January 2015 update, by fcdc collaborator Jessica de Leon

For fcdc, 2014 was a year of growth: wonderful new dancers joined our ranks, we collaborated with other talented artists and musicians, and we had the opportunity to work on a handful of meaningful projects. It was a great year filled with a renewed commitment to our mission statement. And 2015 is panning out to be even greater! We are so excited to continue work on a new piece that will premiere at our first home season at 8th Street Studios in Berkeley, February 28 and March 1.

The piece is centered around the idea that the breakage of an object can become part of its history, instead of something to be ashamed of or to hide. This theory is embodied in the ancient Japanese craft of Kintsugi. Meaning “golden rejoining,” Kintsugi takes fine ceramics that have been broken and repairs them with a lacquer resin dusted with gold or silver. The restored object is then more valuable and more beautiful than it was before.

Our collective curiosity in this topic came out of group discussions about forgiveness, expectations, brokenness, and lost causes. I am thrilled that our new company members get the opportunity to start a project with fcdc from the very beginning. Everyone has provided such wonderful, thoughtful contributions to our discussions. The democratic creative process that fcdc employs is unique and part of the reason I love working with this company. Lindsay Wakayama, a dancer that joined us this year, believes that the company and the work “benefits from listening to everyone’s opinions.” Because we are all able to contribute to the life and creation of a piece, each performer feels a sense of ownership. I feel this is especially true about this new work. Savannah Foltz-Colhour, one of our newest members, commented that our process has been “rewarding and makes the movement seem even more relatable.” Savannah says she looks forward to what will come from each rehearsal, and I can’t agree more.

The ideas we’re exploring are big and ripe with potential, both physically and intellectually. But the movement that we’ve generated is very exciting to me. Every week at rehearsal, I’m in awe of how willing each person is to be truthful, vulnerable, and open to sharing their experiences. Rosie Ortega, who has been dancing with us for about a year, said that despite the challenges of our theme, she feels like she has “a strong support system” in the people with whom she makes art. For me, one of the most rewarding parts of starting a new piece with fcdc is discovering new things about the people I dance with. Another new member, Maylise Urrutia, added, “the greater the relationship we have with each other, the more our dance language can really speak to viewers”.

I’m nervous, excited, and curious to share this new work with an audience, and looking forward to our very first home season with this very special piece.

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