“I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray.” Do you remember where you were in 1999*? Well, if you’re Stacey Printz, it’s a no brainer. Ten years ago, she was founding her San Francisco-based dance troupe, Printz Dance Project (PDP). PDP’s artistic style leans toward contemporary modern dance with a twist; the company excels in seamlessly combining modern dance with hip hop and jazz dance
While creating new dances and guest teaching here and throughout the world (like Ireland, Russia, New York, and Kentucky), PDP has been Printz’ local expressive outlet. Reflecting on the past decade, Printz says, “While I think the company has evolved and changed, I also feel like our core values and desires have stayed the same. And, unfortunately some of the ‘bootstrap’ financial struggles that we had early on, we still face today! On the flip side, there is a calmer approach to producing the home seasons than there was in the beginning; early on there are so many new things to figure out. At this point we have a better sense of how to organize it and make it unfold. That said, I love that each season is full of surprises that offer just enough newness to keep us on our toes.”
This weekend’s three day season will offer new choreography (including a piece by former PDP dancer, Maija Garcia, who has been Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company member for the past 4 years as well as associate choreographer to Bill T. Jones’ soon-to-premiere Broadway musical.) along with a bounty of Printz’ earlier repertory. “Treading,” Printz’ latest offering, “looks at the overwhelming sense of confusion and uncertainty when at a crossroad in life.
As a new mother, Printz is in the process of re-defining her role in the world – in dance, in relationships, in daily activities all while being sleep-deprived and tackling the joys and challenges of parenting. In turn, it leaves a sense of treading – of moving quickly to stay afloat, while not really knowing what direction you are moving to. ‘Treading’ is also, at its core, an unadulterated movement piece. Athletic, fast, detailed and spatially challenging, the work aims to show frenzy while still somehow avoiding collision and still maintaining some sense of order. For this dance, Printz is working in a fast, rhythmically fierce 5/4 time signature, further adding to its complexity While this piece does have a concept for its jumping off point, ‘Treading’ also strives to be upbeat, slightly wild, pure dance.
Creating new work takes time and energy. Printz elaborates, “To me, the process is so important. My favorite moments are in the studio in rehearsal when we are creating, developing and ‘working it out.’ I am a firm believer in exploring different approaches to coming up with concepts and pieces–sometimes it’s driven by a piece of music, sometimes it’s a concept first, sometimes it’s movement phrases that jump start the idea.”
Where does Stacey Printz see herself in another ten years? In these times, that may be a daunting question for anyone to honestly answer, but regarding her choreographic future, she comments that she would, “love to tackle a full length dance/multi-genre work. I would also love to find some new collaborators–composers, other choreographers, set designers. I am definitely ready to drink in some new inspiration!”
PDP features performances by company members Stacey Printz, Alissa Pearce, Dudley Flores, Jenni Bregman, Laura Sharp, Sharon Gallagher, Josie Garthwaite. Guest Performers include dancers Kerry Demme, and Travis Rowland (plus others), beatboxer Carlos Aguirre and violinist Jon Sung.
What: Printz Dance Project
When: Thursday through Saturday, November 5-7, 2009, 8PM
Where: Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center (Marina Blvd @ Buchanan Street)
Tickets: $20 general/$18 students, 415.345.7575
*The author fully recognizes that the famous Prince (aka the swishy symbol thingamajig, the artist formerly known as Prince, Prince again, etc.) song, “1999,” one that is terribly difficult to get out of your head once you’ve heard it, doesn’t really reference the actual year 1999, but instead a fictional and apocalyptic time. However, the lyrics used above adequately support the lead-in. Any Prince die-hards will just have to deal. And c’mon. Prince. Printz. I just couldn’t resist.