Longing for Moscow
PREVIEW The places we long to be often have the greatest hold on our imaginations. In Chekhov's The Three Sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina dream of returning to Moscow, believing it's the only place they can be truly happy. Of course, in Chekhov's version, they never do manage to reach the Promised Land. Their dreams unfulfilled, the sisters eventually must resign themselves to their respective quiet desperations. Mark Jackson's Yes, Yes to Moscow, which makes its North American premiere at Dance Mission Theatre for the San Francisco International Arts Festival, imagines the long-awaited arrival of the sisters to Moscow and the pitfalls of getting what you wish for.
Jackson, whose focus on the physical has long been a hallmark of his work, collaborates with Berlin-based choreographer Sommer Ulrickson, American actor Beth Wilmurt, and German performance artist Tilla Kratochwil to create a multidisciplinary, multilingual, multifaceted production. A smash hit at the Deutsches Theater a continent away (leading to a commission for Jackson and Ulrickson to collaborate again in 2009), Moscow's San Francisco debut fits in well with SFIAF's theme: the truth in knowing/now. Forced by an unsympathetic and foreign reality to reexamine their assumptions about home, Moscow, and familiarity, the sisters must confront the not-knowing within their now, and rediscover truth as best they can.
Art Street Theatre Fri/30, 9:30 p.m.; Sat/31, 4:30 p.m.; Sun/1, 7 p.m. Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., San Francisco. $20. 1-800-838-3006, www.sfiaf.org .