DANCE Speaking from her home in New York, choreographer Lucinda Childs recalls the unfavorable reception to her 1979 piece Dance. "People walked out saying that I didn't have a vocabulary and that anybody could do that kind of dancing." Fortunately, perceptions and concepts of dance have evolved.Read more »
DANCE Is it desirable to invest time and money in an elaborate dance theater piece about a noncontroversial subject? Are we supposed to walk away from an artistic experience having learned something about ourselves that we didn't know before? Is it worthwhile to make a work about a common or familiar topic? Those are some of the questions that percolated through my mind watching Amara Tabor-Smith's rich Our Daily Bread, which runs at CounterPULSE through April 24.Read more »
DANCE The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater may be an American treasure, but it's one that has been adopted by the world. Wherever these dancers go, they jam the houses with enthusiastic audiences. That's why it may seem curmudgeonly to say that while fabulous, they could be better. Not the dancers: technically, they are top-notch, as well as brave, fierce, and committed. What the company needs — and will now get — is a new vision.Read more »
DANCE Looking at the magnificent and elegant Merce Cunningham dancers perform Pond Way (1998), Antic Meet (1958) and Sounddance (1975) in the by no means sold-out Zellerbach Hall on March 3 made me sad. Each of these works showed such skill, beauty, and intelligence. Yet they left me pessimistic about the future of a precious repertoire.Read more »
Robert Moses may not know it, but he is a pied piper. The ability to hold the attention of 200 hormone-packed middle school students at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday in early February must qualify as some kind of superhuman ability.
But Moses, choreographer and artistic director of Robert Moses' Kin, defers to his own pied piper, the one on stage who immortalized the German city of Hamelin. As the fabled character, Dexandro "D" Montalvo twitches, churns, and first commands the rats; then, with beckoning index fingers, he mesmerizes the "children" to follow him who knows where.Read more »
DANCE Fat chance Aura Fischbeck could have escaped becoming a dancer. Her mother was one of the last students of legendary German Expressionist dancer Mary Wigman; her father is an actor/musician who pioneered multimedia dance theater in the 1960s. Additionally, she had an older sister, also a dancer. "[She] was always a step or two ahead of me," Fischbeck remembers. "I grew up surrounded by dance, but I didn't like some of the politics that go with the profession."Read more »
YEAR IN DANCE Watching dance in the Bay Area is a privilege. With the constant influx of eager young talents, people who stick around and develop, and established artists who still manage to surprise year after year, the experience can be a ball. This celebration is boosted by the "travelers" from other cities and countries who come in for a day or two and keep local dance from becoming overly self-satisfied. There is a lot wrong with capitalism, but competition — in terms of ideas — can be a real quality booster.Read more »