ARTSHIP: Geographies of Memory

On Friday evening, Randy and I went to see the ARTSHIP Foundation’s Geographies of Memory at the Port of Oakland on 10th Avenue. The ARTSHIP is the former U.S.S. Crescent City, a troop transport ship during WWII. In fact, it was originally launched as merchant ship Del Orleans before being acquired by the Navy in 1941. The Crescent City saw significant action in the Pacific Theater before being decommissioned in 1948. In 1971, she was loaned to the State of California, renamed the name Golden Bear, and acted as a maritime school vessel until 1995. Four years later, she was purchased by ARTSHIP Director Slobodan Dan Paich, renamed ARTSHIP, and is now serving as a cultural and educational center for the East Bay.

Performing at dusk in front of the ship were three dance companies, ARTSHIP Dance, Nina Haft and Company, and Facing East Dance & Music. Rae performed in the piece entitled Paper Walls, which was choreographed by Facing East’s Artistic Director, Sue Li Jue. Back in November, 2001, I had seen an earlier version of Paper Walls in Berkeley.

The bay chill was in full-force throughout the evening, and spectators were strongly encouraged to dress warmly. Randy and I felt for the performers, most of whom danced in bare feet and dressed in thin and loose outfits. I’d like to think that the up/down action of pressing the shutter provided me with enough warming action to fend off the cold, but man, that didn’t help!

There were twelve performances during the evening. Here are some select photos from 8 of them.

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