about Mary Armentrout
upcoming performances & events video
past projects
dance discourse project

The Dance Discourse Project is a far reaching, far ranging, and ambitious project that aims to articulate in a cohesive and coherent way, from the participants themselves, what is happening in dance in the Bay Area and beyond.  This on-going series of artist-driven discussions is organized by Mary Armentrout and co-produced by Dancers’ Group and CounterPULSE.  The Dance Discourse Project was started in 2007, and takes place roughly three times a year.  An archive of all the past DDPs can be found at either dancersgroup.org or counterpulse.org.

here are short synopses of the ddps we have done so far:

Bay Area Dance: Who Are We Now?

Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 8pm

@ CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., SF
Mary Armentrout talks with Keith Hennessy, Jez Kuono`ono Lee, Laura Elaine Ellis, and paige starling sorvillo. In this first installment of a ongoing series of artist-curated discussions about specific topics in the Bay Area contemporary dance scene, organizer Mary Armentrout invites these four local dance artists to bring video of short works by Bay Area artists that they feel represent what’s happening here now.  We will watch these works and use them as a springboard into a discussion of what’s going on in Bay Area dance now, and how we, as dance artists, articulate to ourselves what we are up to.  Hopefully we will not arrive at any simple conclusions by the end of the evening.  Please feel free to bring your questions and burning issues. Co-presented by CounterPULSE and Dancers’ Group.


Investigating the Post Multi-Culturalism Landscape

Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 7pm

@ CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., SF
Sherwood Chen and Mary Armentrout talk with Danny Kalanduyan, Teela Shine Ross, Prumsodun Ok, and Joti Singh. In this second installment of an ongoing series, co-curators Sherwood Chen of ACTA (The Alliance for California Traditional Arts) and DDP organizer and local choreographer Mary Armentrout invite these four local dance artists into a lively discussion of the multi-faceted complexities of Bay Area work that utilizes culturally specific dance forms, including innovation and experimentation by tradition-based artists, and cultural and intercultural contexts linked to performativity and identity.  Co-presented by CounterPULSE, Dancers’ Group, and ACTA.

Dancers Debate the Body Politic

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 7:30pm

@ Theater Artaud, 450 Florida St., SF
Jessica Robinson talks with Jo Kreiter, Ledoh, Sara Shelton Mann and Miguel Gutierrez. In this third installment of a lively series of discussions about topics in Bay Area dance, moderator Jessica Robinson, of CounterPULSE, invites Jo Kreiter, Ledoh, Sara Shelton Mann and Miguel Gutierrez to discuss the multiple layers of the political in their work, how bodies are politicized through movement, and how activism plays a unique role in the Bay Area dance scene. This special installment, presented at Project Artaud Theater, is co-presented by CounterPULSE, Dancers' Group, and ODC Theater, as part of its festival “For the Record: Dancers Debate the Body Politic.”

Media, Technology, and Performance

Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 7:30pm

@ CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., SF
Mary Armentrout and Jessica Robinson talk with Sara Kraft, David Szlasa, and Lisa Wymore and Seldon Smith of Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. The Bay Area is a global leader in technological innovation.  DDP4 explores how Bay Area artists' work integrates media and performance in unique ways, creating hybrid forms, manipulating, mutating, and extending the technologies being created in our own backyard.

Writing About Dance, Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 7:30pm, FREE

@CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., SF
Do you believe dance writers and critical and informed reviews of dance are near extinction?  Is it only now, as we stand to lose these precious perspectives that we begin to understand their worth in the greater community?  Dance Discourse Project co-curators Mary Armentrout and Jessica Robinson talk with dance writers Rita Felciano, Keith Hennessy, Rachel Howard and Ann Murphy about their craft, their relation to the field at large, and the questions and ethical concerns that dance reviewing faces as the internet dominates the dissemination of information. The panel will address the changing role of newspapers and the inevitable shifts in how the public views, consumes, and communicates about dance.

Dancing in the World:  Excavating Site Specific Dance in the Bay Area

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 7:30pm Free

@ CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., SF
The Bay Area has a long and storied history of site specific dance exploration, and is continually coming up with new forms of innovation.  DDP moderators Mary Armentrout and Jessica Robinson discuss features of this rich terrain with Bay Area legend Anna Halprin, Joanna Haigood, and Erin Mei-ling Stuart.

Dancing Diaspora

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, 7:30pm, @ Counterpulse, Free

Join us for a lively discussion tackling some of the questions and ideas posed by Performing Diaspora. What is the role of innovation in traditional performance? What makes the Bay Area unique as a home for ethnic dance? How can we work together to broaden support for a new generation of traditional dancers? Local artists, audience members, and presenters will engage in an open and participatory conversation.

Dance in Pop Culture:  How Do YouTube and
“So You Think You Can Dance” Both Help and Hinder?

Thursday March 11th, 7:30 pm, CounterPULSE, FREE

Join us for Dance Discourse Project #8 as we delve into the popping of contemporary dance - the effects of YouTube, "So You Think You Can Dance" and other mass media stratagems on making dance today.  We will create a hybrid discussion, part panel talk with Eric Kupers, Monique Jenkinson and Philip Huang, part world cafe with YOU, as we investigate how these new tools and opportunities are influencing how we make dances in today's world.

for more information: dancersgroup.org and counterpulse.org