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Sweat’ — Hot Dances For The Hot Summer Nights

Eight Choreographers Present An Intimate Evening Of Dance

Evening Edition

Above: San Diego Dance Theater wanted to serve up something for the dog days of summer so it came up with Sweat: Hot Dances for a Hot Night. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando takes a look at what’s heating up the Whitebox Theater this weekend.

Aired 8/21/14 on KPBS News.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando previews Sweat: Hot Dances For A Hot Night.

Transcript

The dog days of summer have not been conducive to dance in the past but San Diego Dance Theater wants to change that this year. So things are heating up at the White Box Theater this weekend.

When San Diego Dance Theatre’s Jeanne Isaacs was thinking about how to fill a summer weekend with dance, she thought of hot dances for a hot night, and choreographer Michael Mizerany immediately came to mind.

"When he was curating it he thought 'okay what’s something that’s got some little sizzle,'" Isaacs said.

"So it will be 'Sweat' as in sweat, dancers will be sweating onstage and also sweat as in sassy and saucy and evocative," Mizerany added.

Mizerany serves as both curator and one of eight choreographers for "Sweat: Hot Dances for a Hot Night" at the Whitebox Theater.

"I like this space because it’s very intimate, it’s not like you’re way back at the Balboa Theater watching a show and you’re like 'I can’t see the people.' I want the audience close, I want them to see what’s going on between the characters," Mizerany said.

But for dancer Sidney Franklin, it's all about the floor.

"The thing that makes this theater great for dance is the floor," he explained. "This floor is a hard wood floor, and it has springs in it. And it’s a great floor for dancing, especially for what I am doing, which is tap. The floor always matters with tap. Yes it is true, tap dancers do walk into a room and say, 'Yes, I would tap that,' and this is a floor that I would tap."

Credit: Beth Accomando

Choreographer Michael Mizerany works with dancers during a rehearsal for "Sweat: Hot Dances for a Hot Night."

Mizerany, whose piece is "Relentlessly Yours," brought in Franklin to choreograph "Shy Boy."

"I never choreographed for tap before," Franklin explained. "So this is kind of new for me, although I have been tapping since I was six years old. Now tap has become much more athletic and I wanted to incorporate a little bit of modern movement along with tap, so it’s not your stereotypical tap piece. People’s expectations about this show would be that it’s completely modern but it’s not. We have tap, we have hip-hop, we have modern. We try to get as much diversity in this show as possible. And we also try to push the boundaries with the dancers’ technique with our own balance, we really try to push ourselves to the limit and I think we’ve done it."

Isaaacs, who has been teaching, performing, producing, and choreographing dance in San Diego for decades, said if there's one misconception about dance she'd like to challenge it's this: "Consumers of dance would rarely if ever go to a local dance company. And the perception is that it is not at the same level as some other touring company but the dance company, the dancers in my company are just as good and better than almost anybody nationally."

Of "Sweat," Isaaca added, "Mizerany also has a hip-hop piece on the program and a tap piece on the program. And the modern styles are really quite different from each other so in terms of an eclectic program that people can consume and think about and digest, I think it’s a really good one."

"Sweat" runs Friday through Sunday at Liberty Station’s Whitebox Theater.

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