Founded by Artistic Director Amy Lewis, San Francisco-based dance company Push Up Something Hidden uses performance to celebrate a flawed humanity. Lewis begins each project by scrutinizing history, a practice which turns ordinary life events into extraordinarily fated occurrences that can be blamed on social structures that maintain limited choice. In the performances presented by P.U.S.H., the rethinking and retelling of individual biographies and historical events–public or private–has influence over the form and structure of the movement, creating a dichotomy between unemotional, pattern-driven choreography, and linear, dramatic stories. By combining narrative with abstract dance, P.U.S.H. intends to objectively uncover the emotional undercurrent embedded in life experiences, bringing the private into the public domain of performance. Ultimately, Lewis strives to instill sensitivity to another’s opinions and emotional needs by asking the viewer to look at the world through an alternate life.
Lewis began presenting choreography in the Bay Area in 2005, after receiving a BA in theater from UCLA and an MFA in dance from Mills College. Lewis’ work has been supported by dance festivals, choreographic programs, residencies, and commissions, including Women’s Work, West Wave Dance Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival, San Francisco International Arts Festival, SwapFest, ODC’s Pilot Program, Mills Dance Alumni Association, Meridian Gallery, The Garage, SAFEhouse Arts, SPF9, Shawl-Anderson’s Youth Ensemble, and 8x8x8. In 2007, she founded Push Up Something Hidden, a company that thrives on collaboration and interaction with other Bay Area artists.
P.U.S.H.’s focus on the collaborative process has led Lewis to be fully invested in the Bay Area artist community. Lewis’ belief–that it takes a great number of artists making and supporting work to move the field forward–drives the creation of certain projects, like Six Suites, that have at their core an interest in collective impact. Focusing on projects that present the work of other Bay Area choreographers is one of Lewis’ commitments to the field of dance; therefore, Lewis was thrilled to be asked by Joe Landini of SAFEhouse Arts to assist in curating West Wave 26, a three-program festival presenting twenty dance artists and musicians.