Interview with SOULSKIN Dance Artistic Director Adrianna Thompson

soulskin dance

SOULSKIN Dance has an upcoming San Francisco performance called SATIN & SWING that highlights the best of the 1920s flapper era while drawing connections with the period’s relationship to the modern day.

Dance Mission Theatre transforms into a time machine, transporting us back to the 1920s. Glitz and glam sparkle from the dingy corners of a speakeasy. Raucous jazz blares, bringing bejeweled and sequined dancing flapper girls to life. An evening of indulgence has begun. The entry notes of Prince’s “Erotic City” ring in your ears, an echo from another time.

In this interview, artistic director Adrianna Thompson shares more information about the upcoming performance and offers a compelling argument for attending live theater.

SATIN & SWING - Adrianna Thompson SM

How does it feel to return to San Francisco?

Well, first of all I’m from San Francisco – born and raised. I have been back here in the Bay Area for the past five years and I’m thrilled to be back home. I have lived in many places during my lifetime – NYC, LA, Aspen, Colorado … but San Francisco has always officially been my home.

What are your favorite elements of the 1920s? 

The music and the history of that period. The artists that had a clear visionary voice for what was happening during that time period.

SATIN & SWING - Image 02 SM

How does this relate to us today?

The 21st Century reflects similar cultural, political, industrial ideologies as the 1920’s. Many are feeling powerless and without choice. In both eras, the people were exploring new ideas of of who they could be, who they could love, and how they could express themselves.

What is important about Prince’s work that comes through in this performance? 

His work represents sexual revolution, free expression and the ability to love without judgment.

What can you share about your process of choreographing this work?

I like to work with great talent. I work with many collaborators such as DJ artists, composers, multi media designers, costume designers and dancers. I also enjoy creating a nurturing and positive environment that encourages personal growth and potential. To me this is the complete and universal truth of creativity when all participants are engaged.

What have been the most difficult part of this project?

What I find most challenging is scheduling everyone’s participation around their other commitments in their lives.

SATIN & SWING - Image 03 SM

What do you hope people take away from the work when seeing it?

I hope that the audience can recognize the importance of live theater and what it shares to our community and the world around us. Live theater, like real life, allows for an experience that happens only once. No two nights are the same. Once the moment is given, it is gone forever.  The beauty lies in the artists and audience sharing an experience that allows for truth to unfold itself before our very eyes.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the arts / dance industry today?  

Art as we know it is becoming more challenging to continue because of the demands of what the world is offering society now. It is hard to survive as an artist. There is a lack of public funding and support is given mainly from private donors who are more likely to support long established institutions than smaller independent artists. It costs a lot of money to be an artist so a lot of great work will never be seen and new voices will never be heard because of the lack of funding.

SATIN & SWING has three performances March 10-12, 2017 at Dance Mission Theater.  DJ CAMCON (Camille Conrotto) will design and live mix music on stage as part of the performance. The evening will open with two works created by guest choreographers: Robert Sund and Dylan Elmore. The 3/11 performance will be live-streamed at 8 pm and can be seen for $10 at Concert Window.

Once again SOULSKIN Dance has teamed up with Andy Mogg Productions to offer a one night only Live Streaming of the performance. Renowned dance photographer Andy Mogg will direct a 3 camera shoot using the latest robotic Pan Tilt Zoom cameras. Live Chat Room participation will be available during the Live Stream.”

Photos by Andy Mogg.


WHAT:            SOULSKIN Dance presents…
SOULSKIN Returns Home to San Francisco for a 4th Season
       with Guest Choreographers Robert Sund and Dylan Elmore.
       Three Virtuosic Cuban Male Dancers perform in Satin & Swing. 
WHEN:           March 10, 11 12, 2017 (Fri., Sat. – 8:00 pm / Sun. 7:00 pm)
Limited Engagement  – Only 3 Performances.
TIX:                 Tickets $20 – 25 (Gen. Admission). / Tix at door $25.
Advance $20 tickets at 
or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006
WHERE:        Dance Mission Theater – 3316 24th St. (at Mission) SF 94110 (24th St. BART)