Your Body is Not a Shark
Dancers: Sarah Day, Molly Katzman, David King, Damara Vita Ganley, Nahshon Marden, and Sara Wilbourne


Your Body Is Not a Shark 

choreography by Cid Pearlman 

music by Joan Jeanrenaud 

text by Denise Leto 

music direction by Maya Barsacq 

Fri. – Sun., January 11 – 13, 2013

ODC Theater

3153 Seventeenth Street, San Francisco

CADENZA and Cid Pearlman/Performance Projects are proud to announce the world premiere of Your Body Is Not a Shark, a performance piece encompassing dance, live music, and sound collage. Choreographed by Cid Pearlman with an original score composed and performed by Joan Jeanrenaud, text by poet Denise Leto, and musical direction by Maya Barsacq, Your Body Is Not a Shark uses physical limitation and difference as a point of departure for examining the creative process. It is an inquiry into the subtlety of form – poetic, choreographic, musical – and into the ways in which form’s constraints inspire. In the end Shark is a paean to the power of art and to the artist within each of us.

The collaborators on Shark include four women, ages 41 to 55, one with multiple sclerosis (Jeanrenaud), another with laryngeal dystonia (Leto). “What happens when we stumble, when our words won’t come out, when the body stutters?” asks Pearlman. Shark explores this question through a series of six movements for six dancers, each based on a poem by Leto.

“One of the goals of Shark is to redefine what the heroic or virtuosic body means,” adds Leto. “Physical difference or limitation can be generative. The question to ask then is, What are the possibilities for multiple forms of expression when the limit becomes the art?” Cid Pearlman/Performance Projects | 1118 Mission Street, Apt. C, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

In Jeanrenaud’s case, a diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 1998 prompted her to leave the Kronos Quartet with which she had played for 20 years; but, she says, it’s also what “empowered” her to become a composer. For Leto, the onset of laryngeal dystonia – a neurological condition that impairs the vocal chords – has been a source of poetic inquiry leading to new ways of experimenting with the sound and shape of her lines.

Barsacq, founder and conductor of CADENZA, a chamber orchestra based in Santa Cruz, originated the idea for the piece connecting the four collaborators. Seven members of her ensemble will perform the score along with William Winant on percussion and Jeanrenaud as soloist. “As a conductor,” says Barsacq, “I see myself as a facilitator supporting the work of all the artists.”

Shark marks the first collaboration for Pearlman, Jeanrenaud, Leto, and Barsacq, though Pearlman and Jeanrenaud have collaborated twice before – on Strange Toys (2004) and on small variations (2006), which was nominated for two Lester Horton awards. Pearlman and Jeanrenaud each have long experience with interdisciplinary collaborations, Jeanrenaud having worked in the past with Eiko and Koma, Joe Goode Performance Group, AXIS dance company, and visual artist Alessandro Moruzzi. For her part, Pearlman has collaborated with composers Erling Wold and Jonthan Segal, comic book artist Jon Macy, and filmmaker Ann Kaneko.

Your Body Is Not a Shark will have three performances at ODC Theater, January 11-13, 2013, before moving to Santa Cruz where it will run for four evenings at Motion at the Mill, January 17-20.

Cid Pearlman/Performance Projects is a fiscally sponsored project of Dancers’ Group. Your Body is Not a Shark is made possible in part by generous support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County, the Rainin Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater, Motion at the Mill, and CA$H, a grants program of Theatre Bay Area, in partnership with Dancers’ Group. 

About Maya Barsacq 

Maya Barsacq, Music Director

Maya Barsacq is the founder and conductor of Cadenza, a chamber orchestra based in Santa Cruz, now in its seventh season. An ardent and dedicated advocate of classical music and especially contemporary classical music, Barsacq has strived to champion new compositions since the inception of the orchestra. She has conducted two world premieres, seven US premieres, and three West Coast premieres with Cadenza. She also works as a freelance music director, conducting opera, and musical theater pieces. Barsacq is a strong advocate of music education and appreciation in and out of the classroom. For eight years she also hosted a radio show, “The Aeolian Impromptu”, on KUSP , and is the proud recipient of the 2005 Gail Rich Award for her dedication to the arts. For more information, visit

About Joan Jeanrenaud

Cellist and Composer Joan Jeanrenaud has been involved in music for over 40 years. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee she was exposed to the sounds of the blues, Elvis, soul and classical music. She learned to play her instrument from cellists Peter Spurbeck, Fritz Magg and Pierre Fournier, studied jazz with David Baker, Hal Stein, and Joe Henderson, worked with the Kronos Quartet as cellist for 20 years and now for the past 13 years has been involved with solo and collaborative projects in composition, improvisation, electronics, and multi-disciplinary performance. She has completed more than 50 compositions for cello and small ensembles many of these multimedia works. Recent projects include her installation work ARIA with collaborator Alessandro Moruzzi, which premiered at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the composition and performance of ODD with choreographer Shinichi Iova-Koga and the AXIS dance company. Her CD, Strange Toys, released on the Talking House label in 2008 was nominated for a Grammy and her most recent release, Pop-Pop, appears on her new record label Deconet Records. For more information, visit and Cid Pearlman/Performance Projects | 1118 Mission Street, Apt. C, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

About Denise Leto 

Denise Leto, Poet

Denise Leto is a poet and Senior Editor at the University of California, Berkeley. She works with a poetics of multi-disciplinary practice and engagement: the effects of language-making, speech formation, prosody, and movement within a framework of disruption and variation where the collaboration is as important as the emergent work. She has been a Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Research and Practice Symposium on Movement, Somatics, and Writing; a Visiting Artist at the Write Link(s) Conference on poetry and disability at the University of New Mexico; and a Fellow and Artist in Residence at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program. With Amber DiPietra, she has written a collaborative chapbook entitled Waveform from Kenning Editions. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Puerto del Sol; Beauty is a Verb, Cinco Puntos Press; Somatic Engagement, Chain Links; Seneca Review; MELUS; Wildhorses on Fire; Aufgabe; Wordgathering; The Wolf Magazine: Arts Council of England. She has presented her work most recently at “Emergent Communities in Contemporary Experimental Writing” at UC Santa Cruz; “Feminist Embodiment, Somatics, and Disability Poetics,” at the Subterranean Art House; and a multimedia art performance for “Breaking Ranks: Human/Nature” at the Headlands Center for the Arts. For more information, visit

About Cid Pearlman 

Cid Pearlman, Choreographer, Dancer

With a movement vocabulary that shifts between a rough-and-tumble physicality, intricate partnering and moments of delicate touch, Cid Pearlman’s choreography subtly disrupts traditional notions of desire, gender, and friendship. Her work has been presented by numerous venues including Joyce SoHo (New York City), Kanuti Gildi SAAL (Tallinn, Estonia), the Getty Center (Los Angeles), Theater Artaud (San Francisco), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego). From 1991-99 Pearlman was the artistic director of San Francisco’s critically acclaimed Nesting Dolls dance company. In 1999 she relocated to Los Angeles, establishing herself as an independent choreographer and curator. Her most recent collaborations have been with composers Joan Jeanrenaud and with Jonathan Segel of Camper Van Beethoven. In addition to her own works, Pearlman has choreographed for film, opera, and theater. Her evening length dance High Fall won the 2002 Lester Horton Award for Visual Design, and 2006’s small variations was nominated for two Horton Awards. Among other honors, Pearlman was also a Fulbright Scholar in 2009/10 choreographing and teaching dance in Estonia. Currently she teaches in the Theater Arts Department at UC Santa Cruz and the Dance Department at Cabrillo College. For more information, visit