Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, the Early Years 1916-1965

The Art, Music & Recreation Center is pleased to present Bay Area author, dance critic and historian, Joanna Gewertz Harris. On Wednesday, December 16, 2009 from 2 to 4 PM she will speak about her book Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, the Early Years 1916-1965 in the Koret Auditorium located in the Lower Level of the Main Library.

As she writes in her introduction, Beyond Isadora "is a history of performers, choreographers and teachers, pioneers of today's dance community. It is also women's history, since the prime movers were almost all women... This history, offered here as short biographical and chronological sketches, seeks to detail the regional development of ballet and of modern, ethnic and folk dance, from the era of Isadora Duncan, San Francisco's dance legend, who is regarded as the pioneer revolutionary and the mother of modern dance, to the mid 1960s."

Her presentation will discuss the rich range of innovative dance that flourished in the Bay Area. Her richly illustrated book unearths valuable archival programs, images, and reviews. In addition to professional dance and ballet companies she also examines street and folk performance in the Bay Area dance community.

Joanna Gewertz Harris studied dance with Duncan Dance Guild and the New Dance Group in New York City, then came to the Bay Area to study at Mills College. For many years she taught, choreographed and performed at UC Berkeley's Department of Drama and Music. She also formed her own company, the Monday Night Group, and founded the Dance/Drama Department at UC Santa Cruz and the Creative Arts Therapy program at Lone Mountain College. She is on the faculty of OLLI Institute, Berkeley and an instructor at the Modern Dance Center, Berkeley. She also writes reviews and essays about dance for websites and print publications.

All programs at the Library are free. This event is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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