I’m in the Chronicle today with a story on ODC’s inviting new Dance Commons:
“The once-abandoned warehouse at 351 Shotwell St. teemed with life on a recent winter day, with amateur ballerinas springing onto pointe while down the hallway a professional modern company worked out the steps of a world premiere. A girl in red sweatpants lounged on a suede armchair, eating an apple. Up the gleaming maple staircase, gossiping teenage dancers sat splay-legged beneath vaulted skylights.
The scene was fresh to ODC/Dance artistic director Brenda Way, who’d just returned from a choreography residency in Florida.
“I really feel I’ve died and gone to heaven,” she said in her corner office, bare toes brushing the nap of just-laid carpet. “I walk in and kids are having lunch in the hall, a dance company is meeting in the corner. I come upstairs and a class is warming up in the studio.” She looked at ODC School director Kimi Okada, who raised her shoulders in giddy disbelief. “It’s totally working. It almost brings me to tears,” said Way.
Way and Okada, along with fellow ODC co-founder KT Nelson, are in the midst of a high-emotion housewarming. What dance company wouldn’t be if its new home were a $9.5 million rebuilt 23,000-square-foot warehouse in the Mission? But the ODC Dance Commons isn’t just for ODC. With lobby galleries, a convertible low-tech performance space, a Pilates center, a Healthy Dancers Wellness Clinic and — most important to Way — a Town Hall space for mingling, the ODC Dance Commons is meant to be a home for artists of all kinds and dancers of all ages.”
Click here for the full story.