Wanda's Picks Special Broadcast: Pushfest, plus From the Archives: Hurricane Katrina Special (2009)
We open with PUSH Company Artistic Director Raissa Simpson with composer/collaborator Erica Mulkey
Hailed by Dance Spirit Magazine as “Reflective Contemporary Choreography,” multi-disciplinary choreographer Raissa Simpson has presented her works in over 50 venues across the United States. Recent highlights include Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance Emerson Festival (MO), Links Hall in Chicago (IL), Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech (GA), Joyce SoHo (NY), Washington Ensemble Theater (WA), Evolve Dance Festival (NY), Los Angeles Theater Center (CA), and Black Choreographers Festival (CA).
Simpsons guest teaching includes UC Davis, Sacramento State, Stanford University, SF State University, Alonzo King Lines Dance Center, Ferst Presents, San Jose Dance Theatre, Marin School, and many others.
Seamlessly integrating interdisciplinary dance, Simpson’s pieces do not reside merely on stage—they are also site-specific installations in public spaces like museums and city centers. Her work is sweeping, vibrant, multi-layered, and socially relevant often involving multiple aspects such as video projection, live music, and cutting-edge choreography. Her works have been honored with awards & funding from the Magrit Mondavi Award, Margaret Jenkin’s CHIME, Choreo-Project’s People’s Choice Award, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, CA$H, Dancers’ Group Lighting in Dance Award, San Francisco Foundation, BADw’s 2012 Choreographer of the Year, ODC Theater’s Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Grants for the Arts, and AATAIN, a William & Flora Hewlett Foundation program.
Simpson danced with a variety of dance companies and had an extensive performance career with Robert Moses Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. Village Voice dance critic Deborah Jowitt notes, “Simpson dances big.”
From the Archives, August 29, 2009:
We will reflect on the Gulf Region, 4 years later on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We will speak to policy makers and activists, those affected who left and those who now live elsewhere. We will talk about the cultural legacy of New Orleans and the South, what is needed to preserve this legacy and how people can help.
Guests are: 6:00-7:00 AM Carole Bebelle & Viola Johnson: Aché Cultural Center and the New Orleans Rebuild-a-thon, New Orleans natives, Jordan Flaherty, Left-Turn Magazine, CeCe Campbell-Rock, Survivors for Survivors, Antor Ndep, Executive Director, Common Ground Health Clinic, and Malik Rahim, co-founder, Common Ground Relief, Katrina survivor.
7:00-8:00 AM Lolis Elie, Dawn Logdon, director, producer/subject: Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans with Angela Wellman, musician, scholar, founding director, Oakland Public Conservatory of Music.
There is a benefit this evening for OPC. Visit www.opcmusic.org. Sunday, August 30, 2009, is "Maafa 2009: Hurricane Katrina," our 5th annual benefit/report back for Common Ground Health Clinic and LIFE of MS, Biloxi site, at Shashamane International Bar & Grill, 2507 Broadway Street in Oakland, (510) 868-4318.
Donations for either of these organizations LIFE or CGHC can be sent to P.O. Box 30756, Oakland, CA 94604. Please make checks out to the organization. We are targeting care for the disabled community and the elderly. Robert King, advocate, prison abolitionist, author, was on the air listening--that's technology for you. I didn't see his number and therefore missed his call. King was on my first show a year ago, and has been my most avid supporter. He is also a Katrina survivor in the Diaspora--Austin, TX.