Focusing on the difficult lives of freelance dancers, Felice Lesser's dance and video work I Am a Dancer premieres during her company's 30th anniversary season. Set to Brahms' Cello Sonatas, it looks at these committed artists who support their art with "survival jobs," and never receive enough money or credit for the work they do. It delves into issues confronting today's performers such as the stresses of working multiple jobs totally unrelated to dance, futures without financial security, injuries, aging, body image, personal relationships, and the artist's dubious status in our society. The audience also witnesses the passion and drive that makes dancers choose to live their lives doing what they love at the cost of so many other things.
Designed as a "living movie" (a form in which Lesser pits live dance against a moving set of projected video), I Am a Dancer shows off its performers in solo and group dances, having them perform against their own images used as graphic montages, or sometimes as virtual performers. Videotaped interviews alternate with the dances, bringing the audience directly into the lives of the people performing right in front of them, and giving parts of the work the look of a live documentary.