Everybody dance now
Heidi Hauser Jasmin is in her early 60s; Fulton’s Pam Gleason is in her 40s. Both are too old to dance, according to conventional wisdom. Both are kicking that thinking to the curb in “Space – Time,” the spring concert series from the Hauser Dance company.
“My work is real visual, and I use props and specific kinds of elaborate costuming,” Hauser Jasmin says. “Pam is emphasizing time Š emphasizing kind of an idea of rushed, frazzled time in one of her pieces.”
Hauser Jasmin, who is the Hauser company’s artistic director, has spent 35 years as a choreographer, performer and teacher. Gleason was a member of the company in the 1980s and early 1990s.
“Both of us have a sense of humor,” Hauser Jasmin says. “That’s also what brings us together. We try to bring that humor in our choreography because sometimes dance can get to be pretty serious.”
Gleason will be performing “Auld L’Anxiety,” a modern dance piece described as “frantic and off-kilter,” while Hauser Jasmin will be reprising her “Paper or Plastic?” piece – an exploration of the eternal grocery store philosophical dilemma.
“I got a whole ton of bags from Rainbow Foods,” Jasmin explains with a laugh. “Cheap props, they’re called. Kids always love that piece because it gets really crazy. [The bags] end up battling each other at the end.”
Other pieces include “Groovin’,” set to the slinky jazz of late guitarist Charlie Byrd, “Dancing Heads,” set to music by Tuva throat singers, as well as a dance performed to the music of J.S. Bach.
“Even though Bach is Bach, it’s still a piece that’s contemporary,” Hauser Jasmin says. “It’s not dated because I am a modern dancer. I’m not a ballet dancer – not that ballet is dated.”
She says her company, made up of some mature dancers in their 30s and 40s, is also not dated.
“More than ever, dance has gotten to be the kind of thing where people, even in their 40s, still perform. We know a lot more about the body than we did years ago. People are able to do certain things to keep themselves in shape,” Jasmin says. “I’m 62, and I still teach and choreograph. But that’s typical of dancers who really become devoted to their art form.
“I’m performing in this concert a little bit, but not as much as Pam. Pam is amazing, her energy.”
“Space – Time” is at Whittier’s Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet Ave. S., on Friday, June 2 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The following weekend has performances at 8 p.m. on June 10 and a 2 p.m. show on June 11.
Admission is $18. Seniors and children get in for $15.
Admission to the June 3 benefit show with silent auction is $25.
For more information, call 871-9077.
A woman’s best friend
Like many people, Amy Brazil is a lifelong dog owner. Unlike most dog owners, she has raised her canine companions to the level of art, transforming their images into something akin to poochified Fabergé eggs replete with crystal-encrusted leashes and sequin-studded bones. Her doggies at times look like a glamorous cross between Cruella Deville and 1980s hair metal band, Cinderella.
You can see her “Best in Show” exhibit from Saturday, June 3 through July 23 at Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St.
Artwork by Barbara Evan, Alexandra Rozenman, Barbara Gilhooly and Karen Gilbert will also be on display.
The opening reception is Saturday, June 3 from 7 p.m. -10 p.m.
Gallery 360 is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. Call 925-2400 for more information.
The fifth annual Red Hot Art Festival runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, in Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave. S.
The free festival exhibits work from 100 local emerging artists working outside the traditional gallery circuit in the visual, performance and public art arenas. Expect to see everything from balloon sculptures from Stevens Square resident Aaron Prust to the convention-defying “Free Speech Machine” about the intersection of public space, the Internet and free expression, from Monica Sheets and Colleen Walbran.
Furthermore, there’s plenty of opportunity to join in art making; The Bell Museum of Natural History features a bug zoo and nature art. Collaborate on a large-scale mosaic with the Jack Pine Collective or paint on a mural, van or easel supplied by the Fallout Urban Art Center.
Movies will be screened from the interior of a U-Haul trailer while aromas of Eat Street restaurants will fill the park. Dancers and public art performers include Brigitte Koepke, Emily King and Eva Mohn, just to name a few. Musical acts Amanda Smith, Big Surf, Como Ave Jug Band and Dat Giddy Records will perform, among others.
Also on the roster is the Sunrise Cyclery with bike demos. Stevens Square-Loring Heights Neighborhood Gardeners peddle potato stamps and seed art. The Restorative Justice Community Action, Jane Adams School for Democracy, The Belfry Center, Sisters of Camelot and I Love a Parade will also present.
Red Hot Art is offered through a partnership between the Stevens Square Center for the Arts (SSCA) and the Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) and with funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, COMPAS Medtronic Arts Access Program and the State Legislature.
Anna Pratt contributed to this column. Michael Metzger can be reached at email@example.com and 436-4369.