Aerial dance performance brings SF State labor archives alive


Aerial dancers suspended five stories above the ground during their performance at SF State on May 3, 2016. (Screen shot by: Ryan Zaragoza / Xpress)

Flyaway Productions, a Bay Area dance company, was commissioned by the Labor Archives and Research Center to create an aerial site-specific performance, choreographed by Jo Kreiter, to promote the 30th anniversary of the Labor Archives and Research Center in the SF State library.

According to Director of the Labor Archives, Catherine Powell, the performance was dedicated to women’s rights and gender roles in the workplace during the 1970s.

The dance features several oral histories from women breaking gender roles in the workplace.

The dance was broken up into three sections: It opened with choreography about women trying to break into the job market, then moved to the second section covering the topic of women being confined to menial work, despite their qualifications, and finally, portrayed women working in the garment industry.

“That’s power that I have as a performing artist to bring alive, the words, the experience of women who fought for something, that made something happen,” Kreiter said. “I think that making something happen is contagious, so if you know that someone has made something happen it gives you that much more confidence to make something happen in your own life that you felt worth doing.”

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