The next work presented by the Joe Goode Performance Group, called Still Standing, has an iconic setting: the Haas-Lilienthal House, a Victorian home that pre-dates the 1906 Earthquake, and has recently been renovated. The dancers will take audience members on a tour of the house, as they perform text, music, and movement that tell stories of resilience and reformation.
“I was looking for a site that had a lot of rooms, to be able to do intimate, almost one-on-one performances,” says Joe Goode. “And I knew it was going to be a musical evening, that there were going to be intimate little songs. It had not occurred to me to do a house, particularly, or certainly not a Victorian historical landmark house.” But there was a member of his board who was also involved in the Haas-Lilienthal House, which was undergoing renovations, and suggested it as a possible site. “When I looked at it, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so interesting, it adds such another layer of information that I could play with.’” Since the house was built in 1886, and remained standing through the 1906 Earthquake, Goode says he wanted to incorporate that resilience as a theme of the work, but also – as with the recent renovations – the possibility of transformation and growth. “San Francisco and the West is a place that people come to reinvent themselves, and so I really am telling a lot of little stories about reinvention. Not telling, actually, ever, the story of this house. But more the story of the city, and this place, and how we’ve all migratred here to start something new, to turn a page, to have the space to do that.” Dancers will split off groups of people to watch and hear different moments in more than a dozen locales in the house. “I intended to make a piece where virtually every audience member would have a different experience. And so, you’re not going to be able to see it all, no way… You’re maybe going to see a third of it. You are going to construct your own pathway, and you are going to have an individualized experience. For me, that’s more memorable.”