Paufve | dance is a contemporary dance company based in Oakland, California. Established in 2001 by choreographer Randee Paufve, the company was founded as a vehicle to support the continued creation of innovative work and to further explore avenues for movement research, live performance and community outreach, with a particular interest in producing consistent, high quality contemporary dance works and annual concerts in the Bay Area.
Paufve | dance ’s vision and work reflect feminist values and the necessity of contemporary community building. For each project, we gather a diverse core of dance artists to explore the complex terrain of human relationships that provides the basis for each new work. Paufve | dance is committed to movement as a potent medium for expression, with the overarching belief that dance can capture, describe, and illuminate every aspect of the human condition. We offer a canon of luscious, lyrical, intelligent, urgent, contemporary movement-based works that wed powerful movement with subtle detail. Through a creative process that addresses universal themes by attending to intimate, immediate questions of the heart, our work and performances aim to connect and share with our audiences the deep feeling and thinking states that emerge from complex kinesthetic expression. Our work stands proudly on the shoulders of our modern dance ancestors, aware of that which has gone before us, weaving ideas from past to present as we strive to keep modern dance modern, urgent, reflective and relevant to our world today.
“Sometimes it feels like modern dance is missing from dance today -- that's real, grounded, narrative-oriented, technique- and idea-driven modern dance. Fortunately, Oakland-based Paufve | dance is offering some real dance, in the guise of a celebration of Bay Area modern dance.” Kitty Luce, SF Gate
Paufve | dance is a group of skilled, seasoned dance artists who also explore somatic modalities and the wisdom of the untrained, everyday body. We continuously investigate ideas about bodily integration, of working with who we are, physically, mentally and emotionally, and building on what we have, rather than working against our bodies/ourselves, with the firm belief that these explorations help us to create live performance works that connect to a more diverse, non-dance audience body.
Our work also challenges tenaciously held beliefs about age and body ideals through explorations into ideas about how we coordinate freedom in our thinking, moving, and creative selves. With an interest in the honesty of movement and the expressive moving body of any age,Paufve | dance often features casts of dancers ranging from their twenties to octogenarians, with a particular investment in middle-age dancers. Through such radical casting we smash against the stereotype of the gracefully aging dancer and against notions of visibility – who is allowed to dance, which bodies are we allowed to see onstage? Why is so much concert dance relegated to virile, youthful bodies of a specific aesthetic, to narrow notions of fashion industry beauty? Our work in this realm is to undermine the invisibility that comes with middle age and enact an attack on the retreat from the stage that talented dance artists often submit to as they age.
Paufve | dance has been featured on National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered’ and PD works have been nominated for four Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in the categories of Best Individual Performance, Best Ensemble Performance and Costume Design. Paufve | dance works have been commissioned and produced locally by numerous organizations including (short list) SF Dancer’s Group, the West Wave Dance Festival, ODC Theater, University of San Francisco, Saint Mary’s College and San Francisco School of the Arts. The company has been presented nationally by Elmira College in New York State, Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts, On The Boards/Seattle, Max10 in Los Angeles, Spoke The Hub in Brooklyn, The Dance Complex in Boston, Phantom Theater in Vermont, and most recently by the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival. The company has twice been invited to New York City for performances co-produced by the Joyce Soho Theater. Paufve | dance was the first dance company to be produced by UC Davis’ Dancing On The Edge series, with inaugural performances at the Mondavi Performing Arts Center.
With an ongoing interest in innovative presentation, Paufve | dance often performs in non-theatrical sites including bars, barns, churches, studios, meadows, and several times on a roving 4’x4’ platform in Portland, OR. Recent notable site-specific works include Due, a duet performed in the lobby of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as part of the 2008 ‘Dance Anywhere’ event. The Big Squeeze (2006), an evening length work presented by Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, invited audiences to travel throughout the Shawl-Anderson building, viewing works depicting human relationships from a multitude of intimate perspectives, as if moving through rooms in a house.
Paufve | dance works have been supported by numerous choreography residencies awarded to artistic director Randee Paufve, including multiple stints at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California, the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, the Red Cinder Creativity Center in Hawaii, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley where the company now enjoys permanent Company-In-Residence status.
Paufve | dance has been funded by Dancer’s Group’s Lighting Award in Dance, Zellerbach Family Fund, the Clorox Company Foundation, CA$H/Theatre Bay Area, Genentech, UC Davis, Saint Mary’s College of California, Southwest Airlines, CSU Sacramento, the Helen L. Bing Foundation, the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland, the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center Foundation, and numerous individual donors.
“Ms. Paufve's choreography does not fit any of the stereotypes about laid-back California or
hyper New York dance.” – Jennifer Dunning, New York Times, July 2006
“Randee Paufve is a name to take seriously in Bay Area dance circles.”
–Allan Ullrich, Voice of Dance July 2007