AXIS Dance Company’s ‘re:surge’ is a premiere and a farewell

The final season under Artistic Director Marc Brew

The Bay Area has been home to AXIS Dance Company since its founding in 1987. This weekend, Marc Brew, artistic director, bids farewell to the company and the Bay Area with a premiere exploring place and belonging at Z Space. “re:surge” is an evening of three new works, featuring “Roots Above Ground,” a personal reflection on Brew’s journey as an immigrant, disabled gay man and dancer searching for a place to call home.

“As a world traveller and someone who has never laid down roots in pursuit of my career goals,” says Brew, “I have always questioned where my home is and by extension of that, where I belong. Through this work, the company is delving deep into personal journeys and reflective worlds to find home as well as the community where we belong and feel at home.”

Brew took over direction of AXIS from Judith Smith in 2017. During his tenure, the company expanded its mission to redefine dance and disability through creating and commissioning original works. Brew stunned Bay Area audiences with his mastery of choreographic craft in works like Radical Impact,” and brought in international choreographer Arthur Pita to work with the company.

In addition to “Roots Above Ground,” re:surge debuts “Hold Fast” from Sonsherée Giles, a company member and rehearsal director, and “Flora Hereafter: how flowers survive” from 2020 Pina Bausch Fellow Neve Mazique Bianco, who came up through the AXIS Dance Company’s Choreo-Lab program.

In “Hold Fast,” Giles examines responses to change with a series of duets. “In the making of it, change has been felt in the heart,” says Giles, “Recalling people from the past who are no longer with us, remembering them, keeping them alive, forgiving, healing, moving forward.”

Bianco describes moving from the Choreo-Lab to the mainstage season as “a process of listening to my mentors, including Marc Brew, listening to myself and my community, and believing in the choreographic realms I create.” Brew’s impact on AXIS and the Bay Area dance community will remain after his departure. This place will stay with him, too, wherever he calls home.

“I believe I take with me the beauty and difference of people, how everyone here in the Bay Area is so accepting of difference and each other,” said Brew, “And I really enjoyed my time with AXIS and being in community with people who are accepting and open and supportive. Also, having that fierceness, ambition and intention to push each other to try new things and to push the boundaries of dance and disability.”

IF YOU GO

AXIS Dance Company premiere of “re:surge”

Where: Z Space, 450 Florida St., SF

When: Oct. 22-23, 8 pm. The Saturday night includes a Q&A with choreographers following the performance.

Contact: zspace.org/axis-resurge, (415)-626-0453

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