IDENTIFICATION AND BIO:
Paul Timothy Diaz is a choreographer who has made over twenty works in response to the AIDS epidemic. Diagnosed with HIV in 1986, Diaz has made work in both concert settings as well as presenting his work in open-air performances throughout the city of San Francisco. In such unconventional settings, his work has stood as evidence of political activism intersecting with artistic practice in the age of AIDS. His One AIDS Death Every 10 Minutes (later re-named One AIDS Death Every 8 Minutes) was often performed illegally at San Francisco's City Hall or in front of the Macy's department store on Stockton Street. In at least one case Diaz's performance was stopped by security guards. In the face of such confrontation, Diaz would not protest but rather go limp inside the pink body bag that was his costume. In the words of dance scholar David Gere, "transforming himself into a dead body constitute[d] the quintessential act of gay choreographic disobedience."
According to his oral history (see below) Diaz was brought up in three Bay Area suburbs: Castro Valley, Union City, and Hayward. He ran away to Los Angeles as a young teenager, because his father, a member of the Assemblies of God, was "too strict" during the period when he was becoming sexually active. Eventually Diaz found his way back to the East Bay where he studied at the Shawl-Anderson studio and with Priscilla Regalado. He directs an organization called Movement Coalition for AIDS Awareness (m. c. FAA) in San Francisco.
KEY CONTACT PERSON(S)/EXECUTOR OF ESTATE:
Paul Timothy Diaz
Ian Alexander Nies, partner
520 Clayton St. #3
San Francisco, CA 94117
HUMAN REPOSITORIES OF THE WORK
(name and contact info, relationship to the artist and the work, assessment):
Paul Timothy Diaz (see above)
(location, format, condition, assessment):
The New York Performing Arts Library holds video documentation of Paul Timothy Diaz's AIDS related works from 1988-1996 in a collection titled "Dance, Dance, Dance Till You Drop: The AIDS-Specific Dance Collection of Paul Timothy Diaz," Movement Coalition for AIDS Awareness (1988-1996). The collection holds video documentation of the following pieces, and in many cases, documents performances at numerous locations including concert settings, open air performances, and rehearsals (all VHS, 1/2 in., includes commentary by Diaz): AIDS Warrior, Back Inside, The Cure, Cure AIDS Now, Gayselle, Genocide, Highest Plateau, Homo Bashing, i am one with the Human One, Invitation to War, L'aprčs-midi un telefon, Let's Go Crazy, Mark II: Life Foiling Death, Mi Papa, One AIDS Death--, One AIDS Death Every 8 Minutes, One AIDS Death Every 10 Minutes, Please Don't do this to me on the Telephone, Prelude, Princess Pretty Feet (duet and trio versions), Reverence (Pie Jesu), Sadly, Skeleton, Slashbacks (Parts 1 and 2), Sonny Boy, Spider, Spirit (solo and duet versions), Synchro System, and Without Fear. Call number, MGZIA 4-2755 [cassettes 1-23].
(location, format, condition, assessment):
SFPALM holds two photographs by Alexander Nies dated 20 June 1992 and photocopies of photos (condition poor) in publicity files.
(location, type [including notes taken by dancers], assessment):
(scores, sound recordings, set/costume designs):
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dance Collection holds "Interview with Paul Timothy Diaz [sound recording]," Interview conducted by Susan Kraft, 31 May and 1 June 1996, 2 sound cassettes (150 min.), one transcript. Call numbers: MGZMT 3-1966 (transcript), MGZTC 3-1966 (sound cassette).
(location of newspaper clippings, printed programs, press releases, notes, files, diaries; assessment):
SFPALM holds clipping (four items), program (1 item), publicity (10 items), and miscellaneous (2 items) files for Paul Timothy Diaz and 2 files for the Movement Coalition for AIDS Awareness (program and publicity).
Additionally the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts holds a file that includes announcements for performances and information on the Movement Coalition for AIDS Awareness. Call number: MGZR (Diaz, Paul Timothy).
(archival assistance? storage? other?):
OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION:
PARTIAL LIST OF WORKS
(title, premiere date, music, production notes, performers):
Taken from the online catalog of the New York Public Libraryyear, location, and performer credits indicate earliest credits from (in most instances) multiple recordings held by the library and may or may not reflect premiere date, location, and performer credits.
Back Inside (1983)music: George Winston
Synchro System (1984)music: King Sunny Adé (Synchro System)
Mi Papa (1985)music: Perez Prado (Caballo Negro)
Let's Go Crazy (1986)music: Prince (Let's Go Crazy)
Reverence (Pie Jesu) (1986)music: Webber ("Pie Jesu" from Requiem), dancers: Beth Bland and Diaz
Please Don't do this to Me on the Telephone (1987)music: Yaz (Winter Kills, In My Room)
Cure AIDS Now (1988)music: Dead Can Dance, performed by Diaz
One AIDS Death Every 10 Minutes (1990)Open Air Performance (Union Square and Macy's in front of Stockton Street) San Francisco
AIDS Warrior (1991)three solos danced by Diaz [in order listed], 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco:
Without Fearmusic: Peter Gabriel (Last Temptation of Christ)
and Consolidated (Brutal Equation)
Genocidemusic: Consolidated (Stoned)
One AIDS Death Every 8 Minutesmusic: Dead Can Dance (Persephone)
Gayselle (1991)music: Mactown Strip (Waiting, Bontempi and Piano, Living, Bottles/All Outdoors), performed by Virgil Angulo and Diaz, [parody of the ballet Giselle], 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
Homo Bashing (1991)music: Webber ("Pie Jesu" from Requiem), performed by Diaz and Allison Lincoln, 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
Invitation to War (1991)music: Public Enemy (excepts from By the Time I Get to Arizona), Kode IV (Possessed), Peter Gabriel (Last Temptation of Christ), performed by Diaz and Ian Alexander Nies, 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
L'aprčs-midi un Telefon (1991)original music: Mactown Strip (Miss Rosemary), performed by Diaz, 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
Princess Pretty Feet [duet version] (1991)original music: Mactown Strip (Oh! Listen to the Pretty Music), performed by Diaz and Allison Lincoln, 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
Princess Pretty Feet [trio version] (1991)original music: Mactown Strip (Oh! Listen to the Pretty Music), performed by Virgil Angulo, Diaz, and Allison Lincoln, 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
Sonny Boy (1991)sound: excerpts from the soundtrack of Jacob's Ladder, music: Maurice Jarre, performed by Virgil Angulo, Diaz, and Alexander Nies, San Francisco
Spirit (1991)music: James Tobin Nies (Spirit), performed by Diaz, San Francisco
One AIDS Death (1992)music: Dead Can Dance (Persephone), 1800 Square Feet, San Francisco
Spider (1992)music: Diamánda Galás (Let My People Go), construction by Ian Alexander Nies, performed by Samantha Blanchard, Steven Dell, Douglas Everson, Monique Jenkinson, and Jamie O'Halloran
The Cure (1994)music: Fugazi (Give Me the Cure), San Francisco
Sadly (work-in progress) (1994)music: Diamánda Galás (Gloomy Sunday), San Francisco
Slashbacks (parts one and two) (1994)music: Fugazi (Suggestion, Glue Man), SOMAR Theater, San Francisco
Skeleton (1994)music: Fugazi (Burning), San Francisco
Highest Plateau (Tears of Joy) (1995)music: Chi-Lites (The Coldest Days of My Life)
i am one with the Human One (1995)music: Johann Sebastian Bach (Et Misericordia), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Sanctus), Bach (Gloria)
Prelude (1995)music: Kode IV (Electrotatich), St. Paulus [Pauls?] Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Dia de los vivos (1996)San Francisco
- Fong-Torres, Ben. 1993. "AIDS in the Arts: Thousands of Bay Artists Suffering From Disease But the Community Fights Back." San Francisco Chronicle (28 March).
- Gere, David. Forthcoming. How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
- Román, David. 1997. "Latino Performance and Identity." Aztlan 22: 151-68.