Right Brain Performancelab
Right Brain Performancelab’s surrealistic vaudevillian physical-theater fuses the comic and tragic into one highly entertaining performance experience!
RBP began in 1998 in San Francisco as an experimental collaboration between dancer Jennifer Gwirtz and solo artist John Baumann. Described by Nicole Gluckstern of the SF Bay Guardian as creating a “quirkily cerebral brand of performance art,” Gwirtz and Baumann assembled like-minded artists to create full length works for the stage, site specific and alternative venues that speak fluent performance art in the style of circus, with the occasional ballet reference and enthusiastic nods towards traditional western theater forms. Now a culturally risk-taking ensemble of dancers, theater artists and musicians, they blend their disciplines to explore humanity and existence by way of metaphor.
Right Brain Performancelab has performed at ODC Theater, CounterPULSE, NOHspace, Dance Mission, The Jewish Theater, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, in private homes and site-specific locations throughout the Bay Area. Right Brain Performancelab is a fiscally sponsored project of Dancers' Group.
- 2015 "The Elephant In The Room"
- 2014, 2013 - "What Stays"
- 2012 - "Gravity (and other large things.)"
- 2010 - "The Elephant In The Room" (work-in-progress)
- 2006 – “Objects In Mirror Are Stranger Than Fiction”
- 2005 – “State Of The Union/Anonymous Sources”
- 2002 – “Tempest In A Teapot", "The Bank Tour"
- 2001 – “Drifter”
- 1999 – “First Story,” “CAN”
Small Scale/Alternative Site Performance Works
- 2011 – “Spies”
- 2003 – “The New World Ergonomy”
- 2002 – “The Bank Tour”
Our Beautiful Donors
Deborah Stearns & Eryq
Jennifer A. Minore
Ken Paul Rosenthal
Lois and Richard E. Gwirtz
Edward & Tomoko Schocker
The Elephant IN The Room
The Elephant In The Room is a transcendent and exuberant romp wherein a large pachyderm-like entity invisibly inhabits the stage, intriguing and confounding a cast of clowns who dance, cavort and sing their efforts to define it, themselves and the peculiar world that spawned such absurdity. This full length piece features silliness and sadness in equal measure, dance, musical numbers and physical theater with original music by composer Dave Rodgers and lighting design by Allen Willner.
This energetic high-spirited evening is fully involving for adults and also excellent for family audiences. It will be available for touring starting in spring 2017.
See the form below for booking information.
Apryl Renee Pipe
Dave Rodgers (Composer)
backstage & consulting artists
Lighting Design: Allen Willner
Costume Design: Lisa Claybaugh
Directorial Consultant: Christopher White
Stage Management: Bob Webb
Sound Engineer: Patrick Simms
Photography: Steven Gelberg, Kegan Marling, Lance Huntley
Masks: Masque Arrayed/Annie Hallatt
Daily Training and Improvisations for Human Bodies
This class is a basic daily physical training for artmaking from a thorough warm-up to deep, full-body motion and improvisation. Students will explore their own body mechanics and gravity as part of a detailed approach to small- and large-framed movement. Focus is on alignment and building strength, stability, balance and resilience. This class is 1 or 1.5 hours, appropriate for daily practice by both dancers and able-bodied non-dancers. -Taught by Jennifer Gwirtz and/or Laura Marsh.
This method is an enjoyable, beautifully low-impact, but fully four-dimensional practice. It is the perfect daily movement class for all ages. The class begins seated, then moves to the floor, progressing through all possible spinal motions: arch, curl, lateral bends, undulations and spirals to relax and massage the organs, create space in the joints, shape and strength in the muscles, ending with a full-body sense of length, resilience and calm. Originally created by Juliu Horvath, there are sixty and ninety-minute formats to this class. -Taught by Jennifer Gwirtz
This is your basic meat-and-potatoes multi-level low-impact mat class for all ages and levels of experience, based on the work of Joseph Pilates and informed by the work of Eve Gentry, Judith Aston and others. In this daily practice class we work lying down on a mat towards strength and flexibility in all planes with the goal of functionality in everyday life. -Taught by Jennifer Gwirtz
Seeds To Shoots: Growing New Work
Join Jennifer Gwirtz and Laura Marsh for a fun and intensive two-day workshop to grow new interdisciplinary pieces from the bottom up. This workshop is performance technique and composition with the goal of starting hardy new seedlings for new work and is for artistically adventuresome individuals of all ages and levels of experience.
The first part of each four-hour session will be conditioning movement work based on contemporary dance, Butoh, Gyrokinesis concepts, Pilates and yoga. The second half of each day will be playing with methods of work generation using words, movement, codes and games, blending and intersecting each person’s discoveries.
Each student will finish with a little work-sprout and (we hope!) some big ideas!
This workshop is appropriate for all levels of experience.
Micromotions: Playing on the small scale
This class is an improvisation-based exploration of small movements, how to make them count, to give them weight and to use timing to create a dynamics of focus and energy. The goal of the work is to learn more about the tiny motions and gestures that come together to give each performer their unique qualities, to grow in awareness, control and intuition as students learn more about their deep, performative selves. There will be a thorough dance-based warm-up. This class is geared towards seasoned performers with dance, theater or physical theater experience, to be taught as a two- to three-day workshop. Physical limitations are welcome! -Taught by Jennifer Gwirtz
Intentional Storytelling By The Seat Of Your Pants
Free yourself from text-based narrative as we create theater generated in immediate action. This two-session class will explore how to develop plots and actionthrough a variety of methods, utilizing structured improvisation, guided group exercises and personal history. Bring your story ideas, an open mind and comfortable clothes to move in. This workshop is for dancers and non-dancers alike. No dance experience is necessary. -Taught by John Baumann
Wordplay In Motion
Join us to synthesize new work with both the right and left sides of the brain! The class will use language and chance to build a short piece through Right Brain Performancelab’s signature wordplay technique. There will be a thorough dance warm-up. Prepare for a fun challenge! Bring your own thesaurus as well as any other favorite books. This class is meant to be taught either as a single, intensive workshop over two to three days or as an ongoing, weekly class over two to threeweeks. -Taught by Jennifer Gwirtz and/or Laura Marsh
Fieldwork Work Groups
The Field/Bay Area is a peer-to-peer forum for artists to share developing works and exchange feedback. The Fieldwork method reveals how each piece is perceived by others and fosters a detailed information exchange. Incisive and stimulating critiques are guided by an experienced facilitator. The group will meet weekly for five weeks with a bare-bones showing during the final meeting. Facilitators: Jennifer Gwirtz, John Baumann, Laura Marsh, Mary Armentrout (East Bay)