West Coast Performance Works (WCPW) is a multi-faceted, dynamic group directed by choreographer/ cultural activist pearl ubungen. WCPW sources inspiration from the San Francisco Bay Area culture/environment and places the notion of praxis at the center of all its activity. Incorporating streams of dance, music, theater, visual arts, somatic education, practice and view of Tibetan Buddhism, critical theory and rigorous investigative research, WCPW emerges at the margins of post-colonial art/culture, distinguishing its work through on-going commitment to interdisciplinarity while actively reflecting/refracting San Francisco’s unique history/landscape/memory.
West Coast Performance Works re-frames the limits of conventional arts practices away from theatrical/gallery venues towards a process of building relationship within neighborhoods, workplaces, contemporary urban spaces, communities and beyond. Evolving out of pearl ubungen’s community-engaged, art-making process that flourished throughout the 1990s, WCPW’s process moves from inner/intimate subtle-body investigations to large-scale community-engaged site work – provoking critical discourse, imagination, and improvisational structures to create embodied social and political meaning/knowledge/understanding for diverse audiences and communities.
In addition to valuing the creation of live performance, WCPW strives to contextualize its work and the work of other artists working close to and within the terrain of new genre public art by providing forums and open space for critical dialogue, contemplation and the sharing of ideas. WCPW’s visionary activity includes curatorial projects that challenge existing infrastructures in the art, performance, and academic worlds; inviting powerful networks and aspiring to awaken consciousness and affect action in public life.
Pictured: Cria Merchant and pearl ubungen in Queen of Broken Hearts.