Artistic Directors Stephanie Maher (Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen, Germany) and Kathleen Hermesdorf (La Alternativa, San Francisco, USA), launched P.O.R.C.H. in 2010, inspired by over twenty years of collaboration in dance, improvisation, and art-making.
The goal of P.O.R.C.H. is to facilitate a multi-disciplinary artistic international meeting-place, discourse, and platform by cultivating and facilitating an ongoing, growing network of practitioners, creators, and educators for collaborative projects and programs.
P.O.R.C.H. is committed to mutual exchange between creative professionals and an ongoing engagement in the fields of dance and related forms. P.O.R.C.H. aims to provide ongoing, modular, and immersive training and research systems that offer a curated experience of different modalities, perspectives, places, and cultures.
Our intention is to invite you to participate in the shaping of contemporary culture.
P.O.R.C.H. honors the wisdom and experience of our inter-generational mentor program, and inspires participants to learn communally and independently. The interactivity at the heart of the program offers opportunities for friendship, mentorship, collaboration, and assisted access into the contemporary art scenes of Berlin and San Francisco.
P.O.R.C.H. provokes discussions and questions around life practice and embodiment, motion and performance.
Stephanie Maher and Kathleen Hermesdorf met in San Francisco in 1992, through the circles related to contact improvisation and dance-related forms. They were members of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, ADD HOC, CORE, and trained and created work with members of Contraband. They started their own teaching and performance work under the company name Collusion. Since 2000, they have been collaborating cross-continentally through Ponderosa and La Alternativa — co-teaching, co-creating, co-curating and cultivating a network of facilitators and practitioners active both professionally and academically.
Stephanie Maher has been creating art and contexts for dance and related forms in the community-based settings she established at 848 Community Space in San Francisco, K77 Studios in Berlin and Ponderosa Tanzland Festival in Stolzenhagen, Germany since 1990. She launched P.O.R.C.H. to set the stage for deeper investigations and inhabitations, while manifesting a space where she can continue to play, dream and devise a never-ending building-site for art-making and community-building.
Kathleen Hermesdorf has been a part of Ponderosa and P.O.R.C.H. since their inceptions. Alternative Conservatory is a training and meeting ground in dance and related forms based in San Francisco that has its roots in Ponderosa, and is the educational aspect of La Alternativa, an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music, directed by Hermesdorf together with Albert Mathias.
How to apply
If you feel that you are ready to jump into the artistic transformation that P.O.R.C.H. allows, you can apply by email for either one or both modules, or for the P.O.R.C.H. Summer Package. Reductions in costs are available for participants who commit either to undertaking both modules, or to undertaking the summer package. We highly recommend committing to as long a stay at P.O.R.C.H. as is possible, for an expansive range of body-based techniques and compositional forms, to enliven your work as an artist, performer, improviser, or teacher. All details of costs and available funding and support are provided here.
To ensure that participants receive individual and unique mentoring, consideration, and feedback, places in all modules are strictly limited, and we recommend applying early.
To apply, please send a current Curriculum Vitae and an accompanying letter of interest, which outlines your reasons for feeling that you are well-suited to participating in PO.R.C.H.2018, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.