Learn a little more about the fabulous artists performing and exhibiting at the WATERFRONT PARK LAUNCH FEST.  

AXIS Dance Company

Founded in 1987, AXIS Dance Company collaborates with disabled and non-disabled artists to create virtuosic productions that challenge perceptions of dance and disability. The Oakland, CA based company has toured to over 100 cities in the US, Israel-Palestine, UK, Europe, United Arab Emirates and Russia, and has received nine Isadora Duncan Dance Awards.

On Saturday April 9th they perform for the first time in Alameda as part of the Waterfront Park Launch Fest.  They will be performing “Historias Rotas (Broken Stories)” a piece first created on the company in 2018 by their new Artistic Director, Nadia Adame.  Adame, a former AXIS Dancer and Guest Choreographer, took over the artistic reins in January 2022. She and her family are now living in Alameda.  

Historias Rotas (Broken Stories) explores how our stories start with our ancestors: their struggles, their tears and their smiles. They have paved our road and our journey contains their broken stories. We go through life gathering stories and collecting moments that become part of our baggage. We are who we are because of these moments and the people we encounter.

Fog Beast

Fog Beast’s mission is to “illuminate the modern trappings of the human animal through research, performance and education in the arts.” Anyone who has ever been to a performance of theirs knows that they do this with grace, humor and wit. 'These Lines are Living’, the work they are recreating for the Waterfront Park Launch Fest is a perfect example of their multilayered approach. Created by co-directors Melecio Estrella, and Andrew Ward in collaboration with composer Ben Juodvalkis, and earth scientist Andrew Jones, the piece looks at the effects of climate change on our shorelines through a combination of dance, live music and site specific ecological storytelling. The company will be joined by five dancers from the Shawl Anderson Youth Ensemble who have been learning and creating with the company over the last few months. 

THINGAMAJIGS: Mini Aeolian Day

Presenting Bay Area instrument inventors’ collaborations with a force of nature, Aeolian Day is a recurring festival in Oakland, CA, mounted by Thingamajigs. Aeolian Day exhibits solo works and installations created with local OUSD schoolchildren. The event fosters the creative interplay of art, music, and science through innovative sound sculptures.

Aeolian Day is made possible in part by the generous support of the Alameda Art Commission, Arts for Oakland Kids, California Arts Council, City of Oakland Cultural Funding, and individual donations from the community

ANIMATE ALAMEDA, young artists

Dancers from Encinal High School, Alameda High School, Destiny Arts Center and Head Royce School come together to perform to a sound score commissioned from the Sound Lab students from the Bay Area Music Project.  
WEAD Executive Director and dance artist, Tara Pilbrow says: “The Animate Alameda project is complex because we’re bringing many students together from different schools, but we’re so excited to have these young and talented artists opening the festival. Working with the Sound Lab students at Maya Lin Elementary School has been such a treat, we started by talking about the materials and themes that characterized the site and the festival. Then the kids split up and started working in small groups overseen by their teacher Sally Decker and BAMP director Lorrie Murray. We had regular online and in person ‘client meetings’ throughout the project. The dancers are now working in groups with their respective dance teachers Marjorie Ortiz, Rachel Denton and Katherine Kruger, and then we will bring them all together during the on-site rehearsals in April.