We are moving our blog!

Dear loyal blog readers. We are happy to announce that our blog is now in integral part of our website http://www.axisdance.org

Staring today ( 8/21/2012) we will host our blog here. We hope you’ll continue following us and love to hear from you!

-the AXIS team

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dance Icon Remy Charlip

AXIS is saddened to hear of the passing of dance icon Remy Charlip. Remy was an amazing person, choreographer, poet, artist, and writer. We collaborated with him several times, always with wonderful results. He will be missed by many.

One of Ramy’s airmail dances: “Alone Some and TwoSome”.

Alone Some and TwoSome. In 2009 AXIS dancers Judith Smith & Sonsheree Giles performed their version.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flashback Fridays: Descending Cords, 1999

Joanna Haigood Dance Aerial AXISSpring 1940
One tree another tree
Each standing alone and erect
The wind and the air
Tell their distance apart
But beneath the cover of earth
Their roots reach out
and at depths that cannot be seen
The roots of the trees intertwine
– Ai Quing

This poem was choreographer Joanna Haigood’s (ZACCHO Dance Theater) inspiration for Descending Cords,  one of AXIS’ first commissioned works.  Created 13 years ago in 1999, this mesmerizing work premiered at Dance Umbrella’s International Festival of Aerial Dance in Boston, MA.

This aerial piece involved 2 duets – one on a wooden ladder suspended at a single point and one in tall spinning chairs.  It was fondly referred to as ‘the nausea piece’ by the dancers because of all the spinning!

In creation, dancers Nicole Richter & Uli Schmitz, pictured at right, began improvising together on the floor to create some base material. Joanna then took that duet material into the air via a beautiful handcrafted wooden ladder and continued to shape the piece. Uli and Nicole spent a lot of time getting familiar with how the ladder moved and twisted and the way their weight and momentum affected the ladder as well.

Meanwhile, Bonnie Lewkowicz and Stephanie McGlynn were exploring the same concepts on tall sculptural spinning chairs created by Joanna and Lawrence LaBianca.  These chairs were stationary and referenced the trees in the poem while mirroring the movement of the ladder.

Before the piece began, Uli, who is disabled and used a wheelchair or braces and crutches, would climb to the top of the ladder in the dark.  As the piece progressed the dancers worked their way down the ladder.  Surprisingly, most audience members didn’t realize that Uli was disabled until the lights came up at the end of the piece and he bowed in his wheelchair!

AXIS Dance Company. Photo by Amy Snyder. Dancers: Uli Schmitz & Nicole Richter
Posted in Company History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AXIS SI Day 3 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Today we continued working with our trios. All dancers really tried to incorporate relationships to space and others – something we played with during improv class.

Here are some snapshots from the trios.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Education/Outreach, From the Education Director | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day Two – Jumping In

(Day 2 0f 7)

Our AXIS website is down ( HELP!) but the Summer Intensive classes are in full swing! Here is a short report from day 2 of 7.

The day started with our AXIS technique classes taught by Emily & Juliana. They introduced a warm-up phrase that we will be building on throughout the week.

Warm-Up Phrase

Warm-Up Phrase

After lunch Joel & Sonsheree lead an improv class focussing on shapes within our own bodies and in relationship to others and space.

Creating shapes in space

Creating shapes in space

improvisation with shapes & space

improvisation with shapes & space

For the comp part of the class Judy and Sebastian taught the dancers a section from “The Narrowing”. After that they were paired up in trios and asked to manipulate the phrase with elements of timing, facing, repetition, canon & unison.

Judy & Sebastian teaching a phrase

Judy & Sebastian teaching a phrase

"combing your hair"

“combing your hair” learning comp

I’m looking forward to the trios they will be creating throughout the week.

Annika Nonhebel
Education Director

Posted in Education/Outreach, From the Education Director, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30 dancers, 5 countries, 7 days

AXIS Summer Intensive 2012 Day 1 of 7

30+ people in one room from 5 different countries, new and familiar faces… AXIS’ annual Summer Intensive has started!

On this first day we came together to get to know each other to move a bit and to share our goals, excitement and challenges for this week.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next 6 days will be an intense journey of learning and sharing.

Looking forward to it!

Annika Nonhebel
Education Director

Posted in Education/Outreach, From the Education Director | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AXIS is thrilled to welcome apprentice Emily Eifler!

AXIS Dance Company in Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 2012. Photo Credit: Dave Wong.

Emily Eifler, Dancer, is a dancer and visual artist. Initially a pre-med student before becoming interested in art, she strives to mix artistic and scientific thinking in her work. Originally from Colorado, she now lives and works in San Francisco where she continues her dance training in contact improv, ballet, contemporary and release technique. She has an MFA in Fine Art from the California College of Art and a BFA in Theater and Film from the University of Colorado.  She has shown her work at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution and the Armory show in New York. Emily joined AXIS Dance Company in 2012.

Emily officially started with AXIS in June, jumping into rehearsals for our outdoor piece falling up at Yerba Buena Gardens. She isn’t a stranger to AXIS though – in fact she’s been taking class with us for years!

Emily Eifler AXIS

Posted in Dancers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment