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Dances Around the House
Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

Dances Around the House was an evening-length solo dance work created by collaborating choreographers Joanna Haigood and Remy Charlip as one of Charlip’s Air Mail Dances. Dances Around the House premiered at the San Francisco Exploratorium on January 14 & 15, 2005.

For over 25 years Remy Charlip sent his invention Air Mail Dances to soloists and companies all over the world. The performer/choreographer receives drawn dance scores of 20 single figures on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and without instructions from Charlip, orders them, creates transitions between positions, and provides the context and meaning. While the movement score may be the same for several artists, the resulting performance is incredibly unique - drawing on individual aesthetics, movement vocabularies, and personal experience. This reflects Charlip's interest in collaborations and seeing how artists comment on his original impulse. Air Mail Dances have allowed artists all over the world to create innovative works based on Charlip's drawings.

Haigood brought five of Charlip's scores to life in Dances Around the House. The scores included Dance for a Doorway, Sweeping Dance, and Dances for Three Steps. Sculptor Wayne Campbell designed a set of objects typically found in a house, which were suspended above the Exploratorium's Distorted Room. Charlip and Haigood produced a fanciful, challenging, and thought-provoking performance piece. While an Artist-in-Residence at the Exploratorium, Joanna Haigood worked on the phenomenon of shadows, which were a primary component of this new work.

Remy Charlip's extensive career has included performing with John Cage, dancing and designing costumes for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, winning two Village Voice Obie awards, and three New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year citations. He has choreographed for The Oakland Ballet, The London Contemporary Dance Company, Caracas Taller De Danza, New South Wales Dance Company, and The Metro Theatre Circus. He has also written and illustrated 30 picture books, for which he has been honored and deemed a National Treasure by the Library of Congress.

Choreography: Joanna Haigood and Remy Charlip Scenic Design: Wayne Campbell Lighting Design: Joanna Haigood

Soloist Joanna Haigood

Premiere Date

Premiere Location
Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

Funders / Commissioners
Dances Around the House was made possible with generous support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Opportunity Foundation, San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund/Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and individual donors

Photography: Andy Mogg

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Please contact Zaccho Dance Theatre at for permission to use and/or access additional materials not currently made available on this website.