Cid Pearlman Performance Projects: Economies of Effort

My daughter Cid Pearlman has a major work opening in San Francisco in February. I’ve been watching her work for over 25 years and the combination of beautiful complex dance and thought in her work continues to knock me out.

“Economies of Effort: 1” is an evening-length dance exploring the virtues of self-reliance and the creative impulse.


This interdisciplinary collaboration is the first installment in a planned triptych of performances by Pearlman on the theme of “economy.” Performed in the round, and featuring a set designed by visual artist Robbie Schoen that the dancers build each night as part of the choreography, “Economies of Effort: 1” aims to generate questions about the differences between creating something with bodies (theoretically intangible) and building something that has a solid shape (with the illusion of permanence).

Bessie Award-winning composer Albert Mathias will create an original score for “Economies of Effort: 1”. Just as the dancers take an active part in constructing the set each night, so too will they operate the music on two turntables and a laptop. In a radical act of self-sufficiency and self-containment – of economy, if you will – the dancers control all of the technical aspects of the production from the set to the sound and lighting.
 dancer sitting on chair holding a drill

…Choreographed by Cid Pearlman, Economies of Effort: 1 opens Thursday, February 5, 2015 at the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco, followed by performances at Motion Pacific in Santa Cruz and Pieter Performance Space in Los Angeles. This new work is created with and performed by Julia Daniel, Collette Kollewe, Claire Melbourne, Cynthia Strauss, and Chelsea Zamora.

“Economies of Effort: 2”
Created during a residency at Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava (Independent Dance Theater) in Tallinn, Estonia, the second installment in the triptych will feature four pairs of dancers – one couple, a mother and daughter, and two sets of close friends. Over the course of one month, I will work with each pair to create personal vocabularies tied to the subtle, often private, intricacies of their relationships. Each pair will map out a blueprint of a real or imagined space they share, on the floor of the theater. Then we will intercut the movement generated by the duets, swapping out who does what, overlaying the maps, and creating a more complicated polity that reflects on the complexity of relationships and the social economy of community. “Economy,” in this work, informs the process of making the dance as much as it does the content.

She’s doing a Kickstarter Campaign (Click on the link if you want to help.) for the final funding for the new works.

If you’re in the Bay Area and you’re coming to her show, I’ll be there Friday and Saturday night.

photos by Beau Saunders