Her way - Page 3

Krissy Keefer of Dance Brigade celebrates 35 years of rabble-rousing and dance-making


What makes Dance Brigade's work special and important is how they take on the big issues facing the world and then find a way to make us laugh. Krissy Keefer is the Jon Stewart of the dance world! Krissy's perspective, passion and tenacity are testament to the company's longevity; that a Dance Brigade show dealing with war, greed, or even addressing violence towards women, can be entertaining is powerful. Krissy, in her wonderfully brash and focused manner, has the ability to remind us that we are citizen-dancers, that we need to participate, and that big messages, abstract dance and the hope for social change can happily co-exist on stage. Wayne Hazzard, Executive Director, Dancers' Group

Dance Brigade's legacy in the Bay Area is huge. By not allowing their company to become mainstream, they paved the way for alternate companies to see that there is a place at the table for work that is not shiny, slick and influenced by institutional homogenization. Dance Brigade has demonstrated by example that contemporary dance can be messy, political, and uncomfortable. By blurring the lines between politics and art, a whole new generation of politicized artists have been given permission to emerge and that has infused Bay Area dance with a lot of new ideas and energy. Joe Landini, Director, The Garage

Krissy and the Dance Brigade have been at the forefront of bringing political concerns into the theater. They have paved the way, both artistically and practically, for dozens of politically engaged artists who may or may not identify with their work. To me, Dance Mission is a physical embodiment of the importance of the Dance Brigade's values of democracy. It's not easy to separate the artistic and the community legacy of Dance Brigade's work; it's the combination that makes them so powerful. Jessica Robinson Love, Executive and Artistic Director, CounterPULSE

When Dance Brigade emerged in San Francisco in the mid-'80s as an outgrowth of the nearly-mythical Wallflower Order, they brought together a number of tendencies that were already percolating in the dance community: using dancers of widely varying body types, introducing world music (sometimes performed by the dancers), spoken word, and text narrative, circus and vaudeville tricks and, always, no-holds-barred political content. Dance Brigade inspired other companies to be braver through their example of what might be called gonzo feminist dance. Krissy and her dancers and collaborators took these disparate influences and turned them into powerhouse performances where the whole was more than the sum of its parts. Kary Schulman, Director, Grants for the Arts. (Compiled by Rita Felciano)

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