History/Mission

Awarded Artist-In-Residence at Berkeley’s Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in 2006, I founded Dana Lawton Dances (DLD) to expand from being a single artist picking up dancers for a particular project to becoming Artistic Director of eleven dancers committed to my artistic endeavors. In that time I have presented work locally, nationally and internationally. In 2014 DLD became Artist-in-Residence at The Flight Deck, a new performance theater in downtown Oakland where HOME premiered.

 

“My mission is to celebrate social diversity and develop meaningful collaborations with other artists. My company ranges in age from 23 to 67. Working with dancers of diverse ages offers a unique perspective into the rich multiplicity of human lives, provides the audience with a new perspective on what constitutes a dancer, and inspires people to reimagine what is possible at any age. I have a deep interest in collaborating with innovative artists and, like much of my previous work; DLD’s HOME interfaced with local artists whose work in music, costume design, and lighting were integral aspects of the performances.” -Lawton

 

The current and ongoing activities of DLD include touring both nationally and internationally, a yearly home season presented in the Bay Area, and presenting a minimum of two free community performance per season locally. DLD is committed to 2-3 performances per year at curated events and invites members of the community to attend 2-3 open rehearsals each year and provide feedback to the creative process. I also teach two open classes per week at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.

 

Recent accomplishments this past year for DLD include home season, Beyond This Moment, (Ashby Stage, Berkeley, October 2013); tour of Beyond This Moment, (Center Stage, Santa Barbara, January 2014). Both shows sold out before opening night and earned extensive positive reviews. DLD premiered Silence Of… in collaboration with composer Stephanie Webster, performed at the San Francisco Academy of Music. DLD was invited to tour and performance at the Royere de Vasiviere Festival in Chamberet, France in July 2014. HOME premiered at the Flight Deck in Oakland in April 2015 and toured to Belfast, Ireland at the Crescent Arts Center in July 2015.

 

“A key goal of DLD is to continue to make dances that celebrate social diversity and meaningful collaborations with other artists. The most important challenge for DLD is the inability to pay artists for their invaluable contribution to the rehearsal process. The ability to present work on a consistent basis cements DLD’s voice in the Bay Area dance community and is integral to achieving our mission.”

“Lawton gave eloquent and virtuosic choreographic voice to all of her dancers”—Kepl

“It is a very rewarding piece to see. Ms. Lawton’s skill and concentration are remarkable.” (Joanna Harris—Culture Vulture 2009)