Physically integrated dance in an exuberant program
PREVIEW The San Francisco Ballet closes its season this week, but Bay Area dance keeps pulsing. Across town in the Mission's modest CELLspace, Dandelion Dancetheater is starting its own rather remarkable program of new dance. The two-week run which heads to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the third week features the company's own performers plus guest artists from Montreal and Madrid. Collectively these performers and choreographers call what they are doing "physically integrated dance," the moniker folks who have long been expanding the concept of who is a dancer seem finally to have settled on. It's a movement pioneered by Oakland's AXIS Dance Company, so it should be no surprise that these programs draw heavily on former AXIS dancers Jacques Poulin-Denis, who has returned to Canada, and Nadia Adame, who has gone back to Spain. Eric Kupers, Dandelion's codirector and a former AXIS collaborator, initially became interested in working with nontraditional dancing bodies for the challenges it poses to his own creativity. Kupers has investigated ideas of identity, body image, beauty, intimacy, loneliness, ability, and disability. In The Undressed Project series (2002 to present), he asked his very diverse group of dancers to perform in the nude, challenging their vulnerability and our willingness to look. In his Physically Integrated Dance Program at California State University-East Bay, he works with performers with emotional and physical challenges. They will perform in one program with his newest company dancer, a young man with a learning disability. Kupers' work-in-progress, oust, and Adame's 9 días y 20 horas a la deriva look at issues of displacement, particularly surrounding immigration. Poulin-Denis, with Mayday Dance, will bring Les Angles Morts (2007), while his DORS investigates sleeplessness.
Dandelion Dancetheater Fri/9-S0un/18, 7 (Program A) and 8:30 p.m. (Program B), CELLspace, 2050 Bryant, SF. $10$20. (510) 885-3154, www.brownpapertickets.com