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Paufve | dance's Strangers Become Flowers Flawed but Uniquely Beautiful

by Joanna G. Harris
February 15, 2016
ODC Commons Studio B
351 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-6606
www.odcdance.org
Randee Paufve notes that Strangers Become Flowers “…is about finding places in the grip and slip of human contact…” In her beautifully crafted 50-minute piece, her six dances meet, encounter and sometimes resolve those moments, but not always.

She also states that it is a piece concerning traveling and that "it is about remembering that we always rely on the kindness of strangers.”

In the work, presented by Paufve|dance February 6-14 at San Francisco's ODC Commons Studio B, There were several sections, a solo, a duet, trios and group work that flowed easily one into another providing opportunities for dancers to state their unique dance vocabulary, contrast that with anothers' and connect or disconnect as the energy between them developed.

Dancers Rogelio Lopez, Elizebeth Randall, Andrew Merrell, Nadia Oka, Mechelle Tunstall and Juliana Monin each brought a special quality and shape to their movement which Paufve has infused with lyric dance lines and the distinct use of hand gestures that almost always ended each phrase.

Strangers Become Flowers was beautiful to watch. Seamlessly developing movement patterns between the work's two men and four women delighted to a variety of music that accompanied the dancing.

A major problem, for this reviewer, was the incipient drama that arose between the participants. Drama in dance cannot be expressed through facial expression or even through gestures alone. A combination of elements must be enlisted including a certain tension that underscores the dramatic elements. Pauses help too. This dimension of Strangers Become Flowers needed more work.

Paufve and her dancers are to be congratulated for giving us this satisfying realization of a complex contemporary issue, establishing relations between diverse people. Hopefully, we will see Strangers Become Flowers repeated again and again.

Credits: Lighting; Gabe Maxson. Costumes, Keriann Egeland. Performance Coach; Beth Harris. Stage Manager, Kate Morrison. Video Documentation: Faul Del Bene/imafool Productions. Assistant Production Manager, Julia Davidson.
Paufve|dance in Randee Paufve's “Strangers Become Flowers.”

Paufve|dance in Randee Paufve's “Strangers Become Flowers.”

Photo © & courtesy of Kaveri Seth

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