Last week I saw this lovely sunday afternoon performance tucked away in a little park/creek under the freeway.

This type of informal performance in one of my favorite things about Oakland.  It feels like it invites experimentation and community involvement.  The last performance had this vibe of a post apocalyptic womens utopia.  It felt in tune with the the partially dried creek the show began in.  The dancers then led us up the hill and set up for a minimal and specific movement ritual.  Afterwards,  I talked to Martha Coates of the Oakland based, Three Sisters Dance Company to find out a little bit more about what went on.  

Three Sisters Dance is new(ish) project.  When seeing your work the name Three Sisters seems fitting but I’m curious  to know more about the name choice, can you speak to that a little bit?

Adrienne Swan, Sophia Klein and myself all come from three-daughter families. We are sister-centric. We are each other’s newest sisters. We recently started Three Sisters after working together a little over a year and are excited to feel a little bit married to each other.

As I understand it you study Folklore(?)  Can you speak a little to how performance and storytelling feel related and/or intersectional?

I love folklore. I love crones, mistapeos, hexes and spells. I think the world is dehydrating from a lack of communicative magic. Stories build spaces for our subconscious and telling them to others lets them in.

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In this work you had a male body dancing and it still felt very female energy/sisterhood/goddess vibe– are you interested in a particular energy or gender in the company (or this project?)

Thanks for asking! Alex is the first male bodied person we’ve danced with but that’s because we go to an all women’s college together and have very little access to male dancers. Or we haven’t really looked yet. We know you’re out there. Al has been coming to see us a lot lately and I figured that if he liked it that much, he should jump in. We are very people flavored. We feel interested and concerned about gender issues and look forward to working with more various bodies!


Do you have any shows/projects coming up that we should be on the look out for?

We are going on tour this summer! We will be writing a site-specific dance a week and performing it where it was written. We hope to be seen in Winters, Arcata, Marin County and LA between July 15th and August 15th. Please see to keep in touch! We will post exact locations and details soon. A dance about red wing blackbirds, new music, campouts and special art friend collaborators will be involved.

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