by Steve Shih on February 10, 2005

This Saturday, San Francisco’s avant garde dance community will be performing together at the Yerba Buena Center for CounterPULSE’s Dance Floor Benefit, an effort to raise funds for its new home on 1310 Mission Street.

According to CounterPULSE executive director Jessica Robinson, the newly formed center will be a resource to the San Francisco arts community and in particular to its many dance groups.

“Dance is part of the larger ecosystem of art that makes San Francisco the cultural place that it is and the radical place that it is, whether people watch dance itself or like to dance its all part of the same community,” Robinson said. “CounterPULSE is a place where you can come and do anything, we think of ourselves as an incubator for performance art.”

The benefit, which begins at 8 pm, will include ten dance companies ranging from modern dance groups, like the Dance Brigade, to circus groups, like Circo Zero. AXIS Dance Company, which is internationally renown for its innovative pieces with disabled performers, will also be there.

“It’s certainly not going to be boring ballerinas, there’s a lot of stuff that’s different and surprising,” said Robinson. “It’s a really good deal, your getting ten dance companies for twenty dollars, and supporting live art is a very San Francisco thing to do.”
And supporting live art is basically CounterPULSE’s mission. The group is actually a synthesis of what were formerly 848 Community Space and the Bay Area Center for Art and Technology. They will be offering a space not only for dance performances but also a variety of media exhibits as well as classes, readings, and screenings.

For now however, Robinson and the group are just hoping to make enough money to build a state of the art performance space, and the first thing on that list is a 1500 square foot dance floor.

“There are probably fifteen or twenty large dance floors in the city, and even fewer have performance capabilities. We are unique in that way,” said Robinson.

The new Mission Street location is not scheduled to be open until mid April. The Dance Floor Benefit will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, which is located at 701 Mission Street. The tickets are 20 dollars and can be purchased by calling 415-978-ARTS.

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