To celebrate the 30th anniversary of SF State's impressive Labor Archives and Research Center, the center's director Catherine Powell commissioned a dance performance choreographed by Jo Kreiter and produced by local apparatus-based dance company Flyaway Productions to call attention to the archive, and its building. The resulting performance that occurred earlier this month, which you can see above, features dancers lowered on ropes along the side of the building itself and appearing to fly through the air as they leap above its surface.
Powell selected Kreiter because her work often deals with social justice and women's issues, and they wanted to create something that spoke to the lives of women in the workplace since the 1970s. The archive includes things like oral histories from local women who were the first in their trades, like the Bay Area's first female electrician.
As the Golden Gate Xpress reports:
The dance features several oral histories from women breaking gender roles in the workplace.
The dance was broken up into three sections: It opened with choreography about women trying to break into the job market, then moved to the second section covering the topic of women being confined to menial work, despite their qualifications, and finally, portrayed women working in the garment industry.
Powell said the idea was simply to put on a spectacle that would remind people on campus that the archive was there. “A lot of people on campus just didn’t know we were here we thought, ‘We want to be visible; we want people to know we’re here,'" she tells the Xpress. And, now, they do.