Competition: US & Canada
Founder of ABD Productions, a performing arts company committed to inspiring social change through the arts, Anne Bluethenthal’s choreographic language troubles the paradigm of western dance in service of choreographies that face difficult issues of the day with eloquence and passion. Her work grows from the belief that relationship is the first site of social change. After building a repertoire of original works over 3 decades, Bluethenthal initiated the Skywatchers program, rooted in SF’s Tenderloin District. An inter-generational, multi-ethnic, mixed-ability, community-based performing arts ensemble of Bay Area artists and Tenderloin neighbors committed to leveraging arts for justice and equity, Skywatchers’ work emerges from the talents, wisdom, stories, and concerns that animate ensemble members’ lives. Bluethenthal’s community engaged practice also produced ANDARES, a durational collaboration with survivors of the Salvadoran civil war, contributing to the historical memory movement of that country. Among her honors are the Guggenheim Fellowship, Artist Legacy Award from the SF Arts Commission, Award of Recognition from El Teatro Nacional de San Salvador, YBCA 100, SF Chronicle’s Best of 2001, SF Weekly’s Black Box, the SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie Award, and the Rhinette Award for Choreography from Theatre Rhinoceros.