New Yorker hits town,
dancing as fast as she can

By Jennifer de Poyen
December 26, 2004

Times are tough for all the arts, all over the country, but dance in San Diego is especially vulnerable because there are so few financially stable local institutions to support the creation and presentation of this most human art form.

Sushi, the main presenter of cutting-edge and community dance, was under siege in 2004; already threatened by budget woes, the organization was forced out of its longtime home in June to make way for ballpark redevelopment.

Into this breach stepped Allyson Green, the New Yorker who took over as interim artistic director late in 2003. She spent much of this year ensuring Sushi's healthy future.

Green is a collaborator, not a polarizer. So the first thing she did was to announce "Sushi: TakeOut," a plan to present a season in spaces around town with a host of like-minded artistic partners.

Consulting with Sushi founder Lynn Schuette and other community stakeholders, she set about stabilizing the finances, revamping the board, programming the 2004-05 season and brainstorming about the future.

The current season – a balance of local, national and international work – brings Sushi in contact with experimental-theater audiences (through Sledgehammer, which is hosting most of Sushi's season); visual-arts lovers (through the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the site of an upcoming performance by crossover artist B.K. Soul); and music aficionados (thanks to La Jolla Music Society, a co-sponsor, with the San Diego Rep, of performances next March by the Martha Graham impersonator Richard Move).

All this Green has tackled while working to develop an interdisciplinary graduate program in dance at UCSD with her colleague, Yolande Snaith. And somehow, too, she has continued to produce creative work both here (in concerts at UCSD and the San Diego Museum of Art last spring) and abroad (working with longtime Eastern European collaborators in Romania last summer.