Christian Burns and Alex Ketley—the Foundry–created an original dance performance based on explorations and improvisations in “non-public” areas at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, such as the air intake room in the basement, underground studios, utility rooms, electrical rooms, interior passageways, and administrative offices. The piece sustained the Foundry’s exploration of the history and meaning of distinct locations. While developing The Fleshing Memory as a performance, the dancers also created a video based on their explorations, which was presented in Yerba Buena Center’s lobby as part of its triennial “Bay Area Now” exhibition.
Trained as ballet dancers, Christian Burns and Alex Ketley’s professional experience includes dancing with such companies as the San Francisco Ballet, and the James Sewell Ballet in Minneapolis, and Alonzo King’s LINES Contemporary Ballet. They co-founded The Foundry in 1998. In 2001, while artists-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, they explored new ways of designing performance space and video installations in an outdoor, natural environment. Their process at Yerba Buena Center grew out of that earlier work, but in an institutional environment. Also improvising with them were Andrea Flores, dancer; Nicholas Yagoda, dancer/video/text; Marina Hotchkiss, dancer; Torsten Z Burns, dancer; Summer Lee Rhatigan, dancer/spoken text; Mathew DeGumbia, lighting design; and Rita Dilorenzo, costume design.
Since its inception in 1993, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts has set out to present the highest quality contemporary visual arts, performing arts, film/video, and education programs that represent diverse Bay Area audiences. These multidisciplinary programs are organized around the concept of the Center as an “idea house,” where artists’ ideas are nurtured, supported and presented in myriad ways.