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Kate Weare Company/Paufve Dance Outstanding at ODC's Music Moves Festival

by Joanna G. Harris
August 14, 2014
ODC Theater
3153 17th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9834
Joanna G. Harris
Author, Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, 1916-1965. Regent Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009. Contributor to reviews on culturevulture.net
ODC's Month Long Music Moves Festival (July 31-August 24, 2014) brought extraordinary choreographers Kate Weare and Randee Paufve to the centerfold. Paufve's work filled the first half of the August 14 program with works by herself and fellow choreographers Gregg Bielemeier and Della Davidson. The short pieces were accompanied by musicians Chris Evans (cello) and Eli Wallace (piano) as well as recorded music.

Paufve's dances displayed several levels of vulnerability, that is, each piece seemed to bring us a woman "on the edge," depicting a range of emotional tensions from sorrow to exhilaration. The work was entitled "Soil" (2013) and was performed by Paufve along with dancers Peiling Kao, Maureen Miner and Juliana Monin.

Paufve started the piece dressed in white, somewhat lost in space and somewhat erratic in gesture. She emphasized quick hand gestures, then moved to big space locomotions. Peiling Kao did the flirtatious, provocative work and was most charming in the use of some white balloons. Minor and Monin brought strength and powerful technical feats to their serious solos. A most amazing Pauve solo, "The Crow" (by Dela Davidson) showed her skill at its best.

The costumes by Keriann Egeland and Sandra Woodall were extraordinary as was the video by Olivia Ting and the lighting by Allen Wilner. The score was by Katie Down. Paufve's work demands one's full attention. Every moment brings new dimensions to the viewers' sense of dance, its movement vocabulary, and its emotions.

Kate Weare's dances were described as dealing with "violence, sensuality and interconnectedness." For both works on the program she involved dancers from the ODC School and company. In "Drop Down," (2007) performers Joseph Hernandez and Natasha Adorlee Johnson go head to head, body-to body, legs, arms and torsos entwined, lashing out and reeling in. It is an ultimate man-woman confrontation, each embodying frailty and strength, intensity and weakness. The technical work is amazing: Hernandez and Johnson are a formidable match through their many falls holds and lifts. One is left with a feeling of physical relief as Johnson tenderly embraced Hernandez in a final move.

"Still Life with Avalanche" (2014) gives us another side of the confrontation between men and women. Two guys, Dennis Adams and Justin Andrews moved together, in synchrony, well matched as a powerful pair, swooping through space with expansive turns and falls. Through and around them crawls Anne Zivolich, back arched, legs extended as if she were an enormous reptile. Little by little she intrudes on the men's duet and eventually interrupts and dominates their dance. For this reviewer, it reflects Weare's continuing ability to create dances the reveal new dimensions of dance movement and gender relationships. The score was by Wolfgand Capellari, Gerrd Pesson and Missy Mazzoli, the costumes by Astrud Angaria and lighting by Allen Willner.

The trio was created in May 2014 and directed in partnership with Benda Way, Artistic Director of ODC/Dance. The dancers are performing as guest artists courtesy of ODC. The entire Music Moves Festival, Christy Bolingbroke, Deputy Director for Advancement, is to be heartily congratulated for its programming and this outstanding concert.
Joseph Hernandez and Natasha Adorlee Johnson in Kate Weare's 'Drop Down' as part of the Music Moves Festival at ODC Theater in San Francisco.

Joseph Hernandez and Natasha Adorlee Johnson in Kate Weare's "Drop Down" as part of the Music Moves Festival at ODC Theater in San Francisco.

Photo © & courtesy of Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

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