March 5, 2014 11
“The vocabulary of ballet never changes, it is only the usage that becomes outmoded.” - William Forsythe
Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, a contemporary ballet company in San Francisco, believes that ballet is an expressive and vital voice relevant to our times. Imagery’s artists share the belief that through collaboration & experimentation, vibrant and courageous ideas are expressed and habitual reactions are discouraged. Imagery’s mission is to expand the definition of ballet by exploding preconceptions of what ballet is and can be.
March 5, 2014 7
Amy Seiwert received her first choreographic commission in 1999 from Ricky Weiss at the Carolina Ballet. That summer, she and a group of hand picked dancers traveled to Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, to compete in the Festival des Arts Choreography Competition. Seiwert won, securing a residency for herself and her dancers the following summer.
That same year, 1999, she moved to San Francisco, where she continued to hand pick dancers and present choreography on a project based basis. With the premiere of “lessness” in 2004, the group picked a name, and im’ij-re was formed. The company incorporated in 2011 as Amy Seiwert’s Imagery and received its 501(c)3 determination letter from the IRS in early 2013.
Seiwert’s artistic direction reflects commitment to create and present work of excellence and influence. Though she is a sought after choreographer, with commissions from companies across the country, it is with Imagery that she can continually take risks and hone her artistic voice. Part of the company’s mission is to collaborate with artists of other disciplines, those collaborators include such fantastic talents as software artist Frieder Weiss, spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and composers Kevin Keller and Darren Johnston.
Imagery serves contemporary artists whose careers are enhanced through this artistic process, as well as local and national dance audiences who have come to expect surprising, meticulous and remarkable work. The company’s growth has been sustainable, receiving consistent critical and audience acclaim.
Home grown projects include the SKETCH Series and Move to the Now. The SKETCH Series was created to foster risk and innovation in ballet based choreography. The company brings in guest choreographers, introducing the Bay Area to choreographers such as Gina Patterson, Matthew Neenan and Adam Hougland and showcasing such local talents as Val Caniparoli and Julia Adam. Move to the Now, co-produced with Post:Ballet, is a free National Dance Week event that celebrates the diversity of the Bay Area dance community. Set in a non-traditional venue, such local celebrated companies as ODC, Chitresh Das, Smuin, Raw Dance, LEVY Dance and Dance Through Time have contributed to this yearly event.
Other performances include WestWave Dance, Get in Front Benefit, Dances From the Heart Benefit, Dancers Over 40 / Equity Fights AIDS Benefit in New York, Contemporary Dance Theater Guest Artist Series in Cincinnati, OH, Concept Series, SF International Arts Festival, Left Coast Leaning; curator, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, LEVYdance Salon, Dancing Under the Stars in the Palm Desert and Sunken Cathedrals; curator, Rob Bailis.