Mission: Donna Sternberg & Dancers (DS&D) mission is to build bridges and make connections between dance, science, philosophy and other art forms so that people and ideas converge in ways that expand human awareness. We use science as a framework to give shape and structure to our artistic explorations and interpretations, drawing parallels and metaphors between science and human behavior. We intentionally seek partnerships with artists, cultural organizations, scientists and science institutions to find innovative ways to probe the science /human connection through dance in collaboration with other art forms and to educate audiences about contemporary dance.
History: Artistic Director Donna Sternberg founded the company in 1985 after working and touring in the companies of Donald Byrd, Mary Jane Eisenberg, Yen Lu Wong and Dance/LA. It was incorporated in 1990, and is a federal tax-exempt organization.
DS&D has premiered over seventy-five works, including seven full evening-length pieces. DS&D performs throughout the United States and Mexico, including an annual residency at Rancho La Puerta, Mexico. The company has been presented throughout Southern California at traditional and non-traditional venues such as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center, Skirball Museum, Laguna Art Museum, Broad Performing Arts Center, UC-Irvine, Santa Monica Main Public Library, in art galleries and out of doors. Performances outside Southern California include CenterStage Theatre and La Casa Maria in Santa Barbara; Eighth St. Studio in Berkeley; New Performance Gallery and Brady Street Dance Center in San Francisco; and Spector Theater in Monterey, CA. The company has also performed in festivals such as Summerfest, CA Science Center's Flight Festival I and II, Dance Moving Forward, Kaleidescope, Festival of Solos and Duets, So Cal Invitational, Spector Dance Festival, CA Choreographer's Dance Festival, A LOT, and Choreographer's Symposium. DS&D has been featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, on KUSC’s Arts Alive Program, on KCET's Life & Times program. As part of the company’s on-going “science series” dances have been choreographed around the themes of orbital mechanics, the history of flight, quantum mechanics, quantum entanglement, string theory, plant biology, memory, perception and the environment.
Ranging from 5-7 members, Donna Sternberg & Dancers is a dynamic, emotionally vibrant contemporary company. The diverse repertoire is composed of vigorous, technically demanding movement that is alternatively edgy, sensuous and lyrical. Permeating the movement is a dramatic and emotional intensity. The company has collaborated on projects with artists from other disciplines including poet Alice Walker, percussionist Steven Schick, multimedia artists Michael Masucci and Kate Johnson, visual artists Kathi Packer and Gwen Samuels, and composers Ken Christianson, Matthew McBane, Donald Knaack, Craig Kupka, Bobby Matos and Eric Ruskin.
Recognizing the importance of arts education, DS & D is committed to reaching out to audiences unfamiliar to dance. Through a variety of programs, from performances exposing audiences to dance to educational lecture/demonstrations to classes, workshops and open rehearsals, the company seeks to share its knowledge and love of dance.
Board of Directors:
Walter Kornbluh, President
Michael Caan, Vice President
Chris M. Bradford, Secretary
Donna Sternberg, Treasurer
Lynwood Davis, Jr.
Kenneth Phillips, PhD
Madeline Di Nonno, Exec. Director, Geena Davis Institute
Dr. Mark Kornbluh, Dean, University of Kentucky
Artistic Vision: I use science as a framework to give shape and structure to my artistic explorations and interpretations, drawing parallels and metaphors between science and human behavior. My work is not a representation of science (not a science lesson) but rather examines the interplay between science and the human condition. My principle aim is to use dance to inspire the non-scientist to reflect more deeply on the organization underlying a rational universe and the sense of epiphany that comes about for anyone determined to probe nature’s secrets in the matter of the formally trained scientist. The premise that the universe is knowable and rational at every known scale sends chills down the spine of anyone taking the time to actually contemplate that reality. Scientific discovery opens entirely new areas of awareness that can inspire everyone at a deeply emotional level and can shatter preconceived notions of how the world works. The purpose of my work is to build a bridge between the general audience and emotional and visceral aspects of discovery.
Funding: Donna Sternberg & Dancers has received funding from the California Arts Council, California Council for the Humanities, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, National/ State/County Partnership, Los Angeles County and Santa Monica Arts Commissions, Arts Council of Long Beach, Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission, National Performance Network, Pacific Bell, Bank of America, Puffin Foundation, Hacker Family Foundation and the Amgen Foundation.