October 14-22, 2023 | Western Sky Studio
The Spaces Between
touch | distance | human pack behavior
WRITING about THE SPACES BETWEEN
THE SPACES BETWEEN is our practice of choosing to remain open in a world full of uncertainty.
I started this project in 2022, after a time of great personal loss in my family and also in the world around me. Specifically, it was with the rise of COVID that I began to understand that every one of us has always been a choreographer.
Our choices about distance and belonging begin with questions: Who do I want near me? How close is too close? When do we touch? Is it safe to gather here? Who is in my bubble?
Everything you see in THE SPACES BETWEEN is improvised, with the exception of a handful of moments. It is not our final or best version of a dance. It is not a piece made from the answers we’ve found to our questions. It is the making and unmaking of form by repeating our questions, over and over again.
THE SPACES BETWEEN is a regenerative garden of movement. Join us for this harvest.
We have deep appreciation for all who made THE SPACES BETWEEN possible, including Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, California State University East Bay, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Alameda County ArtFund COVID Relief Program, Charles Slender and ODC Theater, Jill Randall, Rebecca Johnson, Molly Rose-Williams, Ellen Webb, Andrew Merrell, everyone who shared feedback with us, and our generous donors.
Thank you to the Muwekma Ohlone people and Federated Villages of Lisjan, who still live today on their unceded land here, where we have created and shared this work. Nina Haft & Company donates a portion of all ticket sales to the Sogorea Té Land Trust, in support of the land back movement.
We need your support! Your tax-deductible contribution to Nina Haft & Company goes directly to paying the artists.
Next year is the 25th Anniversary of Nina Haft & Company. We have some exciting things planned so please stay in touch and ask us how you can support our next 25 years of performances.
Photos by Hilary Goidell
Jennifer Twilley Jerum was born and raised in California. She began her professional dance career at age 14 with the Afro-Haitian, Bre Dance Theatre in Southern California; a uniquely impressionable experience that remains a foundational layer of her dancing. She has danced with Susan Rose and Dancers, Allyson Green, Shawn Womack, Kim Olson/Sweet Edge, Fresh Blood Collective and Amy Lewis.
Jennifer cherishes the gift of working with Nina Haft and Company (since 2016), and Wendy Rogers (since 1997).
She has had the privilege of being a part of Wendy Rogers’ work for her last three, ten-year projects, which culminated in performances across the US, and in Penang and Kuala Lumpor, Malaysia. Jennifer accompanied Wendy to Malaysia twice to perform and assist with residencies supported by the State Department and Rogers’ Fulbright award (respectively).
Jennifer’s dancing is deeply rooted in improvisation in movement generation and performance. She’s been developing these skills, first introduced to her in 1996 by Susan Rose, ever since.
Rose Huey (they | she), is a third generation Chinese-American movement educator, dancer, and arts administrator born, raised and living on occupied Lisjan Ohlone land.
Rose believes in the pivotal role of artists as agents of social change and the power of art to transform lives and uplift societal health. They are curious about embodied practice as a portal for ancestral connection, centering joy in creative spaces, and learning from the weird, wild, beauty of nature. They are a company dancer and Director of Education with the vertical dance company BANDALOOP, sharing free public art performances globally and working towards creating safer, accessible spaces for all bodies to experience vertical joy.
Rose has been collaborating with Nina Haft & Co since 2018 and is ever grateful for the thoughtful and supportive processes Nina facilitates. In their non-dance time, Rose can be found climbing rocks, romping with their dog, or daydreaming about all the things they want to eat.
Frances Sedayao is a multi-disciplinary artist who has performed with many Bay Area notables, in the US and abroad over the past 25 years. She’s an SF Apature Featured Artist, faculty at CSUEB, Art resident of NY OMI International & a Jefferson Awards recipient. Frances is currently in collaboration with Kularts, Dance Brigade, Sarah Bush Dance, Yiddish Theater Ensemble (actor), & Joe Goode. Her work w/ Nina Haft began over 2 decades ago. Nina has been a collaborator, director & a mentor to Frances since.
Originally from Mexico City, Nico Ortiz Maimon is a Bay Area performer, educator, and community organizer. Her work has been supported by the Queering Dance Festival, FRESH Festival exchange, PLATAFORMA, and more. Nico has had the pleasure to work with Estrellx Supernova, Bianca Cabrera, David Herrera, Kim Ip, Cookie Harrist, and others.
Jesse Wiener grew up exploring movement in Minneapolis, MN, continued her study at Oberlin College and is excited to be returning to her Bay Area dance community in this new work with Nina Haft and collaborators Nico, Rose, Frances, and Jennifer. When Jesse is not dancing she is picking berries and working with neurodivergent children, where she continues to learn about the power of bodies, movement, earth cycles and play.
Artistic Director Nina Haft’s choreography has been produced at West Wave Dance Festival, Berkeley Art Museum, ODC Theater, SUSHI, Walker Art Center, Dance Umbrella, Central Park SummerStage and the Novosibirsk Opera House in Siberia. NHCo has performed internationally at the Amman and Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festivals, Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance, and Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp (Bethlehem, Palestine). Nina was a founding member of AXIS Dance Company, a mixed-ability dance company. She has been an artist in residence for the California Arts Council, City of Oakland, Djerassi Resident Artist Program (John D. and Susan P. Diekman Fellow), Hambidge Center for Creative Arts, CHIME (Margaret Jenkins’ Dance Company Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange), and at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.
Nina holds an MFA in Dance and Choreography from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee where she was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. She also holds a first degree black belt in Kajukenbo Kung Fu, is a certified Self-Defense Instructor and a dance professor at California State University, East Bay. Her studies of the Feldenkrais Method, qigong and permaculture practices have deeply informed her work.
Emma Tome (they/them) has an eclectic background in classical piano and choral singing, Okinawan folk music, and self-taught guitar, percussion, and production, and takes an observational, intuitive approach to composition for dance. They aim to underscore the environmental and emotional textures of movement, often working with sampled speech and unconventional source materials connected to a work’s themes. They delight in collaborating with movement artists to collectively realize a supportive sonic world for performance. Previous work includes composing for “death pod” (Nol Simonse and Jim Cave) and “before the clay dries” (Melissa Lewis Wong and Malia Hatico-Byrne).
Photo: Lydia Daniller