening. With the guidance of Amelia, the support of our Board, and the creative force of our staff and dancers, my commitment to our mission has never been stronger. The BANDALOOP community (you!) has been a lifeline (a dance rope) in 2020.
In light of the multiple pandemics — health, equity, environment — our community is facing, at BANDALOOP we are endeavoring to humbly use our art to reimagine safe gathering in outdoor spaces, amplify the voices of BIPOC artists, and affirm the body as site of ancestral power and ecological connection. Nowhere is this ancestral power expressed so beautifully as in the movements of resistance and justice that have risen in 2020.
#ResistanceIsBeautiful is one of our current works in process, iterating as a short film this year and expanding to a live experience in 2021, Covid permitting. Led in collaboration with culture keeper, artist and activist Tassiana Willis and centering the voices of BIPOC artists, #ResistanceIsBeautiful lives in the lineage of racial and environmental justice movements past, present and future. The film features the music of climbing activist and composer Rico Sisney; as well as movement by Isha Clarke, a brilliant young artist leader working at the intersection of climate and social justice, and Charles Peoples III, an awe-inspiring singer, dancer and empowerment coach.
BANDALOOP has been busy in this non-touring time investigating how our company exists within and reproduces a landscape of white supremacy — and how we can use the disruption of 2020 as a change catalyst. This work, though ongoing at BANDALOOP, is now more urgent, with both internal and external calls to action. Led by new leaders in the organization, we are part of the positive change we are seeing in the dance field locally, nationally, and worldwide.
Your love and support of our work over the years has empowered us to create, encouraged us to anchor our dreaming into reality and enabled us to become part of communities all over the globe as cultural diplomats. Your support now is crucial to lift up our efforts to dismantle white supremacy and amplify our community, through Bay Area -centric works like #ResistanceIsBeautiful. Our objective is to ignite imagination, inspire culture shift, and lift up the voices that need to be heard while bringing people together.