'The Lost Art of Dreaming' - Sean Dorsey Dance at Z Space

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022
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A moment from Sean Dorsey Dance's 'The Lost Art of Dreaming' (photo: Lydia Daniller)
A moment from Sean Dorsey Dance's 'The Lost Art of Dreaming' (photo: Lydia Daniller)

Beginning November 18, Sean Dorsey Dance will commence their 18th season when their new concert, "The Lost Art of Dreaming" premieres at Z Space for a three-day run. The show is the culmination of Dorsey's 20-year commitment to giving trans and queer dancers a platform upon which to perform.

"Dancing on stage in my trans body is always a political act," Dorsey said in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "Declaring our trans and queer communities worthy of joyous liberated futures is a revolutionary act."

Visibility is very important to Dorsey during this time when more than 100 anti-transgender bills have been introduced across the country. The trans community continues to be subjected to hate and violence everywhere. Dorsey reports that he has been subjected to many attacks and harassment as a visible trans leader and artist.

"Sean Dorsey Dance counters this wave of hatred and ignorance with even larger waves of gorgeous dancing, trans and queer storytelling, and truth telling," he said. "After we premiere the work in San Francisco, we launch a tour next year to Seattle, Maui, Washington, D.C., Reston Virginia, Durham North Carolina, Martha's Vineyard and more."

Dorsey can remember a time when he was the only trans person in a dance class, in a workshop, at an audition or at a conference. He often finds it difficult to explain to young people what that was like. He didn't know any older trans choreographers or dancers that he could look up to, nor did he have trans dancer friends or peers with whom he could commiserate or create work with. He was absolutely alone.

"It's critical that we know our community's history," he said. "The reason that there are finally more than trans and non-binary dancers training and teaching and performing today is because of the very hard work and activism of all of us who were alone for so long."

A moment from Sean Dorsey Dance's 'The Lost Art of Dreaming' (photo: Lydia Daniller)  

Dorsey described "The Lost Art of Dreaming" as "an evening of full throttle dance." He promises that the audience will be exposed to intimate storytelling, and queer partnering and music.

"My hope is that our audiences will be moved, touched and transformed in some way by our work," he said. "I hope audiences who experience this work will re-connect with their own deepest dreams and longings. Most of us grow up being told we don't get to dream about our future, or that we won't even have a future. This show is a danced manifesto that declares that dreaming is our birthright."

All members of Sean Dorsey dance are queer. Some are gender non-conforming, some are trans, some are both, and some are non-binary. This is very important to Dorsey and to the creation of his work.

"I love dance with every fiber of my being," he said. "For me dance is the most visceral form of expression. We embody emotion, story and humanity with every movement, every breath, every gesture and expression. People connect very deeply with the themes in my work precisely because it comes from the body. And specifically from queer and trans bodies."

'The Lost Art of Dreaming' with Sean Dorsey Dance runs November 18-20 at Z Space. www.seandorseydance.com

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