The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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2014 PPAIR Artists

The 2014 Participatory Performing Artists in Residence (PPAIR) are Cid Pearlman, Watsonville Taiko Group, Gerald Casel and Karl Schaffer. Explore photos from the 2013 PPAIR program on Flickr here.


Cid Pearlman Photo credit: Steve diBartholomeo

Cid Pearlman

Cid Pearlman’s choreography subtly disrupts traditional notions of desire, gender, and friendship. Her work has been presented by numerous venues, including Joyce SoHo, Kanuti Gildi SAAL in Estonia, the Getty Center, ODC Theater, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. With an ongoing interest in site-specific dance, Pearlman has made dances for city streets, museum grounds, galleries, and parks. During 3rd Friday: Art that Moves, June 20th 2014, Cid will create a participatory movement experience for museum goers of all ages, taking advantage of the interesting nooks, crannies, and hidden spaces that can be found at the MAH. As the environments that we create become set, participants will workshop simple movement tableaus and interactions, inhabiting the installations, and considering how meaning and narrative can be generated through juxtaposition of body and object.

From 1991-99 Cid was the artistic director of San Francisco’s Nesting Dolls. In 1999 she relocated to Los Angeles, establishing herself as an independent choreographer and curator. Recent collaborators include Joan Jeanrenaud, formerly of Kronos Quartet, and Jonathan Segel of Camper Van Beethoven. After receiving an MFA in Dance from UCLA (2006), Cid relocated to Santa Cruz, where she is on faculty of Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz.  During the 2009-10 academic year Cid was a Fulbright Scholar in Estonia, teaching and collaborating with Estonian dance artists. Her most recent work has been supported by CA$H, the Zellerbach Family Fund, The Rainin Opportunity Fund at ODC, the U.S. Embassy/Estonia, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Dancers’ Group, Motion Pacific, and the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.


Watsonville Taiko

Watsonville Taiko

Watsonville Taiko Group

Watsonville Taiko Group, founded in 1991, is a Taiko drumming community of performers and supporters. Their goal is to develop art that combines drumming with folklore, mythology and symbolism. They study, learn, and preserve the art of traditional and modern styles of Taiko drumming.

Their participatory performance will occur during 3rd Friday: Games and Folklore, August 15th 2014. Visitors will play an important role in the Taiko performance through drumming and storytelling. Voices, rhythms, movements, breaths, power, discipline, teamwork, and vibrations will all play into a collaborative Taiko experience.



Gerald Casel
Gerald Casel

Gerald Casel

Gerald Casel creates dances that ask questions about human beings – who they are, what they do and how their actions affect the world they inhabit. Combining movement with metaphor, his choreography invites reflection and makes room for multiple interpretations and meaning. Born in the Philippines and raised in the Bay Area, he is constantly seeking the definition of home. During First Friday, December 5th 2014, Casel will create a movement-based installation with dancers and live music that responds to invitations from participants that share their concept of home. Through words, objects, drawings, collected gestures and videos, community members can contribute to building this work, witness and participate in its live creation. Casel holds a BFA from The Juilliard School and an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received a New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie” for Sustained Achievement in 1997 for his work in the companies of Stephen Petronio, Lar Lubovitch, Zvi Gotheiner and Stanley Love. He has served as a faculty member at California State University–Long Beach, Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden and NYU Tisch School of the Arts where he was awarded the David Payne Carter Award for Teaching Excellence. He is an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Theater Arts Department at University of California–Santa Cruz and is Artistic Director of GERALDCASELDANCE.


Karl Schaffer


Karl Schaffer

Karl Schaffer’s dance work plays with ideas and movement in original, surprising, and entertaining ways, and often explores imaginative connections between dance and mathematics. During GLOW: A Festival of Light, October 17th 2014, he will engage audiences with live geometric video mosaics of dancers accompanied by popular Santa Cruz a capella world music ensemble Zambra.

With Erik Stern he has co-directed the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble for over 25 years. Their highly physical and often humorous choreography has ranged from a dance comparing the extinction of the dinosaurs with the fate of jocks to a “reverent parody” of Hamlet, from vaudevillian handshakes to ancient Chinese stories of flying machines. Their work has toured throughout North America, most recently in Madison, Columbus, Buffalo, Hungary, Paris, at the new Museum of Mathematics in New York, and they will perform in Seoul in August, 2014. Schaffer’s recent concert Mosaic deals with peace, justice, culture and conflict in Palestine and Israel, and his show The Daughters of Hypatia, performing in April, 2014, celebrates great women mathematicians throughout history and their struggles to create groundbreaking mathematics. He and Stern are on the Teaching Artist Roster of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education, and travel frequently giving workshops on integrating math and dance in the classroom and studio.

Two of Schaffer’s dance/math school outreach shows are currently performed by dance companies in Alabama and Colorado. He served as an adjudicator for the National Society of Arts and Letters 2011 Choreography Competition, his writing on dance and math was featured in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012, and he teaches mathematics at De Anza College.