Photo credit: Bill Bevis, 2001
Wendy Rogers choreographs dances conceived as personal geography, evoking themes of breath and atmosphere, darkness and light. Her ten year project, MAKESHIFT dancing (1991-2000), framed performances as editions of an evolving body of material constructed with ongoing artistic partners composer John Luther Adams, dance artist Sara Rudner and others. Her work is rooted in the tradition of modern dance experimentation, learned through study and performance in California and New York since 1957 with artists including Ruth Hatfield, David Wood, Margaret Jenkins, Carolyn Brown and Sara Rudner.
As Founder and Artistic Director of Choreographics, she has produced dance activities in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1977. The Wendy Rogers Dance Company, Choreographics' primary project from 1977 to 1990, performed her work nationally, in Europe and the Middle East. Her film work includes location choreography for George Lucas' Return of the Jedi. She taught choreography and improvisation at the University of California, Berkeley from 1982 to 1992. In 1993, she received a Masters from Stanford School of Education. Numerous honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Inc., and a 1988 Guggenheim Fellowship.
"For several years Wendy Rogers has been one of the hidden treasures of the Bay Area dance scene, ...the Berkeley-born choreographer works slowly and meticulously, producing new pieces at comparatively long intervals...and shaping them like small, delicate Oriental sculptures."
"...virtually every one of her appearances has been a treat for the dance aficionados who can still exult in an elegantly composed movement phrase."
"...as impressive for its intellectual vigor as for cultural references that flickered with the brief intensity of a firefly's light."
"Wendy Rogers is a thinking woman's choreographer."
"The entire evening was austere, private, mystifying, sometimes magical. ...The performance belongs to the time, which I'm beginning to fear is over, when people voluntarily left their homes to gather attend the expressions of others, when we looked to art to challenge a sedate status quo, to provide disturbing and transcendent visions."
"Everything she does is plain and vigorous and interesting, whether she's running nowhere or putting her head and hands to the floor and slowly turning in a deep lunge."
"I also like her air of thinking things through - a quiet seriousness often undermined by impulsiveness. She can go from lying on the ground checking her watch to a prizefighter's sparing advance as if they connect quite naturally in her mind."