DanceView Times, San Francisco Bay Area edition
Volume 2, Number 5 February 2, 2004 An online supplement to DanceView magazine
Big Time Dance Kicks In
After a long hiatus, big-time dance kicked back in this week in the Bay Area. Dance Theater of Harlem opened a week's worth of performances on the U.C. campus in Berkeley;, San Francisco Ballet opened its winter season at the Opera House with a gala that spilled over into City Hall across the street; and the Limón Company danced nobly, to a very appreciative audience, in a one-night stand at the Cowell Theater, and set a standard of dance intelligence nobody else met all week.
all week, except Concerto Barocco (of which more below) matched
the dignity, passion, formal beauty, and rhythmic acuity of Limón
's The Unsung, which I had never seen before and found completely
thrilling. The ballet is a paean in honor of the great warrior chiefs
Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Metacomet, Tecumseh, Red Eagle, Black Hawk, Osceola,
and Pontiac, danced in silence by six men who have each a variation interrupted
by appearances of the corps, (I recognized many of the shapes Michael
Smuin used in his Song for Dead Warriors, which of course he
must have taken from Limón).
On a Bay Area stop over during their California tour, the eight members of the graduating class of the seventy-eight year old Palucca School of Dresden brought a program that both intrigued and disappointed.
Gret Palucca (1902-1993), an early student of Mary Wigman’s, was known for a light and mirthful performing style and for being a strong proponent of dance as pure movement. She was a strong technician—her jumps were legendary--and also a survivor. Her school made it through the Nazi and the Soviet eras.
were excellently trained; their fluidity and sense of physical abandon
belying the rigorous training that makes possible the appearance of natural
ease. Large scale, with clean attacks and an appetite for space, they
also danced delicately and communicated a nuanced expressiveness whether
in a comic, dramatic or lyrical mode.
What's On This Week
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