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 Post subject: Summerfest West Wave Festival 2005
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 5:00 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From the Contra Costa Times.

Quote:
Summer fests give dance lovers a peek at smaller troupes


WITH SUMMER just around the corner, dance hardly goes on vacation. In fact, summertime may be the best time to check out smaller companies during the various festivals that run from now through July.

Dance festivals are a golden opportunity for smaller troupes to try out new works and get some stage time without having to take on the challenge of mounting an expensive season on their own. The pleasure for the audience is in the serendipity. If you're lucky, you'll see a whole evening of fabulous work, although more likely any program will mix a few standouts with a handful of disappointments.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:14 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
A preview of South Bay choerographers from the SJ Mercury News.

Quote:
The choreographers


The South Bay choreographers presenting works on Sunday at the West Wave Dance Festival are:


click here to see list

And an article about one of the companies.

Quote:
`Tides' arising from a growing wave

DANCE FESTIVAL FEATURES SOUTH BAY CHOREOGRAPHERS

By Mark Whittington

Mercury News


The two dancers work hard to make 16-foot lengths of blue-and-purple chiffon flow like water.

``I was drowning on this part,'' choreographer Maria Basile tells them during a rehearsal in the San Jose State dance theater. ``Pretend the fabric is not even there.''


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:01 am
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Location: San Francisco
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/.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:39 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Somehow, my review got posted under "Guest" instead of my screenname. Mods, can someone delete that first post? Thanks!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:05 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From Rita Felciano in the SF Bay Guardian. I haven't seen any of the performances this year so I can't really comment. I'll only say that if they want me to go next year, they had better get some new blood in there. I'm tired of the same s... different year thing they've had going for the last few years. Anyway, here's the review...

Quote:
The big event
The marathon West Wave Dance Festival showcases some new kids.
By Rita Felciano
THIS YEAR'S WEST Wave Dance Festival heralded its arrival with a lineup of 23 world premieres and 40 West Coast choreographers. That's a lot of dance in three weeks, even for a dance-mad town like San Francisco. Whether people have the stamina to keep up with the eight programs of one- or two-night runs remains to be seen. If the first two packed nights are any indication, the audience is there, raring to go.

Still, opening night was not exactly a gala event. Though it was announced as an evening of world premieres, Viktor Kabaniaev's promised Duet didn't materialize. He substituted a trio, Largo, instead. Good for him; if a piece isn't ready, it isn't ready. Some other choreographers probably should have made the same decision.


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I have to agree with Rita (and I hate doing it) that there has been a steady steam of unfinished work on stage in the last few years. Maybe that's why I haven't been enjoying local work as much. Another discussion though....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:42 pm 
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Location: Maryland USA
RaHir wrote:
Somehow, my review got posted under "Guest" instead of my screenname. Mods, can someone delete that first post? Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:47 pm 
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Posts: 350
Location: San Francisco
Wild (yet) Mild West
West Wave Dance Festival
Program 9 at ODC Theater
July 30, 2005
Reviewed by Becca Hirschman


A few weeks ago, I saw Program 2 of the West Wave Dance Festival, and while sparsely attended, the majority of the choreography infused originality with maturity. Last night at the opening of the two-day run of Program 9, the audience filled all of the seats and more. Perhaps this was a preview of things to come, as the works presented were not nearly as fulfilling as those of Program 2.

Two pieces stood out above the rest. With energetic and poignant music performed live by Sekou Alaje and Garno Da Paz (composed by Alaje and Ajai Jackson) and powerful vocals by Rhonda Benin, Kendra Kimbrough Barnes’ excerpt of Enduring Legacy, based on the death of her mother, combined traditional African dance with modern movement into an abstract retelling of a memory of her mother. Barnes’ choreography never stopped flowing, and her dancers’ (Shelley Davis, Clairemonica Dixon, Kelly Kennard, Latanya Tigner, and Barnes) ability to move from one genre of dance to another was quite impressive.

EmSpace’s Erin Mei-Ling Stuart presented an excerpt of How to See Red, a work that focuses on consciousness and the attempt to contemplate and understand what goes on inside of our heads. With costumes by Leigh Anne Martin that resembled an Anthropologie catalog, Stuart’s dancers, from a raised arm to sitting Indian-style, exuded a physical and emotional professionalism not seen anywhere else during the evening. Inventiveness, structure, and developed phrases tend to be Stuart’s strengths, and How to See Red proved to be a great example of this. While the overall work is still unfinished, I can’t wait to see the final product, which premieres later this October at Dance Mission.

Heidi Schweiker, a dancer in both Margaret Jenkins’ and Janice Garrett’s dance companies, presented the premiere of Come Rain, a solo for herself accompanied by an original score by local music extraordinaire Daniel Berkman. Her directional choices peaked my interest; she progressed from sharp and jagged to soft, sensual, and reflective, and her movements were focused, deliberate, and thoughtful. But Come Rain appeared more as a movement study than as a choreographic work. The debate between these two is for another day, however. Nancy Karp’s Trio Set, performed by Christy Funsch, Diane McKallip, and Anne-Lise Reusswig, felt like a placeholder. Based to some degree on the play Three Tall Women and with minimalist movement reminiscent of the early 80s, Trio Set focuses on graceful dancing that builds up and then POW, changes direction or focus. While some aspects are successful, I felt that the dancers never quite related to each other; instead, there were three separate entities dancing onstage instead of a trio. The first work of the evening was by Moving Art’s Michael Lowe with the premiere of Ghost, Life Unfinished, a fictional work that is abstractly based on the life and death of Teresa Teng, a popular Chinese folk singer. Lowe attempted to fuse traditional ballet with Chinese folk dance, but the outcome appeared superficial and unclear. Much of Lowe’s focus was on actual classical ballet positions and flexed wrists and not on the movements in between, and I felt uncomfortable watching the work, as though I were looking at pictures of Caucasian women dressed up as an American’s traditional image of a Chinese woman (black bob wig, white face, white cheongsam) with the addition of pointe shoes. Lowe has received a lot of praise for his choreographic skills, so I hope this work is simply a fluke of nature.

Overall, Program 9 presented some worthy choreography, but I feel that the expansion of the festival has caused some of the quality to be watered down. In both programs that I viewed, there was one piece of choreography that was clearly not up to the level of the others. Perhaps the festival needs to revamp how works are selected, who presents on the emerging choreographers’ program, and who presents at all. Even with the below-average selections, I believe that the festival as a whole offers Bay Area choreographers a supportive and intimate forum to present their work. Let's hope the festival is a little more focused next year.

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