If you happen to be doing your laundry at Sean’s Laundromat at 723 14th St. on Friday, you are in for a treat: Dancers will be wriggling into washers and popping out of dryers.
In fact, the whole space will come alive as the Los Angeles-based Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, known for appearing in places not conventionally used for dance, re-stages “Laundromatinee.”
The 20-minute piece, a 2010 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Dance award, is a particularly intimate piece created for the laundromat. It’s also unique each time it is presented, with the audience size, and proximity, dictated by the size of the laundromat.
Even though the dance is entirely choreographed, it must be adapted for each laundromat, says Eva Hegge Wilder, rehearsal director and Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre troupe member: “A 5-foot, 9-inch dancer can’t fit into a dryer, and that’s part of site-specific work, making slight adjustments for each space.”
At one memorable performance, she says, “Some guy actually walked in with his laundry once during a show and Heidi asked him if he’d mind waiting. He was adamant that he had to do his laundry then and there. Afterward the audience thought he was an implant or an actor. They loved him.”
“Laundromatinee” is a testament to both the activity of doing laundry and to the community that often develops around laundromats. “It’s a fun piece, there’s a lot of fun involved,” Wilder says.
As society becomes more and more isolated, and people become more private, “Laundromatinee” celebrates and monumentalizes communal public activity.
Friday’s San Francisco performance of “Laundromatinee” represents the culmination of a four-day workshop on site-specific dance, called Choreography for an Urban Landscape, that Ducker is teaching in an ODC summer program. She also has taught “Laundromatinee” at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Culver City High School and College of the Canyons in Valencia.
IF YOU GO
Presented by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre