FRESH FESTIVAL 2012/13 – December 31, 2012 – January 12, 2013

Presented by
Kathleen Hermesdorf’s ALTERNATIVA & Alternative Conservatory


FRESH Festival is 2 weeks of abundant dance and music, art and action, interaction and inspiration to start the new year, offering evening events, jams and weekend performances, intensive physical training and open classes.

Presented by a new consortium formed by la ALTERNATIVA & Alternative ConservatoryKUNST-STOFF Dance Company and THEOFFCENTER.  FRESH Festival launches “INHABIT”, the inaugural season, from January-June 2013, curated by this new consortium dedicated to shared resources, intentional curation and creative connections.

FRESH Intensive in an immersion into somatic awareness, movement potential, improvisation and creative process, formulated for artists taking an active part in the field of dance, facilitated by artists who have been contributing to the San Francisco, national and international scenes for 10-30 years.


Events                  Mondays-Wednesdays   8pm (exepct 12/31)
Performances    Fridays & Saturdays         8:30pm
Open classes     Mondays-Wednesdays    6:30-8pm
Intensives           Mondays-Fridays             10am-6pm & Mondays 6-7pm [/box]

[box]Intensives  – [UPSTAIRS]

12/31/12- 1/4/13 & 1/7-11/13    10am – 6pm  & Mondays 6 – 7pm

Day Breakdown
10 – 12noon – Physical Practice
1:30 – 3:30pm  Improvisation/Contact
4:00 – 6:00pm  Process/Performance


Week 1 > Kathleen Hernesdorf | Albert Matias | Abby Crain | Sara Shelton Mann

Week 2 > Kathleen Hernesdorf | Albert Matias | Scott Wells | Jess Curtis[/box]

[box]Open Classes  –    Pay what you can – [DOWNSTAIRS]

Monday         12/31           6:30-8pm      A Freedom Reset    Jesse Hewit
Monday         1/7                6:30-8pm     Formal Training        Liz Tenuto
Tuesdays       1/1 & 1/8     6:30-8pm    Taiji Lab                Weidong Yang
Wednesday      1/2               6:30-8pm    Idiot Habits        Laura Arrington
Wednesday     1/9                6:30-8pm    Idiot/Freedom Habits L. Arrington + J. Hewit[/box]

[box] Events – Events start at 8pm unless otherwise noted

Tuesday 1/1        IQ|ID – Inhabit/Body led by Sara Shelton Mann.

Sunday 1/6        IQ|ID – Inhabit/Place   Open Panel led by Ernesto Sopprani – 6-9pm Potluck hosted by THEOFFCENTER –  Designed as a follow up to Mary Armanaut’s Dance Discourse on “The Small”, IQ/ID Inhabit/Place  is presented as an investigation into placemaking.

Tuesday  1/8     BREAKING NEWS: A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY RADICAL COLLABORATION  What happens when we trust disorder – when we turst a moment, and just make? – Curated by  Laura Arrington – witness 30+ Performance makers answering this question at January’s Installment of SOMArts Cultural Center‘s THE NEWS.

Wednesdays 1/2 & 1/9   Improv JAM w/ music by Albert Mathias[/box]

[box] Performances    8:30pm    FRI – $10 | SAT – $15

Fridays  1/4 & 1/11   FRESH Intensive Participants

Saturday 1/5          Kathleen Hermesdorf | Sara Shelton Mann | Laura Arrington | Christine Bonasea

Saturday 1/12        Kathleen Hermesdorf | Abby Crain | Scott Wells | Jess Curtis
Saturday 1/12       10:30pm SoundSession curated by  A.Mathias [/box]



[box]Intensives  – [UPSTAIRS]

12/31/12- 1/4/13 & 1/7-11/13    10am – 6pm  & Mondays 6 – 7pm

Day Breakdown
10 – 12noon – Physical Practice
1:30 – 3:30pm  Improvisation/Contact
4:00 – 6:00pm  Process/Performance[/box]

[box]2 weeks – $750 | 1 week – $400 (includes Events except The News)
submit CV – receive confirmation – deposit 50%

Information/Reservation/Registration | 415.647.6165[/box]

[box]Week 1 – Monday, December 31 – Friday, January 4

Kathleen Hermesdorf | Albert Mathias | Abby Crain | Sara Shelton Mann

 10-12    GUT motives  –  Kathleen Hermesdorf & Albert Mathias
A general unified theory of the act of motion from internal impulse to external expression, utilizing a hybrid of forms to encourage deep awareness and understanding of the body.  Motivated from the gut (center & viscera), requiring guts (courage & instinct) and translating to ‘good’ & ‘possession’, the practice is a progression of energy cultivation, hands-on instigation, somatic improvisation, technical experiments and methods of falling, flying & inversion, culminating in dynamic, 3-dimensional phrase work.  An intimate and animated arena, contained and fed by live original music by Mathias, cultivating sensate virtuosity, kinetic efficiency, interactive intelligence and artistic exploration.

1:30-3:30  Releasing, Easing, and Unleashing 
 – Abby Crain
Sourcing from the powerful structures and insights of Skinner Releasing as they have been interpreted through Stephanie Skura’s Open Source Forms, this work furthers the creative exploration of the dynamic interplay between imagery, consciousness, releasing, and the unpredictable dynamism and mutability of the unfettered body in motion.


4-6    The IMAGINATION LAB – Sara Shelton Mann
We will set up tiny improvisational states, create scenes or scenarios from them and develop a series of images through self-inquiry, writing, and perhaps found objects.  This will be both a solo and interactive lab.  The focus will be on releasing and bringing in energies you wish into 2013. It is about you and your time/space/location.[/box]

[box]Week 2 – January 7-11, 2013

Kathleen Hermesdorf | Albert Mathias | Scott Wells | Jess Curtis


10-12    GUT motives  –  Kathleen Hermesdorf & Albert Mathias

See above.


1:30-3:30    From Zero to Flying  –  Scott Wells
We’ll start with deeply satisfying contact where pleasure is the first teacher, learn some techniques and traject ourselves towards a space that supports freedom of flight and expression.  That is: we start at zero to redefine what is contact—to ourselves, others, reality, gravity.  Then we’ll go for the FlyingScore. Pleasure –> Technique; Somatics –> Acrobatics

4-6    Perception, Presence and Performance 
 –  Jess Curtis
This five-day course will be an embodied exploration of cycles and scales of sensing, observing, and consequential action in physical practice.  Working from the cellular to the global, we will examine how we sense each other, take action and make meaning while we move.  We will give particular attention to the tension between the concepts of presence and performance as lenses through which to observe/view/feel/listen to/activate the body.  We will “spend” time shifting our awareness to a more cyclical time state, unencumbered by desires and goals and we will “take” time observing ourselves and each other, thoughtfully examining the consequences of our actions.  We will examine the physical actualities of touch, manipulation, counterbalance, force, resistance, and surrender, both as physical states and as meaningful expressions of interpersonal and intercultural relations.  Bring curiosity, a desire to dance and a willingness to be seen.[/box]


Open Classes

[box]Open Classes  –    Pay what you can – Downstairs

Monday         12/31           6:30-8pm      A Freedom Reset    Jesse Hewit
Monday         1/7                6:30-8pm     Formal Training        Liz Tenuto
Tuesdays       1/1 & 1/8     6:30-8pm    Taiji Lab                Weidong Yang
Wednesday      1/2               6:30-8pm    Idiot Habits        Laura Arrington
Wednesday     1/9                6:30-8pm    Idiot/Freedom Habits L. Arrington + J. Hewit[/box]

We want to find ways to cultivate conversations/practices/relationship around performance that subvert traditional models of education. Monday and Wednesday nights SOMETHING is happening in the basement at Kunst Stoff!.  Monday nights are open improvisational play-space, a space to work/play/experiment/see friends/meet collaborators (all forms all ideas are welcome…. come early/come late, whatevs) All Open Classes are a $5 suggested donation [/box]

Monday 12/31     6:30-8pm    Jesse Hewit | A FREEDOM RESET  UnderGround Habits 
-No seeing/no hearing.  This session will contextualize and guide a deep reset of your impulses, sensitivities, and limits.  We will move through a paratheatrical cycle of ecstatic space filling with our bodies, and then move into an hour-long personal and political shake-down by engaging in blind-folded and ear-plugged solos…into ourselves, into the night of a new year.

Monday 1/7     6:30-8pm    Liz Tenuto | FORMAL TRAINING  UnderGround Habits 
Ballet technique class for all levels.  Develop depth and purity of movement through the mind~body~spirit connection.  Acquire hyper specific imagery that debunks the difficulty of ballet.  Classical virtue meets your personal, unique aura.

Tuesdays 1/1 & 1/8     6:30-8pm    Weidong Yang | TAIJI LAB A.C.
This class is designed to help dancers and non-dancers to explore movement potentials through Taiji practice. Class material includes a set of Taiji exercise for gaining awareness of internal energy flow, and exploring movement possibilities with this flow; a simplified form of Taiji, which you can practice on your own; a set of partnering exercises inspired by Taiji push hand.

Wednesday 1/2        6:30-8pm    Laura Arrington | IDIOT HABITS
idiot is derived from the Greek idiotes, which originally suggested a person who didn’t bother too much with being a citizen. someone who chose not to participate in city/political structure/dealings/games/BS! Best I can tell, those systems are crazy/violent/greedy/repressive/blahblahblah…. idiot habits is about un-training, following interest, practicing pleasure, trusting that the art we do matters( even if it’s just to us) and embracing THE IDIOT that is all of us, performers or not!  (pay what you can, $10 suggested)

Wednesday 1/9        6:30-8pm    Laura Arrington + Jesse Hewit | IDIOT/FREEDOM HABITS



All events start at  8pm and are hosted at Kunst-Stoff (unless noted otherwise) Events are  $5-10 (sliding scale)

[box] Tuesday 1/1        IQ|ID – Inhabit/Body led by Sara Shelton Mann [/box]

[box] Sunday 1/6        IQ|ID – Inhabit/Place   Open Panel led by Ernesto Sopprani – 6-9pm Potluck hosted by THEOFFCENTER – Designed as a follow up to Mary Armanaut’s Dance Discourse on “The Small”, IQ/ID Inhabit/Place  is presented as an investigation into placemaking. You are invited you to join us in discussion and meet with, listen to, and ask questions of the people who live, work and play in our communities, with the intention of discovering common needs and aspirations.  So add your idea, project, desire to a communal map.  We ask you to bring the small, the scaleable, the do-able – anything that can bring benefits to our common threads and to us and the people who might come after us. We welcome anyone who is interested in participating with ideas, skills, or plain old volunteered time.

We invite you to share in the spirit of community by bringing a plate or a bottle to share.  Please RSVP to Ernesto [/box]

[box] Tuesday  1/8     BREAKING NEWS: A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY RADICAL COLLABORATION  What happens when we trust disorder – when we turst a moment, and just make? – Curated by  Laura Arrington – witness 30+ Performance makers answering this question at January’s Installment of SOMArts Cultural Center‘s THE NEWS.


Confirmed participants: Larry Arrington, Samantha Blanchard, Randy Blaustein, Madeline H. D. Brown, Suwon Cho, Crow, Jess Curtis, Hallie Dalsimer, Sebastian De Gré, Rachael Dichter, M. Bone Fundament, Samantha Giron, Minna Harri, Vain Hein, Jesse Hewit, Keith Hennessy, Peter Hernandez, Philip Huang, Xandra Ibarra, Roche Janken, Sam Kehl, Esmeralda Kundanis-Grow, Harris Kornstein, Maryanna Lachman, Joe Landini, Peter Max Lawrence, Emily Leap, Michelle Lynch, Sarah Pritchard, Anthony Privitera, Brontez Purnell, Kyra Rice, Kevin Seaman, Mica Sigourney, Ernesto Sopprani, Liz Tenuto, Beatrice Thomas, Ronja Ver, Christopher Ward White, Anna Martine Whitehead, Kolmel WithLove, Sara Kamara Yassky – and you.  BREAKING NEWS is presented as January installment of THE NEWS, created by Kolmel WithLove and presented by SOMArts Cultural Center, THE NEWS spotlights queer experiments, debut works and works-in-progress by pre-selected solo artists, groups and troupes. SOMArts Cultural Center is located at 934 Brannan Street (at 8th Street). This event cover is only $5 – Please get tickets in advance – Box office opens at 7:30pm. Performers can show up as early as 6pm. – To learn more about this event  visit its facebook page. [/box]

[box] Wednesdays 1/2 & 1/9   Improv JAM w/ music by Albert Mathias [/box]



Performances    8:30pm    FRI – $10 | SAT – $15

[box] Fridays  1/4 & 1/11   FRESH Intensive Participants [/box]

[box]Saturday 1/5          Kathleen Hermesdorf | Sara Shelton Mann | Laura Arrington | Christine Bonasea

Saturday 1/12        Kathleen Hermesdorf | Abby Crain | Scott Wells | Jess Curtis
Saturday 1/12       10:30pm SoundSession curated by  A.Mathias [/box]




la ALTERNATIVA, directed by Kathleen Hermesdorf with Albert Mathias in San Francisco, is an apparatus for and instigator of deeply integrated contemporary dance and music via collaboration, creation, improvisation and performance.  Hermesdorf and Mathias combine a visceral, dynamic and experimental aesthetic aimed at revealing ineffable aspects of the human condition with a project-to-project focus on collaboration and inter-disciplinarity.  The organization produces the creative work of the directors, as well as acting as an umbrella for Alternative Conservatory, facilitated by Hermesdorf, and AM Audio/Media, established by Mathias.  All are in residence at KUNST-STOFF arts and active in a consortium with THEOFFCENTER and KUNST-STOFF dedicated to shared resources, intentional curation and creative connections.

Kathleen Hermesdorf is a San Francisco-based dance artist.  Her work has been called luscious and mercurial, containing feral impulse and raw beauty, and her choreography has been commissioned by companies, universities and individuals.  Hermesdorf is the Director of la ALTERNATIVA and Alternative Conservatory.  She has been a member of Bebe Miller Company (2006 BESSIE Award), Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann, and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (1999 IZZIE Award), and received a GOLDIE Award in 1994 as co-director of Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells.  Her work has been supported by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, CASH/Theatre Bay Area, CHIME/MJDC and the San Francisco Arts Commission.  Hermesdorf has invested over 20 years of investigation and experience into modern and post-modern dance modalities, release-based techniques, improvisational practices and creative processes, as well as various somatic and martial forms.  She holds a BFA and MFA in Dance Performance & Pedagogy and teaches, creates and performs around the world.

Albert Mathias has been making music in San Francisco since 1991.  He is a multi-disciplinary musician who creates accompaniment, composition and sound design for dance, theater, audio and film. He also creates solo performance works.  Mathias is Music Director of la ALTERNATIVA and also works independently with choreographers, improvisers, musicians and visual artists.  In 2000, he was nominated for an IZZIE Award for Original Sound Score for BLUE 2000, and in 2006, received a BESSIE Award for Bebe Miller’s Landing/Place.  He was also featured in Miller’s Necessary Beauty.  Mathias was a member of the multi-disciplinary performance group Contraband from 1995-97, and was the percussionist in LiveHuman, an internationally acclaimed improvisation-based trio with bassist Andrew Kushin and DJ Quest.  He attended California Institute for the Arts, training in traps, tabla, voice and accompaniment with masters Amiya Dasgupta, John Bergamo and Leonice Shinneman, and has had the honor of private study with Pandit Swapan Chauduri, Sri Ravi Bellare, and Tony Williams.  He is currently investing his energy into a new studio/laboratory, creating sound scores for interactive graphic novels and investigating the sonic possibilities of the Zendrum, a custom wireless electronic midi percussion controller.

Laura Arrington’s choreography has been seen locally at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Z Space, The Lab, CounterPULSE, ODC, The Garage, Cell Space, Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, Supperclub, backyards, living-rooms, and in New York at The American Realness Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, and Dixon Place.  She has been an artist in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, CounterPULSE, KUNST-STOFF arts, the Garage, and through ODC’s Sandbox Series.  She created/curates SQUART, a show that gathers artists to create spontaneous performance works.  In two years, SQUART had over 140 participants. Including artists like Big Art Group, Meg Stuart, Keith Hennessy, and Annie Sprinkle.  She’s been a guest artist in the University of San Francisco’s Dance and Social Justice Department, is an artist for Yerba Buena’s Bay Area Now’s 2011 Festival, and has spent the last 2 years creating chaos as a core member of Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence.  She has choreographed for the Cutting Ball Theater, where her work was nominated for a Bay Area Theater Critcs Circle Award.  She has collaborated with Big Art Group, Erika Chong Shuch, Axis Dance/David Dorfman, Jess Curtis, Keith Hennessy, and with many others in contexts that range from drag to video art.  She has a BFA in dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she focused on choreography, art, and gender studies.

Abby Crain makes dances and teaches releasing and creative process.  Her work has been shown in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.  She has taught through Movement Research, la ALTERNATIVA, ODC School, KUNST-STOFF arts, and Dance New Amsterdam.  As a performer, she has worked extensively with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People, Sara Shelton Mann, and David Dorfman.  She is engaged in an ongoing teaching and creative dialogue with Margit Galanter, under the moniker, ART WORKOUTS. (  She lives in Oakland, California.

Jess Curtis has created a body of work ranging from the underground extremes of Mission District Warehouses with Contraband and CORE (1985-1998) to the formal refinement and exuberance of European State Theaters and Circus Tents with Compagnie Cahin-Caha and Jess Curtis/Gravity (1998-present).  Recently awarded the prestigious 2011 Alpert Award in the Arts for choreography, Curtis and Gravity have received a total of six Isadora Duncan Dance awards and a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for fallen.  Curtis teaches Dance, Contact Improvisation, and Interdisciplinary Performance throughout the US and Europe and is currently a Ph.D  candidate in Performance Studies  at the University of California at Davis focusing on embodiment and performativity in movement-based performance.

Jesse Hewit is a SF/Bay Area-based artist and curator, and director/choreographer of Strong Behavior, an ongoing performance project and methodology for social strategy.  He earned a BFA from Tisch:NYU, and an MA from SFSU, studying Human Sexuality/Ethnic Studies. His works have been shown at CounterPULSE (Artist in Residence, 2010), Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory (Artist in Residence, 2009), KUNST-STOFF arts, ODC Theater, The Garage, Dance Mission Theater, YBCA, and Z Space (Technical Residency, 2011).  As a collaborator, he recently worked with Erika Tsimbrovsky/AvyK (The Book), Big Art Group (The People), Erika Chong Shuch (Love Everywhere), Taylor Mac (The Lily’s Revenge), Keith Hennessy/Circo Zero (Turbulence), Sara Kraft/Kraftywork (Hyperreal), Jorge De Hoyos (STICK), Miguel Gutierrez (freedomofinformation), Catherine Galasso (Lighting Never Strikes the Same Place Twice), and Sara Shelton Mann (Out of the Box and Untitled Solo).  As curator, Jesse created and curated the annual festival THIS IS WHAT I WANT in conjunction with the National Queer Arts Festival, was recently guest curator of THEOFFCENTER’s blog salon On Queer Economies, and served two years as curator and facilitator of Dancers’ Group/CounterPULSE’s 2nd Sundays.  He has taught dance and performance workshops at Kunst-Stoff, YBCA, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, The Joe Goode Annex, PICA’s TBA Festival, Seattle’s Velocity Dance Center, and CSU East Bay.  Jesse is a 2010 Goldie Award winner, a 2011 YBCA Bay Area Now artist, and a recipient of the New Stages For Dance award in 2011.  His newest work, Killers, will premiere in fall of 2013, with support from The Zellerbach Foundation, The Rainin Foundation, CounterPULSE, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Ponderosa TanzLand.

Sara Shelton Mann has developed interdisciplinary teaching and performance methods that work with the person as the vehicle of transformation.  Her company Contraband appeared on stages, in warehouses, abandoned buildings and outdoors from 1979-1996.  She collaborated and toured internationally with Guillermo Gomez-Pena 96-99.  She was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in Choreography for the creation of “Monk at the Met” which was presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Oct. I2-5 2003.  Sara is a 2 time participating member of Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange  (CHIME), a project of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and she has received 6 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards.  Her last “Izzie” Award was for Outstanding Choreography for “tribes/dominion” created with David Szlasa, Media Artist through a Gerbode in Collaboration Award presented at YBCA, SFCA, 2010.  “Zeropoint” toured two Russian cities in summer 2012, supported by a grant from Dancers’ Group through the Trust for Mutual Understanding and US Embassy funding.  Sara also created a site specific work for a 51 meter ”fasttrack” trampoline at the Archstoyanie Festival and “Out of the Box” at Doc 11, Berlin, as well as in residencies at Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen, Germany and SPAZIO at ICK in Amsterdam.  Her work has been supported by Djerassi Artist in Residence Programs, Commissions, NEA, NEFA, SFAC, Irvine Foundation, SF Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Gerbode Foundation and others.

Liz Tenuto’s teaching approach focuses on enhancing sensation, anatomical specificity and articulating a range of personal expression. In San Francisco, Liz currently teaches teenagers contemporary technique at ODC and K-8 students at The San Francisco Friends School.  As a freelance performer, she has worked with Laura Arrington, Erika Tsimbrovsky/Avy K Productions, Anne Bluethenthal and Scott Wells, among others. She also choreographs solo dance pieces and works collaboratively to mount new projects.

In 1981, Scott Wells discovered the pleasure of contact improvisation shortly after becoming obsessed with the struggles of modern dance.  He stuck with both, currently directs a company in San Francisco and tours often to Europe.  Scott has created works for skateboarders, for boxers, and choreographed West Side Story.   Scott has received two Isadora Duncan Awards for Best Choreography (2005 & 2010) and has been selected by Dance Magazine as “one of the 25 To Watch”.   He is currently a mentor for CHIME and an Artist in Residence at ODC.  Wells has been practicing Alexander Technique for twenty years and BMC for ten.  He recently completed his certification in Radical Counseling.

Weidong Yang is a dancer, choreographer and martial artist.  His training in martial arts centered around several forms of internal martial arts, which focus on generating energy and creativity through relaxed body and mind.  He has been researching the application of internal martial arts movement and awareness concept in dancing, and sharing the studying with fellow dancers.  In 1997, he co-founded Mambo Reflection, a Latin dance group based in San Francisco.  He has performed with Sara Shelton Mann, Haiyan Jackson.  He is currently a member of Paco Gomes & Dancers, a resident choreographer for Kathy Mata Ballet and teaches Taiji at KUNST-STOFF arts.  His latest work is a dance for 10 men, performed October 2012 at Dance Mission and Conservatory of Music.

Sign up

2 weeks – $750 | 1 week – $400 (includes Events except The News)
submit CV – receive confirmation – deposit 50%

Information/Reservation/Registration | 415.647.6165


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