San Diego Dance Theater brings its 13th annual Trolley Dances to Santee
Talk about a moving performance. Trolley Dances is emotion, diversion, action, passion and transportation all rolled into one.
This unique multi-location, site-specific urban event, created by Jean Isaacs, founding artistic director of San Diego Dance Theater, is celebrating its 13th anniversary. Each fall, Isaacs, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Transit System, chooses a different line and stretch of the San Diego trolley system to present short dance pieces in unexpected places. This year, it’s the Green Line.
The 2011 event, which includes four stops and six dances, begins at the Grantville Station in Mission Gorge and ends at the Santee Trolley Square Town Center.
“The Santee Chamber and local businesses are looking forward to hosting Trolley Dances in Santee and demonstrating our commitment to the arts,” says Ronn Hall, Santee Chamber of Commerce President 2011. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our community.”
Here’s how it works. You buy a ticket in advance or show up at the Grantville Station for a Saturday or Sunday tour (they leave every hour). Then, with a guide leading the way, you hop on and off the trolley (your ticket is good for the day) and are directed to distinctive and surprising areas to watch a short dance performance. In the past, dances have been staged in a pool, on an escalator, in the produce aisle of a supermarket, in a business office and in a nature preserve, just to name a few.
This year, the five choreographers have chosen trolley station sites (two at Grantville), the Aztec Green at SDSU, a car dealership off the Arnele Street station in El Cajon, and two locations in Santee.
Allyson Green, chair of the Theatre & Dance Department at UCSD, has placed her dancers on the north side of Santee Trolley Square, with a view of the mountains. The vista made her think of the Wild West, and her dance creation was inspired by that.
Jean Isaacs, whose dances are often delightfully whimsical, has choreographed two pieces for this year’s Trolley Dances. One is the first all-teenage dance in the event’s history. Fifteen young, accomplished dancers, age 14-18, will perform at SDSU, on the greenspace between the upper campus and the trolley station.
Isaacs’ other presentation is what she calls “an international cooking school,” danced in a vacant Santee restaurant space that used to be La Salsa.
“Each one of the eight dancers has created a character that’s a cook from a different tradition,” Isaacs explains. “I think the two pieces in Santee are going to be quite light and fun.”
The other choreographers are John Diaz, who also dances in Isaacs’ “international cooking school,” Paz Tanjuaquio , a UCSD alum now working in New York; and Minerva Tapia, director of the binational Minerva Tapia Dance Group.
So, get on board! Six new dance creations, 55 dancers, a matchless trolley ride and two local performances. You’ll be surprised how exhilarating riding the rails and seeing high-quality, high-spirited modern dance can be.
Note : If you’d like to be a volunteer guide for Trolley Dances, contact San Diego Dance Theater by September 17 (see contact info below).
“Trolley Dances” runs for two weekends, September 24-25 and October 1-2, beginning at the Grantville Trolley Station, 4510 Alvarado Canyon Rd. and ending at the Santee Trolley Square Town Center.
Tours (lasting about 3 hours) leave every hour from 10-3:00 on Saturdays and 1-4:00 on Sundays.
Tickets ($15-$30) are available at 619-225-1803 or www.sandiegodancetheater.org , or you can just show up at the Grantville Station.