Sara Shelton Mann with Jesse Zaritt

Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, and teacher since 1967. She was a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis in New York City before moving to Canada where she met Andrew Harwood and fell in love with Contact Improvisation. In 1979 she moved to San Francisco to work with Mangrove, now Mixed Bag Productions, for which she serves as artistic director. One of its early manifestations was the company Contraband, launched as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body and spiritual practice into a unified system of research. Among her awards are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, seven Isadora Duncan Awards, including a special achievement award for “erasing time: celebrating 30 years a radical dance legend” (Sara Shelton Mann with David Szlasa and Norman Rutherford), Djerassi Artist in Residence Awards, Headlands Center for the Arts Residency 2016, Lifetime Achievement Bay Guardian Award, 10 Women Who Made a Difference, Bay Guardian “Goldie” Award, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (2016). Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions. Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.

Jesse Zaritt's work engages drawing as dancing - a visual and physical practice linked to dreaming, drafting and materializing futures. His choreographic, performance and teaching practices research the ways in which excessive, contemplative and resistive dance practices change how movement arises in the world and how dancing participates in processes of social transformation. A series of solo works made between 2008 and 2022 interrogate attachments to Jewish ritual and community, seeking to queer dominant paradigms of familial/national belonging, religion, gender and sexuality.

Jesse has performed his solo work in Taiwan, Uruguay, Korea, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Israel and throughout the United States. He has performed with Shen Wei Dance Arts and in the work of Netta Yerushalmy and Faye Driscoll; he is an artistic adviser for Driscoll's ongoing projects. Zaritt is an Associate Professor at the University of the Arts (PA) and currently works in creative dialogue with Sara Shelton Mann.

Living Legacy Artist | January 23-Feb 5, 2024

moving alchemy: puzzles/propositions/journeys

Legacy Artist Sara Shelton Mann and collaborator, Jesse Zaritt, will be coming to MANCC to further develop their body of work, a series of duets and solos that have been in process since 2018. They will also work on the creation of a book that aims to make Shelton Mann’s teaching methodologies accessible. This pedagogic philosophy has been in development over her 60-year career as a choreographer, performer and teacher. It investigates how training and performance converge into technique or how techniques and training converge and converse with performance. These methodologies are informed by Shelton Mann’s rigorous study of somatics, metaphysics and healing modalities; the work is born through the alchemy of her embodied attention and intention over decades of practice. They will use their time at MANCC to develop the text of the book, imagining how it could work in professional and educational settings. They plan to engage with FSU students in a workshop to explore how the manual activates dancers alongside Sara and Jesse’s live facilitation.

While at MANCC, the artist collaborators will also continue to develop their performance work. For both, the movement between research, teaching and creating performance is essential and inevitable. The questions that arise through this blending of practices provoke urgency, a relational urgency that asks for witnesses, a meeting of the other within and beyond ourselves.

  • Photos Coming Soon

Featured Artist

Faye Driscoll

February 22 - 24
Carolina Performing
Arts, UNC Chapel Hill


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