Choreographers Corner- Trolley Dances 2014- Terry Wilson

Terry Wilson in Isaacs' Red Dress/ White Dress

 Terry Wilson, a professor at City College, has a long history with Jean, San Diego Dance Theater, and Trolley Dances that dates back to 1987. She danced with Jean in her earlier companies -Three’s Company and Dancers; Isaacs, McCaleb and Dancers and joined Jean when she first took over SDDT in 1997. Terry choreographed the first two Trolley Dances and danced in the third. We’re thrilled to have her back again and appreciate all her help this year navigating City College!

When was the last time you choreographed for Trolley?

Trolley Dances 2008 by Terry WilsonThe last time I choreographed for TD was in 2008 (10 Year Anniversary). It was the green line and I had the space where the bridge crosses over the San Diego River from the Town and Country Hotel behind Fashion Valley. I made a tragic dance about the homeless condition that ended up being an audience favorite.


How did you pick your site this year? What are the unique challenges? 

My site is located on a grassy slope at San Diego City College. It is beautiful and hopeful, like new college students. I think the challenge is how large the space is, because the dancers perform many times in a row, and covering the ground can be exhausting. Also, since the campus is inner city, we always have “guests” at our site that are hanging around. At our first rehearsal, we experienced a homeless woman screaming at us, and later we found her dentures on the lawn.

How is it to make site specific work on the campus where you teach?

Making site specific dances at City is easy. The campus has wonderful, secret spots that need illuminating through movement and art. The challenge is the responsibility over and above my normal work load.

What would you like the audience to know about your Trolley Dances piece?_edge.7811.1I want the audience to remember school as a place of wonder and possibility, excitement, newness and connections.

Terry reflects on the history and value of Trolley Dances….

We always work hard and have a great time. Trolley Dances has become something to look forward to every fall. I teach the history of dance at both SD City College and UCSD, I always tell my fall term students that they are particularly lucky since TD happens only at this time of year. I also like that people of all ages can enjoy our city, the trolley experience and moving public art that is accessible to everyone.

Catch her newest Trolley work in just a few short weeks!
Photos, top to bottom:
**Terry Wilson in Isaacs’ Red Dress/White Dress, photo by C.L. Canestaro
**Terry Wilson’s Trolley Dances 2008, photo by Manny Rotenberg
**City College dancers in Terry’s work, 2014, photo by Manny Rotenberg
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