May 16, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

49 Women Who Count:

By Samuel Harwood

The paintings that cover the walls at the Arena 1 gallery in Santa Monica Airport each show faded groups of four unsteady vertical lines with one across, evoking the ways our ancestors might have marked the passing of time. It is just this sort of continuity that local artist Doni Silver Simons and choreographer Donna Sternberg hoped to summon in a collaboration performance piece held early April titled “49 Days: Women Who Count.”

During the performance, between the cave markings, 39 performers from Sternberg’s dance company stand, sit and weave between benches to show the ways that women as bringers of life have also been “keepers of time.” A chorus of women counting through a 49 channel soundscape created by Silver Simons informs the piece’s movements.

“When we decided to do this and the larger topic was time, memory, counting, women are often keepers of time in different cultures,” said Sternberg. “They mark the time with birthdays, anniversaries, certain calendar celebrations an often it’s women who are the repository of that kind of memory and counting. So from the original concept this evolved into something that was about women as the keeper of time and memories in a broader, general sense of society.”

“[The piece] is really about not just the audible voice of women but the physical voice of women,” added Silver Simons. “In the recording, I specifically chose women who had done significant work in the world, who had chosen large scale life plans because I wanted it to be a feminist piece about women who counted.”

Both women have been working artists for more than 30 years. Silver Simons had been working on the audio and visual components of the piece for years (and developing its themes in other work for even longer) when she met Sternberg at a panel discussion by recipients of art fellowships from the City of Santa Monica. Sternberg – always open to collaboration given that her dance company focuses on collaborating with scientists, philosophers and artists from other mediums – listened to Silver Simon’s voice installation and saw the movements begin to shape themselves in her mind. They received a grant from the city of Santa Monica – specifically the Community Access & Participation Grant which supports nonprofit arts organizations like Sternberg’s company – and the rest is history.

The completion and success of the piece, both artists agree, highlights the importance of cities continuing to support and patronize the arts.

“Santa Monica is extraordinarily generous in its attitude towards the arts and its funding of the arts and we’re very appreciative,” said Silver Simons.

“It’s these kinds of grants [like the CAP Grant],” Sternberg elaborated, “That enable, particularly dancers, to put on public performances and because of the fellowships that Doni and I received from the city, we were allowed to do our own individual work…then we were also able to join forces. So a city that creates a collegial atmosphere for artists to get together and work together is a city where artists can actually exist and thrive in.”

For more information on the dance company head to dsdancers.com. For more on the artist head to donisilversimons.com 

in News
Related Posts

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Santa Monica City Council Selects Doug Sloan as New City Attorney

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

At its meeting this week, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Doug Sloan to serve as Santa Monica’s next City...

Landmark Theater Closing in Former Westside Pavillion

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Theater will close at the end of month By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Pico theater at the former Westside Pavillion...

Community Policing at the Heart of Beat Four

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

The Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) Program thrives through community involvement and collective work. Today we hear from Officer Aaron Alpert...

Santa Monica High School Among Top-900 Schools in Country

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

SAMOHI ranked 829 out of over 18,000 total schools By Staff Writer Santa Monica High School is among the top...

Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space: Santa Monica Beat – May 10th, 2022

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space* Grunion Fish Seen...

Video: Westside E-Scooter Injury Rate High Than National Rate for Motorcycles

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

The Westside’s injury rate for e-scooters is higher than the national rate for motorcycles, a new study has found. Learn...

Douglas Sloan Set to be Santa Monica’s New City Attorney

May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

Sloan would be first permanent person to hold post in two years By Dolores Quintana  The next Santa Monica City...

Santa Monica Releases 2022 Homeless Count Results

May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

Number of unsheltered individuals increases 1 percent in first count since 2020 By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro The City...

Amazon Bringing 1,000 News Jobs to Santa Monica

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

Company signs a lease for a 200,000-square-foot space at the Water Garden  By Dolores Quintana Amazon.com intends to create 2,500...

LA Considering Emblem Program to License Cannabis Stores

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

Program would help Angelenos distinguish between licensed and unlicensed cannabis vendors and safe cannabis products By Dolores Quintana Members of...

Meet SMPD Beat Three Neighborhood Resource Officers

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

The Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) Program is based around the concept of community policing and collective involvement. Today we met...

McKinley Elementary School Awarded California Pivotal Practice Award

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has announced that McKinley Elementary in Santa Monica has been awarded the California Department...

UCLA Study Offers Strategy for Freeway Congestion Pricing That Reduces Burden on Low-Income Residents

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Claudia Bustamante/UCLA Newsroom  Among transportation experts, congestion pricing is the gold standard policy for managing traffic on freeways and highways....