SAFEhouse Arts Founder and Executive Director Joe Landini, celebrates his 25 years of dance making in San Francisco. The event will take place December 7 – 16 at SAFEhouse Arts’ new home at 145 Eddy Street in the Tenderloin.
The program, titled 5 ON 25: A CELEBRATION FOR JOE LANDINI’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY, features new works by Alma Esperanza Cunningham, Nina Haft, Ronja Ver as well as Landini. It will also include an encore presentation of SoMa Now and Then, a collaboration between Amy Lewis and Landini which premiered last fall as a walking tour of San Francisco’s historic leather district. For 5 on 25, the work will be reconfigured for SAFEhouse Arts’ black box stage.
Landini’s 25th anniversary celebration will feature two programs with Landini serving either as a performer or choreographer in every piece. Over the first weekend, Thursday to Saturday, December 7
– 9 at 8 p.m., SAFEhouse Arts will present Dreams, a performance installation by Cunningham for four dancers: Keryn Breiterman-Loader, Caitlin Daly, Ver and Landini. Conceived as a multimedia “fantasia of images” reflecting on Landini’s “determination and resiliency as a choreographer and arts presenter the past 25 years,” the installation casts Landini as a “Sisyphean” figure on the Bay Area’s dance landscape.
Sharing the first weekend with Cunningham will be a new work by Landini titled 25 (journeys around the sun). With an ensemble of seven dancers, 25 (journeys around the sun) is a mid-career reflection on the artist’s past trials and achievements and an uncertain future. Performers in 25 (journeys) include Lydia Clinton, Jaq Daziel, Jhia Jackson, Courtney King, Hanna Rose Stangebye, Amy Wasielewski and Chloe Zimberg.
The second weekend, Thursday to Saturday, December 14 - 16, will showcase works by Haft, Lewis and Ver.
Haft premieres Lone Wolf, a solo created for and in collaboration with Landini, about “isolation, strength, and pack mentality.” “Building on decades of Landini's driving vision to nourish performance in the Bay Area,” Lone Wolf aims “to showcase Landini's tenacity and athleticism as a mover and shaker –in every sense of the word,” said Haft, who is developing the work as a companion piece to her earlier solo, titled Big Red, “a comic deep dive into female provocation and other red riding hoods.”
DIS/grace is a new duet created by Finnish-born Ver for herself and Landini. “Where is grace when the appearance of winning becomes more important than any truth?” asks Ver. “Maybe grace can only be found by living through disgrace.” A stinging commentary on the egotism and reality distortion endemic in the age of Trump, DIS/grace uses “somatic techniques and theatrical vignettes” to plumb a line through the American psyche.
5 on 25 comes to a close with a final solo performed by Landini, SoMa Now and Then, conceived and directed by Lewis. Tracing Landini’s personal history in the back alleys, bars and leather clubs of SanFrancisco’s South of Market neighborhood, SoMa Now and Then explores enduring themes in Landini’s
life and work – art and urbanism, loss and resilience demonstrating again that for this artist the personal is political.