Post:Ballet was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director and choreographer Robert Dekkers, named “25 to Watch” by DANCE Magazine, with a vision to experiment with eclectic artists, using dance as a medium for creative expression that takes chances, pushes boundaries, and challenges social norms.
Dekkers’ and Resident Choreographer Vanessa Thiessen’s collaborative approach to dance making gives all of the artists involved the opportunity to share in the investigation and contribute to the development of a new work, resulting in productions that are “decidedly daring and always beautifully performed” (SF Arts Monthly). Integrating the company’s classically trained dancers with diverse artists including composers, animators, architects, cinematographers, fashion designers, and sculptors, Post:Ballet’s collaborations range from intensely intimate to wildly conceptual. Critical Dance exclaimed that Post:Ballet’s “choreography and artistic collaborations are risky and challenging, yet they still cling to traditional technique in a very unique and genuine way.”
Now in its eighth season, Post:Ballet has developed a reputation for being “a company that not only lives dangerously- it thrives on it” (SF Chronicle). Since 2010, the company’s annual summer seasons have featured unexpected collaborations that are consistently “inventive, focused, sophisticated, and anything but risk averse” (SF Chronicle). In 2016, Post:Ballet premiered its first full-evening collaboration, “Do Be,” co-presented with Bay Area electro-acoustic ensemble The Living Earth Show and featuring a quintet of original scores by a collection of some of today’s most influential composers, costume/scenic design by Post:Ballet’s Creative Director Christian Squires, and animation by visual artist Robby Gilson. In 2017, Post:Ballet collaborated with America’s first openly queer country music band (debut album 1973) to present Lavender Country, a full-length production complete with “enchanting, surreal, and achingly human” choreography (Ballet to the People), live music, and storytelling by the original singer/songwriter of the Lavender Country band, Patrick Haggerty.
7×7 Magazine named Post:Ballet ‘Best New Dance’ in San Francisco, and SF Chronicle declared “the rise of Post:Ballet to the upper echelon of Bay Area contemporary classical troupes has been rapid, astonishing, and artistically satisfying.” The company’s work has been presented at the SF International Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Festival, Seattle’s Against the Grain Festival, SF Frameline Film Festival, and SF Dance Film Festival. Company artists have been nominated for three Isadora Duncan Awards in “Outstanding Performance;” company dancer Cora Cliburn was recognized by DANCE Magazine as a “25 to Watch” artist in 2016; and the company’s artists have developed a consistent reputation for being “among the finest on the West Coast” (SF Chronicle). Engaging exceptional artists and embracing a collaborative spirit, Post:Ballet provides a space for artistic exploration and uncensored expression, resulting in sincere audience engagement through the presentation of “high art from the heart.” Learn more at postballet.org.
Fall 2016. For the company’s seventh annual free fall event at 111 Minna Gallery, Post: premiered Warped Fare, an original collaboration featuring composer Sharmi Basu and dance artists/co-choreographers Robert Dekkers, Patrick Kilbane, and Vanessa Thiessen.
Summer 2016. Do Be, the company’s first evening-length co-production with another arts organization (The Living Earth Show), is premiered at Z Space and marked the culmination of nearly three years of collaborative development between Post: and TLES. The production featured original scores by Chris Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Nicole Lizée, Anna Meredith, and Jonathan Pfeffer; costume/scenic design by Christian Squires; lighting design by Jim French; and culinary design by Brenden Darby.
Fall 2015. At Oasis in San Francisco, Post: premiered the fifth installment of the ‘Do Be’ saga, titled “Pasturing I,” featuring Jacob Cooper’s original score for the production.
Summer 2015. Six Pack, the company’s sixth annual summer season production, premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ YBCA Theater. The program of six short works featured Pitch Pause Please, a premiere collaboration featuring composer Samuel Adams and percussionist Andy Meyerson. Also highlighted on the program was Do Be: Family, the fourth installment of the company’s ‘Do Be’ collaboration with The Living Earth Show set to an original score by Nicole Lizée. The program also included the West Coast premiere of Reason does not know (originally created for Kansas City Ballet), Yours is Mine (first created on Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi), ourevolution, and Flutter.
Fall 2014. Hi-5, the company’s debut fall program, is presented at Z Space, featuring the premiere of Do Be: Tassel. The first installment of a year-long collaboration between Post: and The Living Earth Show, the work features an original score by Anna Meredith and costume/scenic design by Christian Squires. Also on the program was Yours is Mine, Flutter, and Sixes and Seven. David Wiegand of SF Chronicle exclaimed “This is a company that not only lives dangerously– it thrives on it.”
Summer 2014. Five High premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ YBCA Theater, featuring ourevolution with illustrations by Enrique Quintero, animation by Yas Opisso and Stephen Goldblatt, lighting by David Roberstson, and costumes by Christian Squires and Susan Roemer. Also on the program was Mine is Yours and field the present shifts. Allan Ulrich of SF Chronicle declared: “Every dance company should be lucky enough to have a Robert Dekkers at the helm. In a mere five years, he has brought his Post:Ballet to the attention of audiences looking for substantial summertime dance fare and held their interest…. The nine dancers, drawn prominently from the local ballet world, are among the finest on the West Coast.”
Fall 2013. Post: premiered Redhood’s End at the WestWave Dance Festival in San Francisco. Dekkers’ first narrative work for the company, based on the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood, “set the stage on fire in a surreal time warp” (Carla Escoda, Bachtrack).
Summer 2013. Four Plays premieres at San Francisco’s YBCA Theater. Critical Dance praises Dekkers’ world premiere, field the present shifts, “a gorgeous piece of art – stunning choreography, incredible visuals, inventive lighting and brilliant dancing” (Heather Desaulniers). The piece brought together Bay Area architects Robert Gilson and Catherine Caldwell, compsoer Matthew Pierce, costume designer Christine Darch, technical designer Ian Winters, and lighting designer David Robertson. Also on the program was Sixes and Seven, When in Doubt, and Colouring.
Fall 2012. Dekkers’ duet Interference Pattern, with original cinematography by Amir Jaffer, was featured at the 2012 Against the Grain Festival in Seattle. Dance artist Christian Squires performed Dekkers’ solo work Sixes and Seven, which won the 2012 Director’s Choice Award at sjDANCEco’s 10th Annual ChoreoProject showcase at San Jose State University. This critically-acclaimed solo was also performed by Dekkers at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco as part of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Artery Project.
Summer 2012. Triads premiered at the Herbst Theatre. The SF Chronicle stated that Post:Ballet “argues to become a permanent fixture on the local dance scene. We need more companies like this – inventive, focused, sophisticated and anything but risk averse” (Allan Ulrich). The program featured the world premiere of When in Doubt, Dekkers’ fourth collaboration with composer Jacob Wolkenhauer.
Winter/Spring 2012. Dekkers’ fourth collaboration with composer Daniel Berkman, Mine is Yours, premiered at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. The company was also presented at the APAP Conference in New York City for the first time.
Summer 2011. Post:Ballet’s sophomore program, Seconds, featured the world premiere of Colouring. The collaboration, commissioned by the San Francisco Foundation, brought visual artist Enrique Quintero, photographer Natalia Perez, composer Daniel Berkman, and the Post:Ballet dancers together onstage for a unique expression of the creative process.
Spring 2011. Dekkers was honored as a “25 to Watch” artist by DANCE Magazine.
Summer 2010. Post:Ballet presented its inaugural program, Concert One, which included Milieu, Dekkers’ first collaboration with composer Daniel Berkman, and Happiness of Pursuit, his first with composer Jacob Wolkenhauer. Dekkers premiered his first documentary short film, Ours, at the Frameline Festival in San Francisco’s Castro Theater as part of the HIV Story Project’s full-length film “Still Around.” Post:Ballet was named ‘Best New Dance’ of San Francisco by 7×7 Magazine.
Christian Squires in Yours is Mine, photo by David DeSilva