I remember when I was a little girl, I used to live down at my Grandma Kay's house in Belmont. She had a big living room, with floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the bay. I used to dance around on the wooden floors in my socks to her Peggy Lee and Patsy Cline cassettes, which I played over and over again. It was a strange time. Grandma Kay was sick with cancer and I was too young to totally understand what was going on.
Last night I went to watch FACT/SF at the Garage. The first piece was two people, sitting in metal folding chairs, a lit cigarette filling the room with sweet smoke. There was not an inch of movement, just the sound of Peggy Lee singing “Is That All There Is.” It was melancholy and brought me right back to that living room in Belmont, and I wondered how many other people in the audience had some strange connection to that song.
This is my third time seeing FACT/SF and every time I see them it's emotional. Yes, there are perfect pirouettes and elegant extensions, but then there's always something deep, slightly dark and always thought-provoking.
There's a little bit of theater, at least a few wonderfully wacky costumes, and of course, there are the eyeballs. Choreographer Charles Slender has a serious thing about eyeballs and their ability to transform his dancers into more than just moving bodies. Whether the dancers are staring straight into your own eyes, or directly up at the ceiling, there's an intensity about those eyeballs that brings so much to the performance.
The show, which has one more run tonight, is a collection of new and old works, including an excerpt from the evocative “The Consumption Series,” with it's fluffy red tutus and bright orange tangerines. I know you haven't made any plans for tonight, so now you've got some. Now then: let's keep dancing. Let's break out the booze and have a ball ...