James Graham Dance Theatre

Dance Lovers James Graham Dance Theatre Counterpulse
San Francisco February 8,9,10 2018

“…duets by couples, crushes and comrades”

Of the seven ‘duet’s presented at the 7th Annual Dance Theater, three were outstanding as ‘dance’, one was on a trapeze, one was pregnant with possibility and one was the best voguing around. What a variety of skill, fashion and execution!

Amy and Hannah Wasielewski’s sister act consisted of much hugging followed by lively floor rolling, all neatly recovered. It was earnest but dull.

Jacquese Whitefield is the master ‘voguer’ of SF. He and Spider delighted us with their wild shenanigans. The Wolordarski-Lundberg family, with Frida yet-to-come cuddled up in “The Dad Joke at the End of the World.”

Colin Creveling and Maomi Aeva are fine trapeze artists. Their performance was smooth, charming and daring. Bravo to both.

James Graham and his mother Sheila Graham Price took first prize in their dance event, “Do More of That.” To a mixed bag of musical selections and some conversation, mother and son dance together…and then she made the choices. Graham moves beautifully whatever assignment given. He is adapt at small hand/feet gesture as well as swooping locomotion. It was one of the more satisfying dance events of the evening.

Christy Funsch and Nol Simonse need no introduction to Bay Area audiences. They have been active together and on their own for the past 18 years. Here, they excerpted the recently seen “the beauty and run of friends, of bodies.” In this work, Christy in a red dress, assumes domination of a seemingly dependent creature, Nol, complete with horns. They face each other at the end, he naked, she composed and strong. As in other works they have done, the movement vocabulary is varied and wonderful to observe and remember.

The evening closed with a sweet duet between Melecio Estrella and Andrew Jones, limited in movement, but charming in relationship and contact. Dressed in jackets and shirts, but with bare legs, the two men shared their affection and skill in portraying their gay relationship.

Graham is to be congratulated on this adventurous programming.

Joanna G. Harris