Transform Fest Fall 2017

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF
September, 21, 2017 8 PM

Transform Fest’s Program C is a triple bill featuring Amy Seiwert’s Imagery; Larry Arrington/Sandra Lawson Ndu/Minoosh Zomorodinia; and Fogbeast

YBCA Curator invited seven choreographers to deal with the question “Why Citizenship.” He says (in program notes) “Transform is not a festival for passive observation. The curation of the festival is intended to reveal our artists as accountable agents in service of civic impact.”

Three choreographer and their companies appeared on Thursday evening, September 21. “Fog Beast” began the proceedings with Patricia West declaring that the event was “like a corporate meeting.” As such there was talk from Andrew Ward, co-artistic director of Fog Beast, followed by lively athletic dancing with Felecia Estrello, Ben Juddvalkis and West. Accompanying the groups with fascinating original music was Ben Juddvalkis, whose score and playing stole the show.

Larry Arrington/Sandra Lawson-Nou/Minoosh Zomorodina were co -creators of “Opia,” a “kaleidoscopic lens to challenge the myopic gaze that often holds the question in a grip.”  Minoosh, seemed to be the creator of mythic/magical events using many threads, designed to form ‘shapes” that form “our sweetest desires for belonging…” The dance works we’re accomplished by the three leads with Raul Torres and Sammy. Geneva

Harris, performer/musician created magic with her sound.

Amy Seiwert’s group “Imagery” was the major presentation of the evening.

In response to the question “Why Citizenship,” Seiwert chose to choreograph a series of protest songs, among which were “Pie in the Sky,” “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” and “ We Shall Not Be Moved.” Using dance/gesture/mime, the group performed these to the brilliant accompaniment of Darren Johnston, whose trumpet playing had accompanied the Women’s March. For this reviewer, Seiwert’s work was the most effective response to the “Why Citizenship” question. Imagery’s group includes Sarah Cecilia, Alysia Chang, Kelsey McFalls, James Gilmer, Scott Marlow, Laura O’Malley and Brett Conway.

Joanna G. Harris