About This Artist

Dandelion Pic

Dandelion Dancetheater

Winter 2011 Artist in Residence

Dandelion Dancetheater is situated at the crossroads of dance, theater, community activism, healing, and new performance forms. Our work is built from a fascination with artistic experimentation, vulnerability, and risk-taking and a simultaneous commitment to the creation of high-quality, radically accessible art. We view the exploration of the endless possibilities of the human body as a potent means for personal and collective growth and share this exploration with diverse populations through performance, teaching, speaking, video, and writing.

Photographer: Luiza Silva Pictured: Stacz Sadowski and Keith Penney


Performing Thursday-Sunday, March 31 – April 3,  8pm


Jump ship mid way & Friend ImageFriend is an homage to Sharon Mussen, a close friend of Director Eric Kupers who passed away in December of 2010. It is also an investigation of the nature of friendship. What does it mean to develop and sustain friendships in our fast-paced contemporary culture? Do we have friends outside of our work? Our art making? Our romantic relationships? How has the role of friendship changed with the deluge of hi-tech communication methods now at our fingertips? Is a friend on Facebook the same as a friend in flesh and blood? Is friendship all it’s cracked up to be? Are we able to be truly honest with our friends? Are there important things we miss out on when we substitute friendship with work, sex, distraction, addiction, ideas, religion, alone-time?

Friend is Kupers’ most personally intimate performance work in a long while. Incorporating what he has learned from a number of explosive, community-rousing and highly colorful, interdisciplinary performance pieces created over the last few years, Kupers is directing a highly diverse ensemble in looking inward to discover hidden longings and ambivalences about friendship. The group of collaborating performers include dance, music, theater and design artists with and without disabilities. Each will be creating crucial chapters of Friend, bringing together movement, sound, narrative, interactive metal sculpture, live video, miniature environments and more. Joining the Dandelion Dancetheater ensemble are close friends of both Kupers and Mussen: Bay Area composer Patrick Cress and Portland painter Benjamin Clark. Together these artists will tell a surreal story of the growth and loss of one unusual friendship, and through this tap into both the underbelly and heartful gifts of friendship throughout the lives of everyone involved.

Cast: Cristina Carasquillo, Patrick Cashman, Patrick Cress, Dana DeGuzman, Chris Gallegos, Dorine Hoeksema, Mickey Kay, Eric Kupers, Heather Lukens, Matt Payne (April 2nd only), Keith Penney, Mantra Plonsey, Anne-Lise Reusswig, Sue Roginski, David Ryther, Stacz Sadowski

Media Sponsors: SFBG logo 7x7 logo Bay Stages logo

Dandelion Dancetheater will be performing Friend as a double bill with Kegan Marling.

Blog Roll

  • As we finish up our first premiere weekend of Arthur in Underland, and move towards our last, (performances run through March 18th) here’s some background on the piece, from the Director’s Note I wrote for the program: Arthur in Underland is one of the most personally vulnerable pieces I’ve ever made. It is based on […]

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  • Emmaly Wiederholt interviewed “Arthur in Underland’s” Co-Director, Writer and Performer Mantra Plonsey about the creation of Dandelion’s new work:   EMMALY WIEDERHOLT: What was the process of drawing from Eric’s personal history to write Arthur in Underland? Conversely, what is it like to perform in? MANTRA PLONSEY: Eric had recently completed the process of creating and producing AND performing […]

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  • I’m thrilled to be back at CounterPULSE, about a year after our first ARC residency. The piece we created through the residency, FRIEND came out of the recent loss of one of my closest friends to a brain tumor at the beginning of our time at CounterPULSE. In working on that piece and unearthing stories […]

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  • I’m a big fan of fermented foods and drinks: sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, rejuvelac, kim chee, wine, beer and more. It’s fascinating to me how completely new nutrients and beneficial bacteria develop when we let things settle for awhile. And then how new food and drink is created, not necessarily better than what was originally there, […]

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  • Transitioning back to ordinary life after a performance run is difficult for me. And this particular transition out of performances of Dandelion’s Friend has been particularly difficult. Ram Dass wrote and spoke about how as he began to get in touch with larger and more beautiful spiritual experiences–as he got “higher” each time–the accompanying falls […]

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