Flash Mob Dance

I dig Flash Mobs. Watching them never fails to elicit a big grin. Truth be told… I sometimes get a little teary eyed, but who wouldn’t watching Christmas Food Court Hallelujah? Of course, I have yet to see a zombie flash complete with fake blood or a mob of naked folks streaking the streets, so my enthusiasm for flash mobs might be selective.

Regardless, groups breaking into dance and song in public and seemingly out of nowhere is pretty cool, and now Davis has it’s very own Dance Flash Mob.

The Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop has received an arts contract for Taking It to The Streets, a public art program offering free dance classes and the chance to create art in public places.

Taking It to The Streets is funded jointly through an Arts Contract from the City of Davis’ Arts Contract Program and the Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop, we’re offering two free classes a week for the Davis Community! Come to a single class, or come to every class, move with others in the studio, move with others in public places. It’s all about building community, making connections, creating art in public places, and mostly… Having a great time with movement! (1)

Dancers at the Farmer's market 3/5 celebrating Pig Day!

The free classes will be running for the entire year and are held on Thursdays from 5:30-6:30pm and Saturdays from 12:30-1:30pm. The classes are open to everyone age 7 on up through senior citizens. Trokanski plans to offer a special class for children under 7 sometime in the near future. If you won’t be attending the classes, you can still get on an email list to be notified whenever they will be putting on a flash mob.

No previous dance experience is necessary for these classes!

I think this gets to the heart of why I love flash mobs. Dancing, singing, creativity and art are available to us all and I love seeing people reclaim that together in community. Watching a performance of technically trained dancers is wonderful, but dance is so much bigger than that small sphere of amazing, but elite, folks. The Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop knows this, and their classes are geared toward bringing dance back into all of our lives. Trokanski writes that dance (and I assume she applies this to all of the arts) is a “form of expression, communication, and creative endeavor that belongs to all people of all ages.” (2).

The dance workshop’s website says: “Taking It To the Streets is about coming together as a community, and creating something special together. . . . Bring your family, bring a friend! If you have additional questions, please call Pamela at 756-3949 or email her at ptdtdw@aol.com, otherwise…Come and Dance!”

Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop
2720 Del Rio Place, Davis, CA 95618
(530) 756-3949

(1) (http://www.trokanski.com/special_events_taking_it_to_the_streets.html
(2) http://www.trokanski.com/index.html

Amaneceres de Sacramento ~ 16th & L

Nine beautiful sunrises (amaneceres) radiate energy along the facade what could have been an ordinary parking garage building. From the corner of 16th & J, the 16′ high cut steel grille arches, called rajas, extend down each block (1). The artpiece is called, Amaneceres de Sacramento, and it was created by Victor Mario Zaballa, an artist from San Francisco.

The rajas were inspired by wrought-iron tracery placed over doorways in 16th-19th century colonial hacienda and mission architecture of Mexico (#).

This piece was created as one of about two dozen art pieces by different artists in the Capital Area East End Art Program. Last September, I posted on a metal grillwork piece by Gale McCall that is also part of the East End project.

The state government website for this project describes the rajas as representing the rising sun:

The inspiration for the rising sun icon comes from the Aztec “Stone of the Sun” or Aztec calendars as well as the shining, sun-feathered headdresses of Quetzalcoatl or the Morning Star. (2)

The various shapes within the arches form layers of concentric arcs and these contribute to the radiating energy emanating from the central “sun” image.

Zaballa and his long-time partner, Ann Chamberlain (who passed away in 2008), collaborated in 1999 on a project for the Mexican Cultural Heritage Gardens in San Jose (3).

Images of their art for the San Jose gardens can be found on the Google Books page for a book titled, Designing the World’s West Public Art. The book describes the theme of their collaborative artpiece as, Cemanahuac, or “the location of the individual within their community and the cosmos.” Over 500 community members drew on their personal histories and participated in creating this piece during a series of public workshops (4).

In an interview with Shuka Kalantari, Zaballa describes how he survived liver failure some years ago (5). He was on dialysis for seven years while he waited for a transplant and during that time the viens in his arms swelled from the dialysis to the point where he could not create his art. He eventually had a successful transplant and has returned to his art. The interview discusses the cultural implications of organ donation and transplant in the Latino community, and it also includes a slideshow video of Zaballa and some of his art.

In 1990, Zaballa completed an artist research program at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. He created a performance piece called, Ayolotl, which drew, in part, from his own dreams:

Victor Mario Zaballa created a performance based on tradition, anthropological research, and his own dreams. “Ayolotl” explored the relationship of pre-Columbian people with the nature that surrounded them. The performance included the use of a Mayan water drum which he finished during his residency, and the traditional paper art of Mexico. (6)

Next time you drive, walk, or ride along the East End Garage at 16th & L, take a moment to notice and enjoy the warming energy of nine rising suns.

Another set of photos are available at the CA.gov main page for this artpiece.

Title: Amaneceres de Sacramento
Artist: Victor Mario Zaballa
Date: ~ 2003 or 2004
Media: Metal
Location: North and west facades of the East End Parking Garage at 16th & L

View Pedestrian Art, Sacramento in a larger map

(1) http://www.eastend.dgs.ca.gov/ArtProgram/Victor+Zaballa+Main+Page.htm
(2) http://www.eastend.dgs.ca.gov/ArtProgram/Victor+Zaballa+Main+Page.htm
(3) http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-04-22/bay-area/17146113_1_gallery-paule-anglim-collaborative-san-francisco-main-library/2
(4) http://thebesttimeoftheday.blogspot.com/2009/06/ann-chamberlain.html
(5) http://www.reportingonhealth.org/fellowships/projects/organ-donation-latinos-isnt-only-medical-issue
(6) http://www.exploratorium.edu/programs/ARP_projects.html


Everything changes.

This wall has no mural. Last time I saw this wall, it was graced with a wonderful mural, but yesterday when I visited to take photos and get a closer look, I found this blandly painted wall.

In December, Shaun Turner painted an intricate and interesting mural along this wall next to the courtyard of Sugar Plum Vegan Bakery Cafe at 2309 K Street. Fortunately, Russ Andris took a photo of the mural soon after it was created and you should visit his site to see a photo of the short-lived mural.

When I visited yesterday and found the blank wall, I asked after the mural at Never Felt Better Vegan Shop. Sounds like the appropriate permission/agreement was not sought before the mural was painted. Here is a Sacramento Press article on the story.

Unfortunate events leading to the loss of a beautiful mural! But there are plans to build a patio wall that will be home to another mural.