SF Dance Works 2018

SF Dance Works 2018
Cowell Theater, Fort Mason SF
June 10, 2018

Range of Motion

Except for the process of getting there on a fine Sunday afternoon, when the Food Fair is on, Fort Mason is lively with many other events, Cowell Theater presents a challenged, windy walk, and there is no unpaid parking, it is always a pleasure to see dance events at the theater. Perhaps some good planners with rethink the use of Fort Mason so that theater can prevail.

SF Dance Works is a fine rewarding event, worth getting there. For Season 3, four works were presented, each by a different choreographer. Nacho Duato is the senior choreographer. His work, “Jardi Tancat,” created for the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1983, is sourced from Catalonia folk tales, expressing the hardships of poor Catalonian farmers. The six dancers, in ensemble and duets, execute the seamless lyricism of the music, composed and sung by Maria del Mar Bonet. “Jardi Tancat” is marvelously performed. Newly appointed associate director, Danielle Rowe was outstanding as a senior dancer.

Rowe also choreographed the World Premiere work on the program “The Old Child.” In a series of vignettes, the dancers appear, dancing duets, which apparently portray remembrances of life’s stages. A constant figure ( Rowe herself?), placed downstage right, rises at each episode, almost as if calling the next event. In order of appearance the dancers are Britt Juleen, Anne Zivolich-Adams and Garett Anderson, Dana Genshaft and Katerina Eng, Nicholas Korkos, and Laura O’alley and Brett Conway. It is a charming work, but for this reviewer, it needs more clarification and sometimes amplification. The score is by Alton San Giovanni, performed by instrumentalist David Knight.

I found “Homing,” a world premiere by artistic director James Sofranko, to be delightful.

Set to Schubert”s Impromptus (played live by Ronny Michael Greenberg), the dance builds a group for the six dancers and from time to time sends them away. Garrett Anderson, appears to leave from time to time. He and Nicholas Korkos, share the honor of being the strong men in the group. But the women are lovely, (most listed above), moving with easy lyric lines in an out of interesting patterns, formed by arms, legs and folded torsos.

The duet. “Snap” by Penny Saunders, a duet for Danielle Saunders and Mario Alonzo. Is a charming incident developed from the ‘patt-a-cake’ children’s game. It is a playful, flirtatious opener for the program, but it doesn’t go very far.

The dancers have come from many national and international companies. Their skill is to be applauded, their ensemble excellent. Let’s hope they will have more challenging choreography to develop their abilities in the future.

Joanna G. Harris

Photo: Full ensemble in “Jardi Tancat.”
Photo by Alexander Renef-Olson.