CriticalDance Forum

Margaret Jenkins' "Other Suns"
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Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Margaret Jenkins' "Other Suns"

From the SF Chronicle.


Review: Margaret Jenkins' 'Other Suns' trying to find its place
Rachel Howard, Chronicle Dance Correspondent

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In the inevitable ebb and flow of a long, rich dance-making career, Margaret Jenkins is reaching high tide. She just finished a piece to premiere as part of San Francisco Ballet's New Works Festival in the spring, and 2006's blockbuster "A Slipping Glimpse" - created in collaboration with dancers in India - recently wrapped an acclaimed nationwide tour.

With the grande dame of Bay Area modern dance so busy, perhaps no one should feel surprised that "Other Suns," unveiled Thursday at Project Artaud Theater, feels like a minor event. It isn't that Jenkins' latest, which the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company continues performing through Sunday, seems rushed into the world or unfinished. It just might take a while to see quite where "Other Suns" fits within the Jenkins oeuvre.


Author:  RaHir [ Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:44 pm ]
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The proof is in its brightness
“Other Suns”
Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
Project Artaud Theater
December 8, 2007

Inspired by her time in spent in Asia, Margaret Jenkins premiered the first part of “Other Suns,” which is set to be a trilogy examining symmetry and asymmetry. Prior to the event, my mind flashed back to my days of geometry and proofs. Would there be iscosoles triangles? Perhaps an investigation of parallel vs. perpendicular lines? No. Of course not. But there was proof that Jenkins’ work is well grounded, and that there’s still quite more to come.

The 40-minute long evening, set in Project Artaud’s spacious theater, began with warm bulb lights shining brightly behind the seven strong dancers: Joseph Copley, Kelly Del Rosario, Melanie Elms, Steffany Ferroni, Matthew Holland, Deborah Miller, and Ryan Smith. With great care and subtle strength, Elms initially drew us in with her deliberate movements and graceful presence. Circling around with a controlled breath, pausing ever so slightly to where I was sitting precariously at the edge of my set waiting for what comes next, she flowed through space with increasing awareness. Hip bumping the dancers as if she was the end piece of a Newton’s cradle, she gently swayed them into motion. As the work progressed, they moved similarly, at times in synch and others not, but the continuum traveled ahead, pulling dancers forward and back, up high into the hung lights and rolling down upon the earth. There was always, though, a return back to the center, whether it was a dancer’s own personal center or that of the space. Similar to a planet or group of planets circling around a sun and the sun’s gravity in holding the planets’ in their orbits, the dancers’ focus remained in the present, even when it seemed like their bodies were forever jutting quickly in infinite directions through space. The dancers ended with a sense of relief, contentment, and solitude, complemented by the final drips of water off of a platform (designed by the always inspirational Alexander V. Nichols) raised high above the dancers. The music, recordings of Paul Dresher’s "Channels Passing" and Bun-Ching Lam’s "Like Water" provided moments of lift and contemplation, easily complementing Jenkins’ choreography without being overpowering or distracting.

I’m curious to see what follows, which will be a collaboration with Guangdong Modern Dance Company of China and scheduled for debut in 2009. Will Jenkins’ subsequent sections build upon the first or incorporate parallels in other movement and dance universes? Or maybe not every sun has such a sunny side as this one.

Author:  RaHir [ Thu May 29, 2008 1:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

How can you say no to a free performance/discussion?


MJDC is excited to announce performance activities during our residency at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) this spring. We have decided not to stage A Slipping Glimpse so that we can concentrate on Other Suns, our new cross-cultural collaboration with the Guangdong Modern Dance Company of China. Our hopes are that this project will be as profound and affecting an experience as our journey with A Slipping Glimpse. We have been invited to be in residence in Guangzhou, China to continue working on the Other Suns trilogy later this year. Our spring rehearsal period will be an important creative time for the Company in preparation for that residency, culminating with two afternoon presentations at YBCA.

MJDC invites you to join us for an insider's look at the ongoing creative process of the Other Suns trilogy. Watch the work in process, hear about their plans and have an exchange with the Company.

Thursday, May 29 and Friday, May 30 at 1:00 PM
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum
701 Mission Street (at Third Street)
San Francisco, CA

Author:  RaHir [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:38 pm ]
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Dance review: Margaret Jenkins' 'Other Suns'
Mary Ellen Hunt, Special to The Chronicle
Friday, September 25, 2009

At the heart of "Other Suns (A Trilogy)," the thoroughly engrossing work which the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and China's Guangdong Modern Dance Company premiered at Yerba Buena Center's Novellus Theater on Thursday night, is the exploration of what it means to be "different" or the "same."

Far from being a mere cultural odyssey, or superficial pasting together of disparate items, Jenkins' work - set to a peripatetic original score by Paul Dresher, who led his musical ensemble in the pit - seeks something larger and more profound.

Part one - a section of the work that Jenkins showed to San Francisco audiences in 2007 - opens with designer Alexander V. Nichols' stunning visual space: Banks of lights across the upper and lower reaches of the stage frame dozens of bare lamps suspended like raindrops overhead, without the watery set piece seen in the 2007 showing.

Under the canopy of light, bodies thrust forward, push and pull against each other, evoking longing, daring, missed opportunities and chance encounters.


Author:  RaHir [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:39 pm ]
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Also, here's a Q&A from last week.

Margaret Jenkins, Guangdong troupe pair up
Mary Ellen Hunt, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Veteran choreographer Margaret Jenkins and her dancers join forces with China's Guangdong Modern Dance Company for "Other Suns," an intersection of cultures and ideas, which premieres Thursday at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

For Jenkins, it has been a process of more than two years that has taken her company of eight dancers to Guangzhou, China, in 2008 and back home as they worked on the tripartite work, which encompasses a section created by each company and a collaborative finale. As she prepared for the Chinese dancers' arrival in San Francisco, a moment in the quiet studios on Eighth and Folsom streets found her in a characteristically reflective mood.

Q: Where does the title "Other Suns" come from?

A: One of the many things that has been so striking and so moving with all the cross-cultural work and intercontinental travel that I've done over the last several years is how one can use one's art to be in dialogue and in communication with people from another culture. How much more deeply you can come to understand another people by actually doing your work, as opposed to being on the tourist bus that takes you to the highlights. I think sometimes we act as a people as if we have something grand to impart to another people, but something that I realized when I started working so deeply in China was that, even though we live very differently from one another, we all live under the same sun.


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