Confident in the fertile tension between subject matter and formal demands
PREVIEW After training in ballet, San Francisco native Hope Mohr moved to New York City, where she danced with Lucinda Childs and Douglas Dunn before spending four seasons with the Trisha Brown Dance Company. After eight years, she decided that she could continue her career back in her hometown. Significantly, upon returning in 2005, she joined the company of Margaret Jenkins, who had also left the Big Apple to resettle in her Bay Area stomping grounds more than 30 years ago. Even then, however, Mohr knew that she would eventually want her own group. This upcoming concert is the debut of her newly formed Hope Mohr Dance troupe, in which she'll present four pieces with 13 dancers. Of key interest is her 2007 collaboration with video artist Douglas Rosenberg, Under the Skin, a commissioned work from Stanford University that grew out of a series of workshops Mohr conducted with breast cancer survivors. Five trained dancers and three survivors perform together in the piece. When Bill T. Jones created his 1994 Still Here, conceived on a similar premise, it raised a firestorm of criticism about so-called "victim art." Mohr is confident that the fertile tension between the subject matter and the dance's formal demands has allowed her to create a work that stands on its artistic merits. The other three pieces, Moments of Being (a premiere), Elision, and more awake than dreaming, are non-narrative investigations of what gave Mohr's debut program its title, "Let the Body Speak."
HOPE MOHR DANCE Fri/14-Sun/16, 8 p.m. Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF. $18. (415) 273-4633