Cracking Open: The Final Offering

This is it. Most of you know the story.
Exactly two years ago, while on vacation in Norway, I got an idea for a dance-theater piece that I felt driven to create. I went back into the studio as a director/choreographer for the first time in September of that year, with a title (Cracking Open), a few skeleton movement phrases, and a lot of ideas. Then, just a few weeks into our rehearsal process, my little sister died. This piece became her piece.
We’ve performed it at the end of each phase of our rehearsal process, and we finally premiered it this past May. Now, we are sharing it one last time.
If you always meant to join us, but the logistics never worked, this is for you.
If you’ve seen it every time we’ve performed it and still want more, this is for you.
If you saw it long ago but missed our premiere, this is for you.
What: Cracking Open, the Final Offering. Part of SAFEhouse’s SPF/11 summer festival.
When: Thursday, July 12th & Friday, Jully 13th, at 8:00 PM
Where: SAFEhouse Arts, 145 Eddy St in San Francisco.
Who: June Banks, Ari Holtan, Dawn Frank Holtan, Mia Holtan, Amy Marie, Savanna McGrew, Kati Pienimäki Schenker, and Raven Malouf-Renning.
Tickets are available on the SAFEhouse website.
More information is available here.
Please join us.


We are so close to the end of Cracking Open. I have never made a piece like this before. I have never been so driven and so clear about what I want to make. I have never been so willing to spill my sad little girl guts onstage. I have never felt so determined to make exactly what I want to make, regardless of what it looks like to anybody else. I have never worked with people with such different skill-sets, all brought together simply by their real belief in what I’m doing. I still don’t know whether this experience is the product of stepping away from choreographing for 13 years and then coming back, or the result of using the creation process to make sense of grief, or the natural integration of all of the above. Whatever the reason, it is exhilarating. I am grateful to be here.

So. Green is now complete. Steeped in the language of biology, Green looks at how we grow and evolve, the simple fact that everything we need to be fully ourselves has existed within us from the beginning, and the truth that we are never as alone as we sometimes believe ourselves to be.

We will perform the first four sections of Cracking Open (Light in the Dark, Red, Gold, and GREEN) at the new SAFEhouse Arts this weekend. Our performances are:
When: 8:00 PM on Saturday, March 10th and Sunday, March 11th
Where: SAFEhouse Arts, 145 Eddy St in San Francisco.
What: Cracking Open, the Fourth Draft, in a shared program with Rhea Speights and Jenna Valez.
Tickets: Available on the SAFEhouse website.

Since we first started rehearsals in the fall of 2016, we’ve lost three dancers to their busy lives, and we’ve been joined by four more. For these performances, we are welcoming Benny Avalos and June Banks to share the stage with us for the first time. I am stunned by all that they have brought to the piece in the ten short weeks we’ve rehearsed together. June is invigorating our sonic landscape and joining Mia in a delicious duet, and Benny has learned and generated a phenomenal amount of choreography.

In addition, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Randee Paufve during this last rehearsal period. She set a wild, running, dancing, space-consecrating solo on me, which will be our transition from Gold into Green. She makes me breathless. I love her for that–for seeing me, and pushing me.

This is all still a work-in-progress, but we are so close to completing the journey. I get goosebumps thinking about it. Our final performances are also coming up…please, save the dates: May 19th and 20th, also at SAFEhouse, 6:00 PM shows.