Dog & Pony creates live performances that re-shape and re-contextualize dominant paradigms to offer alternative perspectives for engaged audiences. With a steadfast belief in the power of art, Dog & Pony works to increase societal equity by imagining new possibilities and creating space for productive and challenging dialogues.
In Dog & Pony, Alma and Joe each create dance works that are connected by a shared, singular subject. These dances deconstruct and re-imagine literature, art, inherited assumptions, and prominent cultural archetypes. Throughout their respective creative processes, Joe and Alma consider ideology, location, and form as situated within and influenced by queer, feminist, and non-patriarchal perspectives.
Alma Esperanza Cunningham
“hard-hitting, hypnotizing” - Heather Desaulniers/Critical Dance, 2016
“Alma’s work turned the proposition of ‘political’ into movement exploration that altered a sense of space and time – and by calling attention to our subjectivity (to our experience of self within an environment) this shifted what we know to be ‘true’ or ‘real’ or ‘valid’”. - Kate Mattingly/ Baywatched, 2016
Alma Esperanza-Cunningham uses form to explore deeper questions about humanity and femininity. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, Movement Research at Judson Church, Dance Theater Workshop’s Fresh Tracks. After moving back to San Francisco from New York, she formed her company Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement (AECM). Alma has been an Artist in Residence at ODC, Jon Sims Center for the Arts, and has partnered with Robert Moses in CHIME (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange), a program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Alma was the recipient of a 2004 GOLDIE (SF Bay Guardian’s Outstanding Local Discovery) award. From 2007 to 2012, she stepped away from making work to focus on personal health issues and motherhood. This period away reinvigorated her artistic vision, and expanded and added depth to her research.
Joe Landini is a San Francisco-based choreographer/curator and is the co-director of Dog & Pony. He completed his BA in Choreography from UC Irvine and his MA in Choreography from the Laban Center (London). He has presented his work at Resolution! Festival (London), International Contemporary Dance Festival (Mexico City), the San Francisco International Arts Festival, as well as festivals in Sacramento, Laguna Beach, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin. Locally, he has presented his work at the ODC Theater, Z Space, Dance Mission and the Cowell Theater.
In 2007, Landini founded a performance gallery in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood called SAFEhouse Arts (Saving Art From Extinction), where is directs RAW (resident artists workshop) and SPF (summer performance festival). He also directed the West Wave Dance Festival from 2014-2017. In 2012, he received the GOLDIE Award from the SF Bay Guardian for achievement in dance and in 2017, he celebrated his 25th Anniversary of making dances in San Francisco, which included commissions from Nina Haft, Ronja Ver, Amy Lewis and Alma Esperanza Cunningham.
Landini’s performance installations are strongly rooted in performativity, deconstruction and phenomenology. His work uses dance as a foundation and integrates elements of media, popular culture and theatre to create environments that are both entertaining and challenging. Landini's work reflects his belief that art should require active viewership.