People in Places

Site Specific Performance-making

How do we form community connections?

Places are an important ingredient in the connections we are able to form and sustain, whether it be a city, a theater, a neighborhood, or a video lounge. Amidst post-pandemic cultural production many performance makers are moving from stage to site, engaging novel contexts for artistic exploration and presentation. However, this shift is more than a matter of location. A site is also a place which reflects many natural and social histories and communities. As we face troubling legacies of colonialism, displacement and gentrification, and environmental destruction it is urgent to address how we access, interact and impact the places we engage. Here we hear from Joanna Haigood, artistic director of Zaccho Dance Theatre, on her work to engage sites as architectural, material, and cultural environments.

Image description: A perspective of the San Francisco International Airport from inside looking out through the wall of windows on the departures level. The airport has roof struts that resemble ships, from those roof struts are suspended orange frames that resemble houses – one right side up, one upside down. There are performers rigged inside of these orange houses and other performers on a raised platform below. A crowd is gathered below looking up to watch.

Departure and Arrival,
Zaccho Dance Theatre,
San Francisco International Airport, 2007