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Marc Brew is still getting the lay of the land since relocating from Glasgow to Oakland in May, but he’s already putting his stamp on AXIS Dance Company, where he’s the newly appointed artistic director. After some 15 years in the U.K., and nine years leading the Marc Brew Company, the Australian-born choreographer decided to cross the Atlantic and take the helm of the nation’s most acclaimed physically integrated dance company from co-founder Judith Smith. Marking a major milestone Oct. 26-29, AXIS opens a bold new chapter under Brew’s direction with the 30th home season at Oakland’s Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts.
Brew is no stranger to AXIS, which pioneered the creation of repertoire for dancers with and without physical disabilities, (He has used a wheelchair since being injured in car crash at age 20.) With a commission from the company, he created “Full of Words” in 2011, an erotically charged series of duets with everyday objects as foils and obstacles, He returned in 2014 to set “Divide” on the company, a trio still in the active repertory, Those experiences left him deeply impressed by “the passion of a company that creates this high-quality work,” he yoga mat shoes says..
But after years of touring on the European circuit and feeling untethered, what drew him most strongly to AXIS was “the way the company is really connected to the community,” says Brew, 40. “It’s a very powerful thing to be a part of, to grow into and learn about. I felt like I could offer something to the company and the company could offer a lot to me. It felt like the right time to take the next step. I love a good challenge.”. Presented as part of the “Onward and Upward” home season at Malonga Casquelourd, Brew’s first dance as artistic director is titled “Radical Impact,” a piece produced in collaboration with JooWan Kim and his Oakland-based hip-hop orchestra, Ensemble Mik Nawooj. Rather than using the full ensemble (“thinking about how it would tour,” Brew says), they decided to create a score for string quartet. Kim came to watch a rehearsal and immediately started writing from the experience of meeting the dancers.
“I said to him I wanted to start with a bang, for the dancers to show who we are,” Brew says, “He’s definitely done that, It’s been an interesting challenge, because he composed the music before I started making the work, and (it’s) very layered and complex, using hip-hop time signatures, I listened over and over again, and decided I had to stop listening and sort of bend the dance around the music.”, In many ways “Radical Impact” builds on his last piece for the Marc Brew Company, “Brewband,” which integrated musicians and dancers moving yoga mat shoes together and doing a song cycle as part of the performance, More than the frisson of combining live music and dance, Brew is looking to explore different ways of presenting dance, “I’m playing with how I can use the string quartet, as well, so they’re not just planted on stage,” he says..
“Onward and Upward” also features a restaging of Amy Seiwert’s acclaimed “The Reflective Surface,” featuring an original composition by trumpeter Darren Johnston. The program opens with a 10-minute excerpt from Stephen Petronio’s “Secret Ponies,” which he choreographed for AXIS in 2001, featuring the original dancers — Nadia Adams, Alisa Rasera, Nicole Richter, Bonnie Lewkowicz and Judith Smith. Commissioning works by established masters such as Petronio, Sonya Delwaide, Joe Goode, Joanna Haigood, Margaret Jenkins and Bill T. Jones has played a major role in elevating AXIS to national attention. Now that the company has a prolific in-house choreographer, will its identity as a repertory company start to change?.
“I think there are benefits to both,” Brew says, “Having a choreographer as artistic director means you can really focus on the artistic ambitions of the company, But I don’t feel like I need to be creating every single work, I love working with other choreographers and supporting emerging artists, I’m super excited to commission other choreographers.”, The company heads east next month for its first New York season as part of Gibney Dance’s POP series at the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, And AXIS will present “Onward and Upward” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Feb, 9–11 for its 30th yoga mat shoes Anniversary San Francisco season, With his extensive network of connections with European presenters, Brew is ideally placed to raise the company’s profile further..
Molly Ringwald has joined a growing number of famous women speaking up about how they were sexually harassed, abused or otherwise mistreated, allegedly by either disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein or by other older, powerful men in Hollywood. One disturbing theme that has emerged among some of these women’s stories is that the mistreatment occurred when they were minors — teen actresses at the start of their careers. At Elle’s Women in Hollywood event in Beverly Hills Monday night, Jennifer Lawrence said that when she first began acting as a teen she was made to take part in a “naked line-up,” where she and a group of other, “much, much thinner” women “stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering [their] privates,” Vanity Fair reported.
When she went to a producer for the unnamed film, to inquire about the odd casting process, “he responded by telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so yoga mat shoes fat; he thought I was perfectly (expletive).’” She went on to say she felt “trapped” because she didn’t have any power in the situation as an unknown actress, At the same event, Reese Witherspoon said she was sexually assaulted at age 16 by a man who was directing her film at the time, which she didn’t name, Vanity Fair said..