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Performance Companies

“The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company is a politically astute, talented and visionary group of young people who combine political activism and cutting edge cultural expression.”

- Angela Davis, Author, Scholar and Activist

The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC) was created in 1993 by Destiny’s current Artistic Director, Sarah Crowell with Destiny’s founder, Kate Hobbs. The intention was to create a forum for youth to express a message of peace and empowerment through dance, theater, martial arts, rap and song. Joined by the Destiny Junior Company (DJC) in 2009, what has emerged are critically acclaimed pre-professional companies that are respected for both their technical prowess and their commitment to the values embodied by all Destiny Arts Center programs: Love, Respect, Care, Responsibility, Honor, and Peace. All youth company members engage in a collaborative process with the company’s Artistic Directors and working professional artists to create original art that engages and re-constructs personal histories as vehicles for social change.

Every year, youth are chosen through a rigorous audition process that looks at their current level of artistic skill, but also their ability to perform and their commitment to group process. Selected company members then engage in an intensive 9-month season of training, rehearsals, scriptwriting, fundraising, and performing. The rehearsals include highly interactive conversations to illuminate the intention of each annual performance.

Since 1995, the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company has worked with the internationally acclaimed aerial dance company, BANDALOOP, who train youth company members in aerial dance techniques and co-create aerial dance performance works with DAYPC youth and directors for Destiny’s annual performances.

The Destiny performance companies’ collaborative process is captured in the National Endowment of the Arts funded curriculum guide, Youth on the Move, which includes a documentary, called A Place Named Destiny (2000), by Paul Ginocchio, and is the subject of a 2014 released documentary, called F.R.E.E., by award-winning producers Suzanne LaFetra (She Wants to be a Matador) and David Collier (For Better or for Worse) from Studio B Films. The process, as told through the lens of the teen company, is also the the subject of Stanford Ph.D. Lauren Stevenson’s doctoral dissertation.

Company members perform for up to 25,000 audience members per year and draw upon multiple disciplines, including hip hop, aerial dance, modern and jazz dance, spoken word, song, rap, and martial arts. Topics that have been addressed in their signature annual productions include racism, sexism, childhood sexual abuse, global warming, environmental justice, educational equity, identity formation, etc.

Show study guides are created each year to accompany each production.  The study guides outline activities, exercises and group discussion questions that can be used by school teachers with their students before and after they see a Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company show.  See below for links to show study guides for six annual productions.

2009 Dreaming Awake Study Guide
2010 Asylum Study Guide
2011 FREE Study Guide
2012 Toy Town Study Guide
2013 RAW Study Guide
2014 Impact Study Guide

Video clips of performances:

Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, excerpts from Game Over, 2008.

Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, excerpts from Dreaming Awake, 2009.

Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company at the Bioneers Conference, 2009.

Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, excerpts from RAW, 2013.

Destiny Junior Company, In My Wildest Imagination, 2014 – part 1.

Destiny Junior Company, In My Wildest Imagination, 2014 – part 2.

Destiny Junior Company, In My Wildest Imagination, 2014 – part 3.

TESTIMONIALS FROM COMPANY MEMBERS

“The performance company is a group of teenagers who create and perform shows about global and social issues that affect our lives each and every day.  Destiny Arts Center has taught me to be aware of others and myself.”  Alaysia Brooks, 17

“Not many places can generate the comfort of home out of the obstacles that a person can recognize in their peers.  Destiny Arts Center is one of those places, and its Youth Performance Company has, in a very short time, created a space within myself where I feel acceptance with my being. To create love out of a place of violence is nothing short of divine.  This is what Destiny does on a daily basis.”  Anisah Abdullah, 17

“I always want to go to Destiny.  There has never been a time that I wanted to leave the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company.  The fellow students and friends I have met here have grown into the greatest people I know.  We learn to open our minds and hearts to our community.  We are encouraged to pay attention to global issues and to put our ideas into action.   With Destiny I have performed at the Bioneers Conference in Marin County, the Green Festival in San Francisco, the Children’s American Holiday Parade in Oakland, and at many many other events. I have worked with Balinese and aerial dancers, and attended events that focus on global warming, violence prevention, political issues, and other pressing issues in my own community.  Now my eyes are open to the bigger picture.  I think about my actions carefully and respect the actions of others.  I have learned to respond to anger in a peaceful manner and have become a more accepting human being.  Destiny has helped me to grow into the person I want to be.”                  Chloe Alston, 16

“Destiny has personally changed my life for the better.  It has made me a more kind, thoughtful, and compassionate person.  As I’m developing the ability to express myself through dance, I am realizing my passion.  Destiny is my home away from home.”  Dorianna Blitt, 15

“Destiny has helped me grow over the years. When I first got to Destiny I was this shy little girl who hid behind her mom and refused to take group classes. Now I am able to be part of the Destiny Company doing big shows in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. And I even have some speaking parts. Through dance I am able to connect to the public in a peaceful way, to let them know that the youth of Oakland are out there doing positive things. Destiny is special because of the connection we have with the community.  Every performance we have, the audience loves us because we make a change.”                  Julia Phillips, 17

“Before joining the Company, although I was very “smart” in an academic way, I wasn’t really able to express myself emotionally.  Through working with the show and performing last year I have really become able to express my emotions and tell my story.  In the show early in 2011, I performed a monologue about being bullied in school for being perceived as gay.  Through Destiny I was able to come to terms with this and truly grow from the experience.”  Sasha Petterson, 16

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Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC)

Part of the Destiny Arts Center model is to consciously foster young artists. The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC) was formed for youth ages 13-18 in order to create productions that are dynamic forums for young people to express their fears, hopes, and strategies for confronting challenging personal and social issues. Since 1993, the group has matured into a committed, multicultural group of teens from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds who bring their narratives to the table in creating their annual production in collaboration with DAYPC Co-Artistic Directors Sarah Crowell and Rashidi Omari and invited professional artists. All productions combine hip hop, modern, aerial dance, theater, martial arts, song, rap, and spoken word as artistic mediums. Company members rehearse twice/week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-7:30PM. As the season progresses, rehearsal times increase. The group performs up to 30 times during the season, mostly on weekends. This year DAYPC will be focusing on LGBTQQI2-S topics and collaborating with the youth of MOVING IN THE MOVEMENT to receive training in becoming “Arts Actionists” – artists that use the power of art and performance to make change in their communities!

2014 AUDITIONS:  Thursday, September 25 4:30-8:30pm OR Tuesday, September 30 4:30-8:30pm (dancers only have to audition once)


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Destiny Junior Company (DJC)

The Destiny Junior Company (DJC) is a rigorous training ground in dance, theater and performance for youth ages 9-12. DJC company members undergo an audition process to assess their readiness to be a member of a performance team as well as their current level of technical achievement. All invited members of DJC perform portions of the annual production written and co-created by DAYPC and they also co-write and choreograph one original show per year.  DJC members are expected to take one Destiny technique class in addition to their twice/weekly rehearsals (Tues/Thurs, from 4:30-5:30PM).  Destiny Junior Company’s Artistic Director is Mika Lemoine, a Destiny alum and current Destiny hip hop instructor.

2014 AUDITION:  Tuesday, September 23 4:30-6:30pm

We host auditions at our North Oakland arts center at the beginning of every new school year!

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School Year 2014-15 Audition Dates

Destiny Junior Company (9-12 year olds)
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:30-6:30pm

Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (13-18 year olds)
Thursday, September 25 OR Tuesday, September 30 2014 4:30-8:30pm

Dancers are only required to attend one audition; rehearsals begin on Thursday, October 2

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How to prepare:  Come prepared to work hard and support your fellow auditioners.

What to wear:  Clothes you can move in. Sweats. t-shirts and sneakers or modest tights and jazz shoes are some forms of suggested attire.

What to expect: Auditions will last several hours and begin from the moment you step into the room. Destiny directors are watching for each participant’s dance and theater skills as well as willingness to be an attentive audience member and the ability to support and encourage their competitors.

Upon entry, auditioners will receive a number, warm up with the group and learn short hip hop and modern dance routines that they then perform for a small panel of judges. You may also be asked to freestyle for several measures at the end of the given choreography. You will then read a short monologue from a previous Destiny production.

Optional: You may also prepare a solo a small group routine (with other auditioners).  This routine can be in any form of dance/movement you choose and must be no longer than one minute in length.  You must bring your own music.  You may also perform a poem, monologue of your choice.  This must also be no longer than one minute in length.

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Destiny Arts youth performance companies have performed for audiences throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Our performances are a powerful mixture of youth-written monologues, dialogue and scene work, multiple dance styles, and martial arts. All of our content is derived from company members’ experience with relevant social issues that affect the day-to-day lives of their communities.

If you are interested in booking one of the companies for a performance or event, please call or Sarah Crowell Artistic Director, at 510-597-1619 x 102 or sarah@destinyarts.org. Because we work with school-aged youth, we generally do not accept commissions during the school day.

DESTINY ARTS YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY SCHEDULE 2014-2015

Regular Rehearsals & Scriptwriting

Tuesdays & Thursdays – MANDATORY REGULAR REHEARSALS (starting 10/2/14)
4:30-7:30pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Fridays -  OPTIONAL SCRIPTWRITING (starting 12/5/14)
4:30-7pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Community Performances/Recitals/Events

Saturday, October 18
SHOW:  Bioneers Conference @ Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
Arrive at Destiny at 6am
Show over at 2pm

Sunday, October 19
SHOW:  Pizzaiolo fundraiser @ Pizzaiolo Restaurant, Oakland, CA
Arrive at event location (5008 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) by 4pm
Show over at 8pm

Saturday, November 8
SHOW:  Women’s Donor Network Conference @ Claremont Hotel, Berkeley CA
Arrive at Destiny at 6pm
Show over at 9pm

Saturday, December 13
RECITAL:  Destiny’s Love in Action Recital @ McClymonds High School, Oakland, CA
Arrive at McClymonds at 5pm
Show over at 9pm

Saturday, February 7
EVENT:  Punch for Peace/Kick for Kindness
- Fundraiser @ Destiny Arts Center
Arrive at Destiny at 10am
Event over at 12noon

February TBA
SHOW:  Black Choreographers Festival (performances and dance classes)
Details TBA

Saturday, February 14
SHOW:  One Billion Rising V-Day Performance
Details TBA

Thursday, March 19
SHOW:  Teens Tackle Tobacco, Alcohol & Drugs Youth Wellness Conference @ the Clark Kerr Conference Center, Berkeley, CA
Arrive at Destiny at 6:30am
Show over at 10am

May TBA
SHOW:  Destiny Fundraiser/Gala
Details TBA

Saturday, June 6
RECITAL:  Destiny’s “Moving for Peace” Recital
Details TBA

Retreat

Friday, November 21 – Sunday, November 23
Arrive at Destiny on Friday at 4pm – carpools leave at 4pm
Pick up students at Destiny on Sunday at 2pm
The retreat is happening at NatureBridge in the Marin Headlands

2015 Extra Rehearsals

Friday, February 27
4:30-8pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, February 28
1:30-6pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Friday, March 6
4:30-8pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 7
1:30-6pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Friday, March 13
4:30-8pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 14
1:30-6pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Friday, March 20
4:30-8pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 21
1:30-6pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Friday, March 27
4:30-8pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 28
1:30-6pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Sunday, March 29 (aerial dancers only)
4-7pm @ the Laney College Theater

The BIG SHOW At Laney College Theater

2015 TECH WEEK
Monday-Thursday, March 30-April 2
4-10pm each evening

2015 SHOWS
Friday, April 3
10am-10:30pm (show time: 7:30pm)

Saturday, April 4
1pm-10:30pm (show time: 7:30pm)

Friday, April 10
4pm-10:30pm (show time: 7:30pm)

Saturday, April 11
11am-10:30pm (show times: 2pm & 7:30pm)

Sunday, April 12
2pm-8pm (show time: 5pm)

Tuesday, April 14
7am-5pm (show times: 10am & 1:30pm)

 

DESTINY JUNIOR COMPANY SCHEDULE 2014-2015

Regular Rehearsals & Required Classes

Rehearsals – Tuesdays & Thursdays
4:30-5:30pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Required Classes – Tuesdays & Thursdays
3:30-4:30pm OR 5:30-7pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Community Performances/Recitals

Saturday, December 13
RECITAL:  Destiny’s Love in Action Recital
Arrive at McClymonds High School at 5pm
Show over at 9pm

May TBA
SHOW:  Destiny Fundraiser/Gala
Details TBA

Tuesday, June 2
SHOW:  Destiny Junior Company original show @ Destiny Arts Center
Showtime:  7pm

Saturday, June  6
RECITAL:  Destiny’s “Moving for Peace” Recital
Details TBA

2015 Extra Rehearsals

Saturday, February 28
1:30-3pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 7
1:30-3pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 14
1:30-3pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 21
1:30-3pm @ Destiny Arts Center

Saturday, March 28
1:30-3pm @ Destiny Arts Center

The BIG SHOW At Laney College Theater

2015 TECH WEEK
Monday-Thursday, March 30-April 2
4:30-6pm each evening

2015 SHOWS
Friday, April 3
4pm-10:30pm (show time: 7:30pm)

Saturday, April 4
4pm-10:30pm (show time: 7:30pm)

Friday, April 10
5pm-10:30pm (show time: 7:30pm)

Saturday, April 11
12pm-10:30pm (show times: 2pm & 7:30pm)

Sunday, April 12
3pm-8pm (show time: 5pm)

Tuesday, April 14
8am-5pm (show times: 10am & 1:30pm)

 

What a brave band of determined souls is Destiny!

Alice Walker
Author, poet, feminist, and activist