© 2019, Risa Jaroslow & Dancers

Touch Bass

Premiered April 27-30, 2017 at ODC Theater, San Francisco

My mother was a professional orchestral bass player. I remember as a child watching her practice in our living room.  I’ve loved the instrument from that early age and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to pay homage to my mother who was a woman ahead of her time.

I met my collaborator Lisa Mezzacappa, composer/bassist extraordinaire in the course of remounting Resist/Surrender which ran at ODC Theater in 2015. She was a member of the ensemble that played the Resist/Surrender score live. I approached Lisa and we began experimenting in the studio soon after. Touch Bass is the culmination of these experiments.

Our cast includes three glorious dancers – Scott Marlowe (Brendan Barthel replaced Scott for these SF performances), Tara McArthur and Lauren Simpson and three superb and adventurous bassists Lisa, Eric Perney and Matt Small.  With the three double basses added in to the mix we have a cast of nine. Lisa created the live score.

The relationships that are created between the dancers and musicians, the music and the movement, the people and the basses are tender, awkward, funny – as wide ranging as all relationships. 

Previews and Interviews
Reviews and Press

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

- SF Examiner

"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..."
- Heather Desaulniers

Touch Bass

Photo by Margo Moritz