ODC Podcast: Dance Cast

Welcome to Dance Cast! Dance Cast is ODC's podcast dedicated to critical conversations around all genres of dance. It’s for dance insiders, dance lovers, and the dance curious. ODC Dance Cast Host Sima Belmar talks with choreographers, dancers, educators, designers, presenters, bodyworkers, journalists and scholars about dance theories and practices of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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Dance Cast Episodes: Season 1

  • S1 E1: Brenda Way, KT Nelson, Kimi Okada

    For the inaugural episode, Sima Belmar is joined by ODC founders Brenda Way, Kimi Okada and KT Nelson. They talk about the institution’s early days in Oberlin, OH, and how the company, theater, and school are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • S1 E2: Robert Moses

    Welcome to the second episode of Dance Cast, featuring Robert Moses, Artistic Director of Robert Moses' Kin.

    "Do I believe what artists have to say? Depends on if they are honest or not" - Robert Moses

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  • S1 E3: The TikTok Episode

    Still unclear what TikTok is and how it functions? You’re not alone (but you’re probably not a teenager). Today we talk with host Sima Belmar’s 14-year-old daughter, Lucia Capezzuto, and Edgar Mendez, ODC’s Digital Marketing Manager, to talk about the platform and its intimate relationship with dance.

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  • S1 E4: Antoine Hunter (Purple Fire Crow)

    Sima Belmar speakrs with Antoine Hunter (Purple Fire Crow), an award-winning African American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, Two Spirit producer, choreographer, film/theater actor, dancer, dance instructor, model, poet, speaker, mentor, and Deaf advocate. He teaches dance and ASL in both Hearing and Deaf communities and is the founder and artistic director of Urban Jazz Dance Company. Hunter has performed with many Bay Area dance companies, including Savage Jazz Dance Company, Nuba Dance Theater, Alayo Dance Company, Robert Moses’ KIN, Man Dance, Sins Invalid, Amara Tabor-Smith, Kim Epifano, PUSH Dance Company, Flyaway Productions, Joanna Haigood, OET theater, and the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. He has been producing the acclaimed Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival since 2013.

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  • S1 E5: The 2021 ODC Theater Opportunity Fund Artists: Jeremy Bannon-Neches, Nicole Maria Hoffschneider, and Noah Wang

    In response to COVID-19 and the dance industry’s pivot to dance for camera, the 2021 Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater helped underwrite the costs of producing a five-minute dance film for three artists: Jeremy Bannon-Neches, Nicole Maria Hoffschneider, and Noah Wang. The Fund subsidizes roughly 65% of the activity costs, which include film production, a mentorship series, and individual consultation for these young artists who participate in dance for camera training and feedback sessions in a 15-week process. The three films premiered in ODC Theater’s 2021 Summer festival Kick-Off on June 3.

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  • S1 E6: Johnnie Cruise Mercer & Benedict Nguyen

    I met Benedict Nguyen at The National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron), where we were both inaugural Low Res Writing Lab fellows. Benedict then introduced me to Johnnie Cruise Mercer. They are both multi-talented, multidisciplinary, millennial, New York-based artists, and our conversation meandered through dance training, institutional funding, dance in higher ed, and more.

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  • S1 E7: From Sunu to Smurf: Back to the Root with Latanya d. Tigner

    Today, I’m talking with Latanya d. Tigner. Latanya has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater since 1986. She directs Dimensions Dance Theater Youth Company and she’s a Lecturer UC Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, along with moi, yours truly.

    In her 30-plus-year dance career, she has created commissioned works for Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Choreographers Festival, Robert Moses’ Kin, UC Berkeley, Mills College, and has presented work in the SF Ethnic Dance Festival, CubaCaribe, and Mabina Dance Festival in Congo Brazzaville.

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  • S1 E8: Dancing During the Plague: ODC's Up for Air/Decameron with Kimi Okada, Brenda Way, & Kate Weare

    ODC Writer in Residence Sima Belmar talks with the artists responsible for ODC's first full-length film, Up For Air/Decameron: Brenda Way, Kimi, Okada, and Kate Weare. (NB: The fourth choreographer, KT Nelson, could not join us for the conversation.) The film features members of ODC/Dance and Kate Weare Company, and is inspired by Bocaccio's 14th-century novel Decameron. (No need to have read it to enjoy the film!) The novel is about the retreat of ten young Florentines seeking to avoid the plague of 1385. The work touches on the combustible nature of love, the need for connection and those values that help us survive catastrophic times: humor, resilience, and grace.

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  • S1 E9: BIPOC Sanctuary with Raissa Simpson, Artistic Director of PUSH Dance Company

    Raissa Simpson is an African American/Pilipino choreographer and artistic director of the San Francisco-based PUSH Dance Company. Her multidisciplinary dances are at the intersection of complex racial and cultural identities and centers around discourse on the complex experiences of racialized bodies. A graduate of SUNY Purchase, Simpson had an extensive performance career with Robert Moses Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. Her choreography honors include Magrit Mondavi Award, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and Grants for the Arts. Her choreography has been presented by Joyce SoHo, Aspen Fringe Festival, Dance St. Louis, Ferst Center, Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival and Black Choreographers Festival. She has held creative residencies at Dance Initiative Carbondale, Santa Clara University, Bayview Opera House, Sacramento State University, Margaret Jenkins’ CHIME, African American Theater Alliance (AATAIN!) and CounterPulse. She received a Phyllis C Wattis Foundation with Bayview Opera House for her most recent work, The Motley Experiment. Check out Raissa's essay, “Writings on Dance: Artistic Reframing for Celestial Black Bodies,” out now in Critical Black Futures: Speculative Theories and Explorations (2021). 

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  • S1 E10: Is Endurance Political? Christy Funsch, Artistic Director of Funsch Dance


    Sima talks with Christy Funsch, Artistic Director of Funsch Dance Experience, about her upcoming durational performance EPOCH, which takes place in-person and online on Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 10am to 10pm. In cheeky defiance of Doris Humphrey’s warning “All dances are too long,” EPOCH unfolds over 12 hours, in a gratuitous surplus of movement, interrupted by moments of nothingness, to challenge the valuing of acquisition and excess. Is endurance political? What bonds does an unlikely scenario forge?

    EPOCH features an original sound score by Cheryl Leonard and color theory-influenced lighting designed by Danielle Ferguson. EPOCH includes Wrecking by Maurya Kerr, Coral Martin, and Jes DeVille; each of these artists' re-imaginings of the choreography will be performed within the original work. A list of the key entry points will be provided and audiences are welcome to come and go throughout the day.

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  • S1 E11: Elephants Are Dancers Too: Ann Carlson with inkBoat's Shinichi Iova-Koga & Dana Iova-Koga

    Sima talks with Ann Carlson, Shinichi Iova-Koga, and Dana Iova-Koga about These are the Ones We Fell Among, a work that takes inspiration from the movements, myths, and metaphors of our endangered animal cousins – persons called by other names, like “elephant.” Conceived, choreographed, written and directed by award-winning interdisciplinary artist Ann Carlson in collaboration with inkBoat, These Are the Ones We Fell Among grapples with elegance in the face of extinction, looking for humor and grace amid excrement, entropy, fear, and fury. Performed by Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga, with music by composers Carla Kihlstedt and Shahzad Ismaily, lighting by Allen Willner, and scenic elements by Amy Rathbone. In person, Friday-Saturday, November 5 & 6, 8 PM PT; Sunday, November 7, 4 PM PT. Available for on-demand viewing November 12.

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  • S1 E12: Bonus Episode: Excerpts from This is Also the Art with Chitresh Das Institute

    Charlotte Moraga, Artistic Director of Chitresh Das Institute (CDI), and composer Alam Khan discuss CDI's new work, Mantram, an artistic creation exploring resonance through movement, music (composed by Khan), percussion, and vedanta, the world's oldest, unbroken oral tradition. Their conversation took place as part of ODC's This Is Also The Art series on October 14, 2021. 

    CDI brings to the stage ground breaking, traditional, and collaborative performances exploring the depth and versatility of North Indian classical kathak dance and music, and is a community-based educational institution, focused on world-class standards, holistic knowledge, and seva (service).

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  • S1 E13: Let's Manifest Unicorns! A Conversation with ODC Creative Director Chloë Zimberg

    Chloë L. Zimberg (she/her), is a dancer, producer, curator, and arts program specialist currently leading ODC Theater as Creative Director. Her work centralizes on the strategic development of equitable performing arts platforms and the live arts sector. Zimberg is the Co-Founder of Chlo & Co Dance, which curates and presents Drove, a twice-annual evening of dance performance by West Coast artists, as well as Tabled, an interdisciplinary discussion series highlighting universal issue areas in the national arts ecology. Zimberg is originally from the Puget Sound and holds a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice from the University of San Francisco with concentration in Dance and minor emphases in Politics and English Literature. She is an alum of the National Arts Strategies and University of Pennsylvania Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy.

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  • S1 E14: Wrapping Season 1, Looking Forward to Season 2

    Host Sima Belmar reflects on the future of Dance Cast, plans for 2022, and tells a story about her dance life.

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Dance Cast Episodes: Season 2