"THE TIP OF MY TONGUE"
MARCH 31 - APRIL 2, 2022
Z SPACE, SAN FRANCISCO
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ABOUT DAVID HERRERA PERFORMANCE COMPANY
Celebrating 15 years of dance, David Herrera Performance Company prides itself in providing visibility and celebrating a diverse Latinx experience within an American context. Rich in theatricality and immersed in nuanced, visceral movement, the company makes its statement by weaving dance, story-telling, music, and media into a textured conversation between Latinx cultures and a multicultural U.S. society. DHPCo. is one of few predominantly Latinx focused modern dance companies in the United States.
A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
"When I was a young child in California, I grew up in a Spanish speaking household. However the rest of my world was predominantly English speaking. I recall my father would encourage my sister and I to learn English from cartoons even before we were enrolled in elementary school. But there was a caveat "Spanish at home, English everywhere else. You need to know where you come from," he would proclaim.
Soon, taking cues from television, American culture, and many of the people I interacted with, I began to resent my Spanish as 'Not American'. It didn't help that my sister and I became our parents' full time translators; I was an adult yet I was kid. I began to resent any association to Spanish including my heritage, my culture, and at times my parents. In my young mind, I learned to believe that being American meant speaking English only. Nonetheless, there was something special of being able to experience the world through being bilingual; even if I still did not recognize its healing magic and power.
Fast forward to my high school years living in a small town outside of Dallas, TX. Spanish was constantly ridiculed and used as a punch line. Pride in who I was as a Spanish speaker, Latinx, son of immigrants took hold. I now found myself defending this beautiful language I once believed I should erase from myself. Ironically, the only language class offered in my small town high school was Spanish. I recall an instance in which my parents and I were in conversation in public. As we were speaking Spanish, a young white man walked by and hurled out the word "Spic" just loud enough so we could hear it. My body recorded that moment. The confusion, the anger, the hair standing on edge, the heat in my belly, and the thunderous beating of my heart. I became protective of all Language Diverse communities, even if not Spanish speakers.
Its now 2016-2022. The cultural war against people who speak and communicate in public with languages and forms outside of spoken English is in full display and going viral : "This is America, speak English!". I am reminded of my struggles and pride of being multilingual (I now also speak conversational Italian). I am thankful for those who maintained and fought for the visibility and survival of Language Diversity, including my Spanish. 'Gracias Ama y Apa'.
In this work about language and communication it was important that the Deaf community was represented authentically. I want thank and acknowledge choreographer Antoine Hunter, who contributed his talent and beautiful movement to this project; through it expressing his experience as a Deaf person and that of the ASL language.
Recognizing the many languages spoken and forms of communication (including dance) found in this country, and in particular here in San Francisco, I began to wonder what experiences with language and communication overlapped or differed with others who also grew up in non-English households. The cast, Antoine, and design team all generously offered their own stories to this work. The Tip of My Tongue is the result of these conversations."
-David Herrera, Artistic Director
To Read the Cast Language Stories Shared in Tonight's Program CLICK HERE.
To Learn More about Choreographer Antoine Hunter and his company, Urban Jazz Dance Company please CLICK HERE.
THE TIP OF MY TONGUE
Artistic Director and Co-Choreographer: David Herrera
Guest Choreographer: Antoine Hunter
Cast and Co-Choreographers: Erik Debono, Katie Florez, Sawako Gannon,
Brandon Graham, Olivia Caldeira Holston, and Nicole Maimon
Light Design: Ray Oppenheimer
Associate Light Design: Victoria Langlands
Music: D. Riley Nicholson
Costumes: Ismael Acosta
Media Design: Olivia Ting
Set Design: Annette Jannotta
Vocals: Amy Foote
Press Photos: Lara Kaur
Voice Over: the Cast
ASL Interpretation: Pilar Marsh
Other Choreographic Contributions: Vincent Chavez and Samuel Melecio-Zambrano
Crew: Liz Kreter-Killian
Theater: Z Space
Director: David Herrera
Programs Manager: Niara Hardister
Administrative Assistant: Andréa Spearman
The Tip of My Tongue was supported by:
Zellerbach Family Foundation, Dancers' Group CA$H Grant,
Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and a Z Space Technical Residency
DHPCo. Recognizes the Following Financial Donors:
Anonymous, Armando Castellano, Will Pohle, Brynna McNulty-Abernat,
Mariana & Hernan Laubner, Nick Lewerke, Nancy Walker, Janet Maslow,
Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, Ian Haslebacher, Azure Serafini, Mac Caplan,
Susan Oak, Zackary Forcum, Susan Sanko, Aileen Kim, Lizanne Roberts,
Paul Parish, Kevin Dusablon, Gayle Caplan, Marisol Ramos-Castillo
and Hope Mohr.
Pilar Marsh and Debby Kajiyama who assisted with ASL interpretation throughout the creative process. Also appreciation to Outerlands Productions who donated a full season's worth of Covid-at-home tests to DHPCo. Also thanks to Zahna Simon Assistan Director at Urban Jazz Dance Company.
DHPCo. would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the entire staff and crew at Z Space who went above and beyond in helping DHPCo. brings this new work to life. Thank you Rose, Shafer, Colm, Nikki, Andrew, Dan, and Miles. We couldn't have been able to make The Tip of My Tongue without your partnership and support.
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