interview originally published on Triple Dog Dare

 

When We All Get Up and Dance Together | By Marie Tollon

As you walk along the streets of the city this Friday, March 27, you may witness individuals or groups laying into the groove of recorded music or dancing along the urban cacophony of their neighborhood. It may also be that you have marked your calendar -or programmed your phone- with a reminder to leave your desk for 5 minutes and engage in a petit pas de deux with a colleague. Yes, it is dance anywhere® day! Scheduled at noon in San Francisco, 3pm in New York, 8pm in Paris and Rome, everyone is encouraged to take part in this “simultaneous worldwide dance public art performance,” as Bay Area artist and founder Beth Fein describes the event. Founded in 2005, dance anywhere® celebrates its 10thyear anniversary. I talked to Fein over the phone last week.

Dancers' reflections during dance anywhere®

Dancers’ reflections during
dance anywhere®

Marie Tollon: What was the impetus for starting dance anywhere®?

Beth Fein: I was coming home from a dance concert in San Francisco with friends who were all dancers. We started to talk about how hard it is to be an emerging choreographer: the expense of renting the theater, paying for tech and lighting, all those things which go with a formal performance. And I said: “What if we just all got up, danced together and did it for the sheer joy of dancing?” That’s how it began.

MT: Your background is both in visual arts and in dance.

BF: I started to dance when I was a teenager. I had some injuries in my 20s and went to art school at CCAC, which is now CCA. I majored in ceramics and photography. After graduating, I worked as a ceramics artist.

MT: How do both practices inform each other?

BF: When I’m doing a performance, I have such a visual sense of space, it’s like a canvas to me and the dancers who move through it are creating lines and shapes. Those things come from my visual arts background. When I work on my visual arts, I like to have things that have a sense of movement, a sense of moving through and leaving something behind. I often use dance anywhere® images, and make some prints (etchings) from them. I also like to make artwork that is not fixed in place, which has a Zen quality of possibilities: where chance and change are possible. Work that can be configured in different ways: picked up and moved into a new configuration as though it were a dance that was evolving.

Antoine Hunter 2013 dance anywhere®  Photo by Weidong Yang

Antoine Hunter
2013 dance anywhere®
Photo by Weidong Yang

MT: That reminds me of your 2013 exhibition Voices which had a participatory component to it. Was that partly informed by your dance background?

BF: Yes, they are similar in that I like site-specific performances and audience interaction. When we perform in public locations where the audience will often be in the space where you imagine your dancers to be, and then the audience becomes part of the performance. I like this exchange that happens. It enriches and deepens the work.

MT: You are celebrating the 10th anniversary of dance anywhere®. Do you have special memories?

BF: That is so hard [to answer]! There are so many things that have happened! I was actually going to show photos from all around the world in the lobby of ODC [Theater for the photo exhibit] but because the space isn’t that big, I chose instead to focus on Bay Area dance. I treasure my personal experience of going out in public spaces to dance, but I also am very inspired when people send images and video to me. Maria de La Vega from Buenos Aires did an animation. There’s an artist in Italy, Osvaldo Cibils, who took a huge piece of paper and was folding it and opening it. I’ve seen beautiful dancing of people in subway stations, the street and museums. In 2013, a group called Soradi Dance from Tomar, Portugal, got 1000 people in the town to participate in dance anywhere®. They were on this beautiful bridge over a river. I was amazed…

MT: I’m thinking of the people in Antarctica doing Happy Feet!

BF: Yes, dance anywhere® was on 6 continents and I thought: “Can we go to Antarctica?” I put the word out on social media and this woman responded: “Yes, I’m going on a cruise there.” I though she would just take a picture. She wasn’t a dancer, but she actually choreographed something and got all these people to dance with her including the crew – with the penguins as audience!

MT: How did you get the word out on other continents before social media?

BF: When we started, we got the word out through print media, email, dance organizations and word-of-mouth. We didn’t have any social media. It’s been such an amazing transformation in our world. Now we can reach people from all over the world. That’s another thing that is wonderful about dance anywhere®: it’s accessible to anyone. You don’t need anything – (there isn’t an entry fee or ticket to buy) anyone, anywhere can join in. We can all come together in one moment and set aside whatever differences we have and find common ground. It’s also a way to reclaim our culture. It’s not about buying or selling anybody anything. It’s about something that comes from within people and there’s a joyfulness that they can share. dance anywhere® is also a great way to connect with people that are far away from you: dance with friends or family who live miles away.

MT: What is for you the most important outcome of dance anywhere® over the past 10 years?

BF: Sparking creativity in other people and inspiring them… and creating a (momentary) global community.

MT: Where will you be on March 27?

BF: I will be at Jesse Square with a new work “Reflections.” This is a collaborative performance installation with Megan Lowe, Courtney Russell, Josie Alvite, Katie Motter, Loran Tolbert and Gina Breedlove singing. This is the beginning of a new interdisciplinary project I am working on.

The exhibition of photographs dance anywhere® & everywhere is on view in the lobby of ODC Theater until March 29, 2015.

 

News + Press

The New Print: Marriage of Technology and Tradition

an interview with beth fein

05/25/2018

4th Street Studios

June 2 & 3, 2018

11 - 6pm

255 4th street
Oakland, CA

May 18 - September 30, 2018

New Museum Los Gatos

Los Gatos, CA

Los Angeles Printmaking Society

April 22 - June 10, 2018

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center
Fullerton, CA

April 19, 2018 – May 1, 2018

Luxembourg

newly released video of
a site-specific performance with
Livia Stein's artwork

performed & created by
Beth Fein
in collaboration with

Lisa Bush
& Carol Kueffer

Women's Caucus for Art Exhibition

February 22 — March 10, 2018

opening February 22
5 - 8pm

Arena 1 Gallery
Santa Monica, CA

01/31/2018

February 2 - March 22

opening February 2nd, 2018
5:30 - 8:00pm

Pacific Art League
Palo Alto, CA

February 1 — March 17

opening February 1st, 2018
6 - 8:30pm

Kala Art Institute
Berkeley, CA

January 16 - February 2

Juried by Linda Hall

Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery
Valdosta, GA

12/13/2017

December 16 — February 3

opening Saturday December 16, 2017
7 - 10pm

H Gallery + Studios
Ventura, CA

11/30/2017

December 2 - December 22

opening December 2nd, 2018
2 - 4pm

Arts Benicia
Benicia, CA

opening November 3, 2017
6-8pm

The Falkirk Galleries,
San Rafael, CA

October 26 - November 28

Opening October 28th, 2017 6 – 9 pm

Manhattan Graphics Center
New York, NY

"Join us at Transmission Gallery at 3 pm on September 16th for a special Dance Anywhere® performance with Beth Fein!"

09/01/2017

"Both Fein’s work and Miki’s, showing concurrently at Transmission Gallery, make use of a subtle and elegant sense of movement and color while relying on radically different strategies and perspectives..."

Join Beth Fein during Oakland First Friday to view her new exhibition at Transmission Gallery.

"Although largely abstract in nature, Fein’s installations and interactive pieces serve to locate us in a social landscape where common ground has seemingly evaporated in duel of opposition..."

Published August 15th, 2017 by Dewitt Cheng

"Fein’s work both as a dancer and creator of dances...investigates how movement and flow combine in art and life..."

August 4 - September 23, 2017

Recent press for when words fail

The Artist will be at the Gallery for
First Friday
September 1st, 6-8pm

Join The Artist for a Performance work
Saturday September 16th, details to follow

Transmission Gallery
Oakland, CA

Speedball Purchase Award
Juried by Freyda Spira Associate Curator
Department of Drawings & Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

June 4 - August 27, 2017

Opens Sunday, June 4, 2-5pm

Norwalk, CT

Juried by Michelle Wilson, Luz Marina Ruiz, C.K. Itamura

May 20 - July 16, 2017

Opening
May 20, 2017
5:00 - 7:00 pm

Closing Tea
July 16, 2017
2:00 - 4:00 PM

Healdsburg Center for the Arts
Healdsburg, CA


April 6 - May 12, 2017

Opening April 6, 2017 6 - 8 pm

Juried by Gia Hamilton

Shearman Fine Arts Center Annex,
Grand Gallery
Lake Charles, LA

Clemson National Print and Drawing Exhibition

Juried by 
Sydney A. Cross
Former President of the Southern Graphics Council

February  2 - March 15, 2017

Lee Gallery
Clemson, SC

01/30/2017

January 30 - March 4, 2017

11th Turner National Print Competition

Juried by Erin Sullivan Maynes
Hoehn Curatorial Fellow for Prints, University of San Diego

Janet Turner Print Museum

Chico, CA

All-Media Juried Competition

Juried by Bryce Speed Assistant Professor of Art, University of Alabama

January 17 - February 27, 2017

Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery
Valdosta, GA

January 6 - January 27, 2017

California Society of Printmakers

Davis Art Center
Davis, CA

November 1 - December 10, 2016

Boston Printmakers

Lamont Gallery
Exeter, NH

08/04/2016

Juried by George Lawson of George Lawson Gallery

August 4 - August 27, 2016
Gearbox Gallery
770 West Grand Ave.

Oakland, CA

August 2 - September 2, 2016

Juried by Karen Kunc of Constellation Studios and University of Nebraska
Emerald Art Center
Springfield, OR

07/29/2016

Shadows
Best in Show
Curated by Paul Mahder

July 29 - September 4, 2016

Sebastopol Center of the Arts

Sebastopol, CA

Speak Truth To Power
Special Recognition Selection
Juried by Suzanne Gray


"Speak the Truth is a very interesting concept and one which I felt was executed thoughtfully with careful attention to detail. I appreciate the text, the paper and the additional layering of the powerful projected images." - Suzanne Gray

July 5 - July 30, 2016

Kaleid Gallery
San Jose, CA

Curated by Dan Walsh

June 16 - September 24, 2016

 International Print Center New York
New York, NY

June 5 - August 28, 2016

curated by Elisabeth Hodermarsky of Yale University Art Gallery

Center for Contemporary Printmaking
Norwalk, CT

One of the earliest ideas of dance anywhere® was to change perspectives through a creative moment where none of our differences mattered… imagining that if everyone stopped for a moment in time to dance...maybe we could shift some thinking to be resourceful and open to different ideas.

March 18, 2016

anywhere and everywhere...

noon- San Francisco / 3pm - NY & San Salvador / 8pm Paris or Rome / 9pm Cairo....

check your time on the world clock

Chalk Hill Artist Residency

March 2016

 

where I will be dancing anywhere®....

details to be determined...

juror: Karen Kunc

February 3 - March 3, 2016
Bruce Gallery
Doucette Hall
Edinboro University
Edinboro, PA 16444

Print Austin 2016

juried Mary Heathcott

Executive Director, Blue Star Contemporary Museum

January 16 - February 20, 2016

openings January 16

6-8pm.

Flatbed Press Gallery

Austin, TX

September 15 - October 30, 2015

Opening: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 from 6-8PM

Closing October 29, 2015 6-8:30 / Panel discussion at 7:30 -8:30pm

 

Azusa Pacific University

Darling Hall Gallery

Juried by Ruth Lingen, Director of Pace Paper

Onsite:Brooklyn

July 27–August 26, 2015

Opens July 29, 2015 6pm - 8pm

Brooklyn, NY

juried by Andrea Voinot
 

June 5 - June 26, 2015

Opens June 5, 5:30-8PM

Pacific Art League

Palo Alto, CA


April 18 - July 23, 2015

opening reception

Saturday April 18th 6-8pm

Merced Multicultural Arts Center

Merced CA

Leslie Katz covers Beth Fein's dance anywhere® in the san Francisco Examiner.

March 3-29, 2015 reception March 10th 5:30 - 8pm

March 10th only: Special Video Screening expanded photo slide show tell us your story about dance anywhere® or site specific performance

ODC Theater Lobby 3153 17th Street SF, CA 94110

10/30/2014

SF TV Weekly covers Beth Fein and dance anywhere® at Yerba Buena Center for their 25-minute performance Friday, March 28 for dance anywhere® 2014.

KQED Arts covers dance anywhere® at the SF Moma.

Kevin L. Jones covers dance anywhere® on KQED arts

Mar 28, 2014

photo: Weidong Yang

When We All Get Up and Dance Together | By Marie Tollon

3/26/2015

interview originally published on Triple Dog Dare

 

When We All Get Up and Dance Together | By Marie Tollon

As you walk along the streets of the city this Friday, March 27, you may witness individuals or groups laying into the groove of recorded music or dancing along the urban cacophony of their neighborhood. It may also be that you have marked your calendar -or programmed your phone- with a reminder to leave your desk for 5 minutes and engage in a petit pas de deux with a colleague. Yes, it is dance anywhere® day! Scheduled at noon in San Francisco, 3pm in New York, 8pm in Paris and Rome, everyone is encouraged to take part in this “simultaneous worldwide dance public art performance,” as Bay Area artist and founder Beth Fein describes the event. Founded in 2005, dance anywhere® celebrates its 10thyear anniversary. I talked to Fein over the phone last week.

Dancers' reflections during dance anywhere®

Dancers’ reflections during
dance anywhere®

Marie Tollon: What was the impetus for starting dance anywhere®?

Beth Fein: I was coming home from a dance concert in San Francisco with friends who were all dancers. We started to talk about how hard it is to be an emerging choreographer: the expense of renting the theater, paying for tech and lighting, all those things which go with a formal performance. And I said: “What if we just all got up, danced together and did it for the sheer joy of dancing?” That’s how it began.

MT: Your background is both in visual arts and in dance.

BF: I started to dance when I was a teenager. I had some injuries in my 20s and went to art school at CCAC, which is now CCA. I majored in ceramics and photography. After graduating, I worked as a ceramics artist.

MT: How do both practices inform each other?

BF: When I’m doing a performance, I have such a visual sense of space, it’s like a canvas to me and the dancers who move through it are creating lines and shapes. Those things come from my visual arts background. When I work on my visual arts, I like to have things that have a sense of movement, a sense of moving through and leaving something behind. I often use dance anywhere® images, and make some prints (etchings) from them. I also like to make artwork that is not fixed in place, which has a Zen quality of possibilities: where chance and change are possible. Work that can be configured in different ways: picked up and moved into a new configuration as though it were a dance that was evolving.

Antoine Hunter 2013 dance anywhere®  Photo by Weidong Yang

Antoine Hunter
2013 dance anywhere®
Photo by Weidong Yang

MT: That reminds me of your 2013 exhibition Voices which had a participatory component to it. Was that partly informed by your dance background?

BF: Yes, they are similar in that I like site-specific performances and audience interaction. When we perform in public locations where the audience will often be in the space where you imagine your dancers to be, and then the audience becomes part of the performance. I like this exchange that happens. It enriches and deepens the work.

MT: You are celebrating the 10th anniversary of dance anywhere®. Do you have special memories?

BF: That is so hard [to answer]! There are so many things that have happened! I was actually going to show photos from all around the world in the lobby of ODC [Theater for the photo exhibit] but because the space isn’t that big, I chose instead to focus on Bay Area dance. I treasure my personal experience of going out in public spaces to dance, but I also am very inspired when people send images and video to me. Maria de La Vega from Buenos Aires did an animation. There’s an artist in Italy, Osvaldo Cibils, who took a huge piece of paper and was folding it and opening it. I’ve seen beautiful dancing of people in subway stations, the street and museums. In 2013, a group called Soradi Dance from Tomar, Portugal, got 1000 people in the town to participate in dance anywhere®. They were on this beautiful bridge over a river. I was amazed…

MT: I’m thinking of the people in Antarctica doing Happy Feet!

BF: Yes, dance anywhere® was on 6 continents and I thought: “Can we go to Antarctica?” I put the word out on social media and this woman responded: “Yes, I’m going on a cruise there.” I though she would just take a picture. She wasn’t a dancer, but she actually choreographed something and got all these people to dance with her including the crew – with the penguins as audience!

MT: How did you get the word out on other continents before social media?

BF: When we started, we got the word out through print media, email, dance organizations and word-of-mouth. We didn’t have any social media. It’s been such an amazing transformation in our world. Now we can reach people from all over the world. That’s another thing that is wonderful about dance anywhere®: it’s accessible to anyone. You don’t need anything – (there isn’t an entry fee or ticket to buy) anyone, anywhere can join in. We can all come together in one moment and set aside whatever differences we have and find common ground. It’s also a way to reclaim our culture. It’s not about buying or selling anybody anything. It’s about something that comes from within people and there’s a joyfulness that they can share. dance anywhere® is also a great way to connect with people that are far away from you: dance with friends or family who live miles away.

MT: What is for you the most important outcome of dance anywhere® over the past 10 years?

BF: Sparking creativity in other people and inspiring them… and creating a (momentary) global community.

MT: Where will you be on March 27?

BF: I will be at Jesse Square with a new work “Reflections.” This is a collaborative performance installation with Megan Lowe, Courtney Russell, Josie Alvite, Katie Motter, Loran Tolbert and Gina Breedlove singing. This is the beginning of a new interdisciplinary project I am working on.

The exhibition of photographs dance anywhere® & everywhere is on view in the lobby of ODC Theater until March 29, 2015.