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Amara Tabor-Smith (Oakland) collaborating with CounterPULSE (San Francisco)

Award: $40,000 Performing Arts Grant awarded in 2010

Choreographer Amara Tabor-Smith and her company, Deep Waters Dance Theater, collaborated with director Ellen Sebastian Chang, visual artist Lauren Elder, and CounterPULSE to create Our Daily Bread, an interactive dance/video/text/meal collage that celebrated food, illuminated differences in cultural identity, and advocated for well-being in our food traditions and eating practices. The collaborators delved into folklore and stories surrounding food traditions and how those traditions are affected by industrialized agriculture, fast-food culture, and our global food crisis. Their development process included food parties, public workshops, work with local urban farmers, video documentation of workshops, and a blog. All these activities culminated with a performance (at which audience members were fed) and installation at CounterPULSE.

Lead artist Amara Tabor-Smith was associate artistic director and company member with The Urban Bush Women for more than a decade. She previously collaborated with Ellen Sebastian Chang and Lauren Elder on The Invisible Lines Project (2001-02), which dealt with gentrification in a north Oakland neighborhood. She formed Deep Waters Dance Theater, in 2006 as a company that is dedicated to creating work that is relevant to its community, inspiring dialogue and social change.

Based in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, CounterPULSE presents and supports the development of a breadth of performance, including theater, contemporary and traditional dance, music, live art, literature, and spoken word.