In-Flight Service

Jacob's Pillow, the country's oldest dance festival, is staged on a Massachusetts site that once held safe houses for fugitive slaves. S.F. choreographer Joanna Haigood, whose previous site-specific, culturally and architecturally inspired works have included dance performed in the former Serta mattress factory in Hunters Point, was so intrigued by the Jacob's Pillow story that she undertook three years of research on its history and stories from the Underground Railroad to create the evening-length work Invisible Wings. Haigood discovered that the grounds were originally homesteaded by an abolitionist named Stephen Carter, the de facto station master at this Underground Railroad stop. Along with an oral history of the Carter family, Haigood compiled historical background on the Railroad itself, and on African and African-American dance. Jacob's Pillow commissioned Wings, but Haigood and her Zaccho Dance Theater will debut it here, outdoors at Fort Point, with contributions from several collaborators. Singer/composer Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir perform live, and the company will be joined by storyteller Diane Ferlatte and dancers including Jo Krieter, Jules Beckman, Shakiri, and Robert Henry Johnson. An installation of historic photos and a brief illustrated chronology of slavery and the abolitionist movement will be placed at the coolly scenic Presidio setting, and the movement itself will blend theatrical and contemporary influences with aerial work and traditional dances. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Thursday (and continues through Sunday) at Fort Point, at the far northwest end of Marine Drive in the Presidio, S.F. Admission is $16-18; call 441-3687. (H.W.)

 
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