WALKING TOUR FROM THE MERIDIAN GALLERY TO THE CLIFT HOTEL, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2011)
CONCEPT, DIRECTION, TEXT:
Michael Aari, Rodney Bell, Blaine Bookey, Kelly Defayette, Sonsherée Giles, lola a. katie, Maureen Keleher, Linda Landeros, Shannon Leypoldt, Kevin Mosley, Sierra Murphree, Joy Prendergast, Mark Randal
As part of Meridian Gallery’s 100th anniversary celebration, choreographer Amy Lewis conducted a performed walking tour–exploring shelter, sin, and spirituality–from the gallery to the Clift Hotel, with a brief saunter through the Tenderloin. Michelle Lynch, dance curator at Meridian Gallery, requested the creation of a walking tour for House at 100, an arts festival celebrating the centennial birthday of the gallery’s home. The tour passed through both Nob Hill, where the gallery is located, and the Tenderloin, in an effort to capture the economic and cultural difference between the two neighborhoods. This project involved a significant amount of research, mainly on the history of the luxury hotels on California St. and the Big Four, the SRO hotels in the Tenderloin, San Francisco city policy on massage parlors, and three churches: Grace Cathedral, the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist, and Glide. Most of the figures Lewis discussed during the tour were people who had died some time ago, including Lewis’ Grandmother, who passed away in the Clift Hotel. To tie in the theme of the dead, Lewis asked some of the performers to play ghosts, which worked well with a tour given the day before Halloween.
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