HIGH RELEASE DANCE was founded in 1994 by a group of modern dancers seeking to pursue their own artistic visions and performance opportunities in a collaborative environment while still having time for families, careers, and other pursuits. The group's current focus is on creating new works and presenting pieces in different performance venues. While primarily based in modern dance, the group explores a range of dance styles, with each member acting as both choreographer of her own works and dancer in other choreographers' pieces. High Release is unique in that the group has no director, but works as a completely democratic organization in which each member has equal voice and contributes her particular talents.
High Release pieces range from highly abstract modern compositions through intricately designed jazz routines, lyrical movement poems, improvisations, and theatrical works that create a sense of place and plot with unique characterizations. While mood ranges from the dark and serious to the light and humorous, throughout the work is a distinctive High Release "flavor" characterized by dynamic, energetic movement.
Dancers in High Release are involved continuously in developing new work. The group performs a full-length concert of new works once every two years, as well as showing new pieces and works in progress in a number of group shows. High Release has performed in such productions and venues as the San Jose City College Choreographers' Collective, San Jose State's DanceWorks, the Brady Street Studio, Stanford's Mary Edith Alumni Dance Concert, the Santa Cruz Dance Series, Berkeley's Eighth Street Studio, and the 21st Century Dance Collaboration at the Marin Civic Center (see complete performance history). In addition, High Release has created seven full-length concert programs, staged in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.