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 Post subject: SF Summerfest Program 3 7/15/99
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 1999 8:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 14494
Location: SF Bay Area
SUMMERFEST PROGRAM 3 7/15/99<P>Although there were a few notable pieces in Program 3, this evening’s works seemed weaker on the aggregate than the previous weekend’s memorable Program 2. Most of the pieces tonight were also more difficult to describe and categorize given their experimental nature.<P>Three pieces in particular stood out for their experimentation. Chair Land, the product of a first-time collaboration between Anda Abramovici and Chingchi Yu, may have been the least accessible piece. Three dancers, Abramovici, Yu, and Joan Buemmer, in red shirts and black plather skirts over tights, in a series of staccato movements and mimes, gesticulated their way around and on top of several folding chairs. The music by George Ligeti and John Cage underscored the eerie quality of this piece. However, the audience did not warm up to this piece and at least one dancer seemed visibly frustrated at the light applause. While the movements in Chair Land were stuttered, Yu’s other work of the evening, Anonymous, relied more on stylized gestures and rhythmic movements. In this solo work, Yu performed a series of uncommon human gestures, such as sliding across the front edge of the stage in a beam of light and half-strutting/half-walking along the back of the stage. The third experimental piece, Evangel King’s two-parter, titled Shedding Light No. 10 for Elise and Shedding Light No. 11 for Claudine, was entertaining but less so for its dancing than its use of taped interviews of the dancers. In the interviews, dancers Elise Brewin and Claudine Naganuma, revealed the idiosyncrasies and habits that inspired them to dance. In the interview of Naganuma, for example, the audience learned how as a child she leapt from furniture to furniture making believe that the floor was water.<P>The most haunting piece, literally, of the evening was Kirstin E. Williams’ At Stake – The Witch Hunts Remembered, which began with ten female dancers hung like corpses from ropes or draped over a rail. Coming to life with zombie-like gestures, they eventually graduated to lyrical movements, with a more natural rhythm. In this middle portion of the piece, Williams was successful, given a relatively large number of dancers, at creating individual choreography that showcased the talents of her dancers while still maintaining a sense of group unity and harmony in space. This piece closed, hauntingly, with the dancers returning to their limp and lifeless positions over the rail.<P>While At Stake remembered the witches, Standing Stone was an excerpt of a work in progress inspired by ancient Neolithic stone monuments. If choreographer Nancy Ng’s intention was to project a sense of joie d’vivre, she succeeded by creating a communal-form of dance for her fourteen adult and children dancers with joyful music composed by Melody Takata. However, this piece looked too much like a work in progress with its unfinished edges.<P>The least interesting piece of the night to this uneducated dance fan was butterfly (lower case intentional) which was danced to live jazz music composed and performed by Jack West and his band. With both the music and the choreography light and airy in nature, this piece appeared very much out of place, especially when compared to the avant-garde styles of the previous pieces. Because the choreography was literal, and with the band on stage, the dancing at times looked more like variety show accompaniment to the band. It was therefore startling that this piece was created by Claudine Naganuma, who herself performed in one of the experimental pieces earlier in the program. The piece however was pleasing to watch.<BR>

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