The Waves Come Crashing In
West Wave Dance Festival
Program 2 at ODC Theater
July 14, 2005
Review by Becca Hirschman
The West Wave Dance Festival has returned to San Francisco for its 14th season. Composed of nine programs over two and a half weeks, the Festival presents new, emerging, and established Bay Area choreographers at the ODC Theater and the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center through July 31st.
Program 2 included three world premieres and two additional works. Definitely a standout, John Kloss’ toe-tapping Measured Response
combined crisp sounds with varied rhythms to create a build-up of melodious energy that burst at just the right time. Lisa Townsend’s choreography always embodies structure, originality, and freshness, and can i want it?
is no exception. With music composed by Piro Patton, the six dancers moved with speed, purpose, and agility, and Townsend’s sense of choreographic maturity was the highlight of the night.
Lori Bryhni, on the faculty at Modesto Junior College, presented her Familiar Voices in Tender Passing
. While her dancers, all students at MJC, were able, the choreography itself combined a lot of those modern dance clichés: running in a circle; big, jazz-like straddle leaps; and chaîné turns into big jetés. Bryhni’s dancers were also caught in the shadows at times, perhaps because the blue-toned lighting design by Michael J. Sundquist was originally set for a different theater. In contrast, watching Annie Rosenthal Parr and Ashley Holladay’s Field
, to music by Tin Hat Trio, I felt transformed to a large wheat field where women were running about under the starry sky somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Parr and Holladay showcased strong, physical movement such as sweeping grande battements and developés into scissor-sharp arabesques, and the lighting, wind effects, and props were smartly used.
Huckabay McAllister’s Jenny McAllister premiered Don’t Open Until Christmas
, a quirky take on all things merry with a wonderful musical score by Danny Elfman, Huey P. Meaux, and Garrison Keillor. While not as intricate as can i want it?
, McAllister’s zany ride through Christmas via modern dance, gestures, and parody emoted a sense of lightness without becoming too bubblegum sweet.
Program 2 contained a variety of modern and contemporary movement styles, and I’m excited to view Program 9 at the end of the month. Program 2 repeats tonight at 8PM at the ODC Theater. For more information, visit http://www.danceartsf.org/