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Sean Dorsey (San Francisco) collaborating with Queer Cultural Center (San Francisco)

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

Premiered: February 2012

 Choreographer and dancer Sean Dorsey collaborated with Queer Cultural Center to create Notes from the Gender Underground, an interdisciplinary dance theater concert created by Dorsey with an ensemble of four LGBT dancers, three composer/musicians, and a sound designer. Dorsey developed the concert’s content by engaging the transgender community in a year-long oral history and research process that uncovered transgender stories from the past and present. Dorsey conceived of the production as a suite of three dances employing movement, theater, and music, to explore the role of the “underground” in the formation and evolution of transgender identity and community.

The nation’s first critically acclaimed transgender choreographer, Sean Dorsey has introduced transgender content and sensibility into modern dance. Over the last eight years, he has developed a form that fuses text-based narratives, modern dance, theater, and music.

Founded in 1993, the Queer Cultural Center (QCC) is a multiracial, multidisciplinary, arts presenter that promotes the development of queer art and culture. At its festivals, produced annually in June, it has presented more than 1,300 artists and developed a large and culturally diverse audience. QCC also provides consulting and incubation services to emerging LGBT arts groups and commissions queer artists to create new works.

Photo credit: Lydia Daniller