The body is the brain.
The mission of Hope Mohr Dance is to create, present and foster outstanding contemporary art at the intersection of the body and the brain.
“The emergence of new, transformative, even revolutionary creativity occurs at the juncture between the production of art and the exercise of deep critical thought.” --Garrett Hongo
HMD is art-driven and equity-driven. Organizational priorities include: artistic excellence, equity, fair pay for artists, and creating an intellectual commons for artists. HMD is particularly committed to supporting female artists, LGBTQ artists, artists of color, and artists from historically underserved populations.
HMD is committed to creating creative spaces wherein all feel welcome. HMD does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability, political affiliation, veteran's status, national origin, ancestry, socio-economic status, or source of income in its employment and curating practices, as provided by federal, state and local law.
HMD provides a platform for the Artistic Director Hope Mohr's choreography and direction of original works of live performance.
Curating as Community Organizing
HMD produces The Bridge Project, which approaches curating as a form of community organizing to facilitate cultural conversations that cross discipline, geography, and perspective. In addition to producing multidisciplinary performance, Bridge Project programming includes HMD’s Teaching Artists program, which brings master artists to the Bay Area and a Community Engagement Residency, which provides long-term support for artists. Through these programs, The Bridge Project “annually recruits the prime movers of American post-modernism in a series of classes, workshops, discussions and public concerts” (S.F. Chronicle). The Bridge Project’s track record of presenting high caliber artists has raised HMD’s profile as a company that does more than present the work of one Artistic Director, but rather serves as a hub for equity-driven cultural exchange.
The purpose of HMD’s Bridge Project is to:
- Create an intellectual commons for and among artists;
- Promote alliances and relationships among artists;
- Facilitate relationships among artists and activists in the struggle toward equity.
"[HMD]s Bridge Project] fills a critical gap in the artistic and intellectual life of the Bay Area dance community by honoring the past and giving context to the present through its remarkable annual series of guest artists and events.” --Stanford University's Janice Ross
Artistic Director Hope Mohr founded the company in 2007 after studying and performing with a number of pioneers of modern dance, including Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, and Margaret Jenkins. HMD is a platform for Mohr’s choreography, which takes a “rigorous conceptual approach to fundamental questions about the body in space and time.” (dance critic Rita Felciano). Mohr's work has a complexity and authority that flow from an investigative process in which writing, improvisation and collaboration are central tools.
Mohr's work has been presented and/or commissioned by: Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Movement Research at Judson Church in New York City, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco International Arts Festival, West Wave Festival, Montalvo Arts Center, ODC Theater, Stanford University, SFMOMA, Motion Pacific, Lines Ballet BFA Program, and the S.F. VA Hospital’s Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. Mohr has self-presented her work at a wide variety of venues throughout the country, including at the Alvin Ailey Center and City Center in New York; Velocity in Seattle and The Mouth in Portland. She has taught dance technique and composition throughout the world, including at the Trisha Brown Studios in New York, The Place in London, PARTS in Brussels, UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, and Stanford University.
From 2012-2015, Mohr was an artist in residence at ODC, after which HMD was promoted to company in residence at ODC. In 2018, Hope Mohr Dance will be the first resident in the Petronio Residency Center's Community Partnership Program. She has also been in residence at Montalvo Arts Center (2009), the Interdisciplinary Laboratory in Art, Nature and Dance (2006), Stanford Arts Institute (2015), UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance (2016), ODC's Sandbox Series (2018) and Footloose's Artists in Motion Program (2013). Artistic Director Mohr held open rehearsals at SFMOMA as part of painter Liam Everett's 2017 SECA Award exhibit. Mohr was named to the YBCA 100 in 2015 and was a 2016 YBCA Fellow. Mohr was a two-time participant in Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange, a program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (2009 and 2014). HMD has received two nominations for the Isadora Duncan Dance Award ("Izzies"): In 2017, for Best Reconstruction (for The Bridge Project's collaboration with Diane Madden to reconstruct Trisha Brown's Locus) and in 2010, for Best Performance Text (for Mohr's collaboration with poet Brenda Hillman on Far From Perfect). Mohr was a Human Rights Fellow and a Kent Scholar at Columbia Law School.
Current and past sources of institutional support for Hope Mohr Dance include:
- National Endowment for the Arts
- California Arts Council
- The Fleishhacker Foundation
- San Francisco's Grants for the Arts
- San Francisco Arts Commission
- Andrew M. Mellon Foundation
- Center for Cultural Innovation (Creative Capacity Fund/Quick Grants Program)
- Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation
- Zellerbach Family Foundation (2009-current)
- William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Kenneth Rainin Foundation (NEW Grant 2011 & 2016; Impact Grant 2016-current)
- Lighting Artists in Dance/Dancers' Group (2015 & 2018)
- Sakana Foundation
- Ford Foundation (Matching Grant Program)
- CA$H/Theatre Bay Area (2009 & 2014)
- ODC Theater (Artist in residence 2012-2015; Company in Residence 2015-current)
Pictured above: Participating artists in The 2016 Bridge Project, Ten Artists Respond to Locus, a collaboration with the Trisha Brown Dance Company produced in association with YBCA.