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Press Reviews & Coverage

With community brought into the dance, ‘Talking Circle’ was born

Rachel Howard, San Francisco Chronicle Datebook

January 4, 2023

"As the dancers swoop, sweep and gesture through intense groupings, we can see that they are working to reach some kind of collective agreement, though we do not know the origin of the tensions between them. “It’s always exciting to me when it starts,” Jaroslow said, “because the way the dancers come to the circle of chairs, you get a sense of each (one).""

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Risa Jaroslow Is the Choreographer Who Gets Everyone Talking

Lou Fancher, SF Classical Voice

January 3, 2023

"Talking Circle’s movement material was developed after the artists expressed individual opinions about risk and choice and engaged in a process Jaroslow calls “a negotiation.” The six dancers begin the work in a circle... Woven into that circle and every other structure and moment of the dance is the stunning, eclectic music composed by Neuburg."

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Expanding the Circle of Dancers

Emmaly Wiederholt, Stance on Dance

December 27, 2022

"The two elders I brought into Talking Circle have been in the Elders Project since its beginning. They touched me and they were excited. We had to find a way to work together in this new context, since it was different from the Elders Project. We got there! The four dancers and the two elders work together beautifully. There is so much mutual admiration and respect."

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Review/Response: "Talking Circle" with Risa Jaroslow & Dancers

Sima Belmar, "Life As A Modern Dancer"

May 19, 2022

"The choreography is full of subtle surprises—a head thrown back at an unexpected angle in relation to the shoulders during a spiral to the floor, a wrist oddly cocked, power poses that morph into sloth poses into pin-up poses. There was so much delicious movement and because the CounterPulse theater is an intimate space, I felt close enough to chew it, to taste it."

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Risa Jaroslow & Dancers’ ‘At Your Service’ a compelling exploration of power

J.B. Rosario, SF Examiner

February 23, 2019

"Above all, the dancing shines throughout At Your Service. Do we see the individuals who serve us? At Your Service demands that we do."

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New Dance Work Considers Service

Jean Schiffman, SF/ARTS

February 2019

“'I always start a piece from something I’m thinking and asking questions about,' says dancer/choreographer Risa Jaroslow. She is sitting on the floor of a dance studio in Emeryville with five dancers, one monologist (Arisika Razak, a former nurse-midwife) and composer/vocalist Amy X Neuburg."

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Big instruments, cool dance in ‘Touch Bass’

Leslie Katz, SF Examiner

April 28, 2017

“Touch Bass is an extraordinary showcase of Jaroslow and Mezzacappa’s creativity, and belief in the power of relationships."

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Touch Bass

Heather Desaulniers

April 27, 2017

"In one of the most honest and pure performance collaborations I have seen so far this season, choreographer Risa Jaroslow and composer Lisa Mezzacappa birthed a rich, living environment for dancers Brendan Barthel, Tara McArthur, Lauren Simpson, musicians Mezzacappa, Eric Perney, Matt Small and three upright basses. The nine explored this democratic container of movement and sound, engaging with lush artistry..."

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Jaroslow & Dancers a welcome addition to Bay Area scene

Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle

October 16, 2015

"It is not true that in the California dance world, all talent gravitates eastward. Two years ago, the acclaimed New York postmodernist dancer-choreographer Risa Jaroslow relocated to Oakland...the company has brought a distinctive quality to the scene. They should be around for a while."

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Veteran New York choreographer reboots in Bay Area at 68

Claudia Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle

October 8, 2015

"From Gold Rush prospectors to Beat poets to techies, San Francisco has always been a destination for pioneers and freedom seekers. Among the most recent arrivals is veteran choreographer Risa Jaroslow, an expatriate New Yorker with postmodern bona fides and a thirst for adventure."

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You’ve got male in ODC premiere

Mary Ellen Hunt, SF Gate

October 13, 2015

"Choreographer Risa Jaroslow’s 2006 Resist/Surrender...examines maleness and male power in a kaleidoscope of ways."

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Jaroslow dancers question nature of power

Andrea Pflaumer, Alex Hochman and Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner

October 11, 2015

"Resistance, a rallying cry for any number of sociopolitical groups in the Bay Area, gets a new twist in choreographer Risa Jaroslow’s West Coast premiere of Resist/Surrender."

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Veteran Choreographers Bebe Miller and Risa Jaroslow Write Mysteries in Motion

Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

November 19, 2008

"From the moment that Gabriel Forestieri, Luke Gutgsell, Elise Knudson, and Paul Singh enter with sideways, spread-eagled leaps—their bodies flying parallel to the floor, then crashing down—we're ready to follow them anywhere…all of them dance magnificently—bold in their energy, tender with one another."

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311 Gets Dance Therapy

Gotham Gazette

July 7th, 2008

"At noon and 1:30 p.m. today uninitiated passersby might have been startled by the group of red and black-clad dancers jumping off the Municipal Building columns and silently strutting and sashaying in the outdoor lunch hangout at 1 Centre Street." 

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What is Man?

Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

December 5, 2006

"It is...a holiday treat of sorts to see a piece in which serious issues are softened only by smart choreographic abstracting and re-molding...They look almost as if they were in an operating room-as if stereotypical masculinity were something that could be probed for, maybe excised-Whatever you think it means in terms of a message, the image burns itself into your brain, into your gut."

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Feeling Whole in a Response to Sept. 11

Jennifer Dunning, New York Times

November 12, 2004

"Exquisite, like a drop of air suspended in honey...Ms. Jaroslow's new "Whole Sky" creates an abstract community of dreamers in a dance built on people's responses when the choreographer asked what made them feel whole." 

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Review of 'Whole Sky'

Jim Dowling, Dance Magazine Online

December 2004

"In her reassuringly titled Whole Sky, Risa Jaroslow evokes a wish to heal a broken skyline - and ourselves - suggesting that we can counter the world's dislocations by reaching out to those we've kept at a distance...Jaroslow displays a gift for affirming more in others than one would think likely or possible, and in the process, she shows how we can make ourselves whole." 

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Pick Your Community

Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

April 15, 2003

"Risa Jaroslow makes works about communities you can imagine living in. People who inhabit them dance together; they also know when to leave one another alone and when to step in to help. They can be feisty or serene...Their actions and physical dialogues are as fluent, variegated, and disciplined as the melodies we hear and the unseen musicians they embody."

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Working it on Welfare

Hilary Russ, City Limits

September 1, 2001

"Lobbying comes in all forms, but with a pirouette? In the tumultuous world of welfare policy, one project is trying to get its message to Albany in an unconventional way: with a song and dance." 

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Communities Centered

Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

December 26, 2000

"Risa Jaroslow choreographs as if the most important thing in the world were how and why someone takes another's hand or leans into another's embrace, as if her mission were to explore the common needs and visions that bring people together."

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