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Mark Foehringer Dance Project

'In Fugue' and 'Entrelazo'

by Becca Hirschman

September 5, 2008 -- Jewish Community Center San Francisco

Mark Foehringer's lucky 13th season brought a pair of well thought-out works to the Jewish Community Center's Kanbar Hall stage last weekend. With last year's "In Fugue" making an encore and the world preview of "Entrelazo," Foehringer shook things up, albeit with the help of plate tectonics.

"In Fugue" centered on release and continuous circles, both in Jack Perla’s score as well as in the movement on stage. The seven dancers focused on a point at the back of the stage and then broke off, pairing up or moving in groups, highlighting different rhythms and sections of the music with pop. Plies sprung into grandiose sissones and segued through to short, buoyant lifts, all while maintaining the calming rhythm of children happily bouncing on a trampoline. Marina Fukushima, a lovely and introspective dancer, moved well and had a nice spring to her step as she flowed through her solo work, and the remaining dancers were also strong, including local favorite, former ODC dancer Brandon “Private” Freeman.

Even with the minor earthquake rumbling our seats, “Entrelazo” caused a lovely stir. Inspired during his time in Peru, Foehringer’s choreography springs from ideas of faith and worship, but goes farther in addressing our inter-relatedness on those around us. Dressed in ocean blue dresses and pants, the nine dancers swept from wing to wing, becoming (intentionally) entangled in white stretchy fabric and providing images racing across the stage of longitude and latitude as well as more abstract divides like race, religion, ethnicity, and beliefs.

Tina Kay Bohnstedt stretched her limbs wide, beautifully creating geometric shapes with her body while bending about; really, Bohnstedt could simply plie, and many would stare in awe. She mesmerizes that easily. But the music – Arvo Part’s choral “Miserere” – was big with its building crescendos and pounding tones, and seemed too large a scale for Foehringer’s undertaking. Foehringer excels at the silent solos and delicate duets, but a cast of nine combined with such an emotionally vast score may not be the appropriate combination for his personalized choreography.

While “In Fugue” put on a cute, quirky front, “Entrelazo” showed Foehringer’s solemn side. I look forward to seeing more of his work to come.

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