“CounterPULSE is an important incubator for performance art. Works which found their inception at CounterPULSE have gone to the Forum at YBCA and the main stage at ODC, crossed the seas to Greece, Germany and elsewhere, and traveled the states. It came as no surprise that Rebetiko, conceived at CounterPULSE, was chosen in 2010 as the inaugural show of the inaugural season at the new ODC theatre. CounterPULSE is now — inventive and courageous. It speaks to me and for me.”
-Ken Hempel, Luminary Member, 2011
“CounterPULSE serves a vital role in the delicate ecology of the Bay Area arts community, serving as an incubator for emerging artists, a presenter of cutting-edge performance, and a nexus for the exchange of practices and ideas between diverse communities.”
-Kenneth Foster Executive Director, YBCA, 2009
“CounterPULSE is a group of sensitive and humane professionals who deeply understand the difficulties, frustrations (as well as joys), and vulnerabilities of artistic expression, and stand behind their artists firmly, supporting and guiding them through their journey.”
-Devendra Sharma, Performing Diaspora Artist in Residence 2009-2010
“The expert structuring of this program, coupled with the passionate staff and tremendous support created an environment where my artistic process felt quite rich. I was able to work in ways I had always hoped to and was provided with plenty of time to experiment and play. I felt free to try things out, to change my mind, and vary my choices. The luxury of experimentation should not be underestimated.”
-Laura Arrington, Artist in Residence 2010
“I can’t imagine a better place to have learned how to self-produce. It’s clear from the moment you walk in the door that you genuinely want the artists to succeed and to grow. I for one have grown a lot within those walls.”
-Katie Faulkner, little seismic dance theater
“CounterPULSE is plugged into current events, community history, and innovative art ranging from dance to video to theater to clown to queer performance art to various hybrids of all of that and more. This is an ambitious organization … Their finger is truly on the pulse.”
- Maya G.
“An absolutely necessary and needed space for emerging artists and alternative and experimental art.”
- Dudley F.
In a city known for the mixing of dance and movement with theater, music, spoken word, and any other performance discipline you can think of, CounterPULSE stands out as a great venue to get a peek at how a variety of local artists are pushing the performance boundaries. While every piece might not float your boat, the constant risk-taking and experimentation creates some of the most original and compelling performances the city has to offer. The range of what CounterPULSE takes on is astonishing, not just in its performances but in its constant classes, workshops, and open discussions from artists and the community alike. All of this done in a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. Companies and artists are given the freedom to try something they never thought possible, and you stand a pretty good chance of seeing something you’ve never seen on stage before.