DANCE In December 2009, as part of a double bill with Kara Davis, Kate Weare showed an excerpt of a work in progress in which Leslie Kraus rammed her head into Douglas Gillespie's chest, knocking him flat on his back. It's a moment one is unlikely to forget. Weare must have thought so as well, because she retained the passage in Bright Land, which received its San Francisco premiere at ODC Theater this past weekend.Read more »
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 When the 25th Annual Isadora Duncan Dance Awards take place March 14, the local dance scene will have much to celebrate. In advance of the event, I recently asked several local members of the community what makes Bay Area dance special.
Wayne Hazzard, executive director of Dancers' Group, pinpoints the relationship between contemporary and traditional artists. "I've seen it [the dance community] really grow and continue to do what it's been doing and attract new companies and artists to the area."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 »