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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meet Our Masterminds: Detour Dance and Meklit Hadero

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge lrmm2012_logo.jpg

The economy sucks, but we don't care -- the Bay Area is home to artists so talented they deserve to take over the world. That's why the Masterminds grants are given to three local and emerging artists who need that little push to become even more awesome.

SF Weekly has narrowed down the potential winners to 10 finalists, with the three winners being chosen Feb. 16. at Public Works during Artopia. Until then we're going to fall in love with their creative work all over again by featuring the profiles (written by our arts critic Jonathan Curiel) of two finalists each day right up until the event. Today, meet detour dance and Meklit Hadero.

detour dance: The Outdoor Dance Troupe

click to enlarge detour dance's Pedestrian Crossing
  • detour dance's Pedestrian Crossing

Some people stare in disbelief. Whether it's the beginning of the dance, the middle, or the end, they just keep staring, amazed that two young dancers -- Eric Garcia and Kat Cole -- are performing on the streets of San Francisco. Cole says staring is as great a reaction as applause. "People usually just stop and watch and wonder what the heck is going on," she says. "That's the reaction you want to elicit."

Cole, 23, and Garcia, 22, are the artistic directors of detour dance, a company they founded after meeting as students at the University of San Francisco. Together the two have chemistry and perfect comic timing -- a combination that's rare in the world of dance. In their work-in-progress video "Pedestrian Crossing," Garcia and Cole sit at a table they put in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, where they employ arm gestures and other maneuvers to dance with each other and wrestle with a teapot.

click to enlarge detour dance's  Imitations of Intimacy
  • detour dance's Imitations of Intimacy

At one point, Garcia is at the corner of Fell and Baker waiting for the light to change. Bikes, taxis, and trucks pass by. We see a homeless person pushing a shopping cart. Yet the show continues, as Garcia and a troupe of pedestrians around her dance in unison and opposition.

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Whether it's the park or the beach or some other venue, Garcia and Cole say getting out in public environs turns those spaces into venues akin to Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. "We're trying," Cole says, "to explore spaces that you pass by every day."

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