What assumptions do we bring with us when we attend a performance? How do artists and audiences each prepare for a dance, either as performers or viewers? How does an artist’s background influence the development of their work, or impact how we read into its meaning? What does contemporary dance mean, and how does it operate? How can we embrace experience as an audience member?

Join us for the first of our Field Guide sessions, where an intimate group of curious audience members will gather for a participatory workshop, discussion, and dinner in conjunction will Emily Johnson’s performance of Niicugni.  It’s your chance to confront your questions about performance with a group of engaged and interested peers. Participants will move through a pre-show workshop blending basic movement activities with critical conversation, led by visiting Bay Area choreographer Keith Hennessy, in an exploration of contemporary dance practice and the themes and context of Johnson’s piece.

  • 6:00-7:45pm: Pre-show workshop & dinner
  • 8:00-9:15pm: Attend Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Niicugni
  • 9:30-10:00pm: Post-show conversation

In 2013, PICA will launch our first dance-specific audience engagement initiative, Field Guide. Through conversations, movement exercises, talks, talk-backs, and performance-going, the program will frame dance pieces within a larger conversation about body, culture, and identity. Field Guide activities will create context around contemporary dance and build curiosity among new audiences for the form. Over the 2013-14 pilot year, the program will include five full sessions and a series of more focused activities during PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival. Audiences are welcome to attend an individual session or enroll in multiple workshops. Please sign up to receive our e-news announcements of upcoming events.

Engaging Dance Audiences is administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.