In Randy Shaw’s book “The Tenderloin,” he makes a straightforward call for “evening activities that bring positive foot traffic into the area.” Inspired by this call to action, Flyaway is leading non-profit and community partners to make “TENDER (n): a person who takes charge.” TENDER (n) is a site-specific, off the ground dance that celebrates the outcasts who have defied convention In San Francisco’s Tenderloin- the city’s most vulnerable neighborhood- in the last 100 years.
Jo Kreiter- community-builder- forged partnerships with the Tenderloin Museum, Code Tenderloin, the Asian Art Museum, the Au Co Center, Cadillac Hotel, CounterPULSE, and composer/community liaison Vân-Ánh Võ. Our goals are to facilitate cross-communication between these institutions and the Tenderloin community; while creating an arresting work of public art.
Flyaway is seeking support for our collaboration with Vân-Ánh Võ, on this project.
The centerpiece of TENDER (n) is a free site-specific dance that wraps around the Cadillac Hotel (May-June). Flyaway will use artistic language to expose how the Tenderloin’s simultaneous isolation and social stamina have impacted the neighborhood over the last 100 years, with focus on four waves of activism. We build the work daily, in full view of the public. For months, the project becomes part of the neighborhood’s landscape, infusing the street culture with original music, dance, and acrobatic spectacle. Each section of the dance contains its own community engagement process:
- NINE LADIES DANCING: Young, single women in the early 1900s
- THE QUEEN’s WAVE: Trans Activism of the 1960s
- KATHY’s DANCE: an oral history of Kathy Looper/ the impact of her Cadillac Hotel on low-income housing stability
- THIS BOAT: highlights Vietnamese leadership and neighborhood history from the 1970s
Vân-Ánh will compose an original score for TENDER: (n) about the four waves of activism, using experimental and traditional instrumentation. Vân-Ánh Võ is one of the finest performers of Vietnamese traditional instruments in the world and a rapidly emerging composer. She dedicates her life to creating music by blending the wonderfully unique sounds of Vietnamese instruments with other music genres and fusing deeply rooted Vietnamese musical traditions with fresh new structures and compositions.
Vân-Ánh will also lead direct communication with the SE Asian community in the Tenderloin. In the words of Hang To, founder of AU CO, the Tenderloin was a vital shelter, compared to the refugee camps that were the other alternative for her family. Hang and Vân-Ánh Võ have already generated a group of multigenerational people to interview about their TL leadership experience.
We build the work daily, in full view of the public to become part of the neighborhood’s landscape, infusing the street culture with original music, dance, and acrobatic spectacle. The Tenderloin Museum will host two workshops led by Vân-Ánh and Jo. The Asian Art Museum co–commissioned Vân-Ánh Võ ‘s fee and will host an Artist Talk with Jo and Vân-Ánh during the run.
In July 2018, TENDER (n) moves to CounterPULSE where Kreiter and her collaborators make a youth-driven dance performance about current activism among the city’s youth.