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Mark Foerhringer Dance Project Presented Joyful Program at Cowell Theater

by Joanna G. Harris
March 27, 2019
Fort Mason Center for the Arts
38 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 441-3400
Joanna G. Harris Author, Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, 1916-1965. Regent Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009.
Mark Foehringer Dance Project staged four works at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center for the Arts' Cowell Theater on the weekend of March 22/23, 2019. The company consists of lively, energetic young dancers who make the work come alive. The special treat of the program is that Foehringer employs live musicians to accompany the dance.

Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony” was played by the Friction Quartet. There was a boisterous 'bourre', a playful pizzicato, a sweet saraband, and a frolicsome finale. The major dance material was a series of lifts, falls, aerial catches and lively footwork, well executed and joyfully danced.

“Another Time” (World Premiere) to music by Franz Liszt (played live by Daniel Glover) was a quartet for Allie Papazian, Sarah Ceclia, David Calhoun and Adonis Damion Martin Quinones. Again this lively romp was characterized by partner work with some of the same action seen in “Simple Symphony.” They execute these moves nicely but one would wish for choreographic variety.

The hit of the evening was the famous satiric piece. “Le Boef sur le Toit” by the famous French composer Darius Milhaud. Milhaud was in Brazil during WWII and delighted in the tangos of Brazilian music. The work became famous as it portrayed characters who frequented a cafe of the same name in Paris. For Foerhinger’s portrayal, the dance concentrated on two characters danced by Logan Learned and Mae Chesney. Chesney is a seductress; Learned a young bartender who becomes infatuated with the lady. He prepares various charming activities for her, but she is swept away by others. Particularly delightful was his preparation of chairs for her to walk on. Alas, the other dancers assisted but were not cast in other possible theatrical roles. In addition to those cited above, the dancers were Dennis Adams, Jamielyn Duggan and Mae Chesney. The delightful score was played on the piano by Tamamai Honma and Daniel Glover.

The program concluded with “Concerto Grosso” to music of Ernest Bloch. Dressed in red costumes the dance ensemble moved rhythmically to the score, this time, recorded.

There was a good varied section in which the dancers executed the fugal material of the score. Alas, I believe the piece was a bit difficult. The dancers eyes were down and skilled as they are, they did not project the energy or shape of the dance. Also, most of the movement was choreographed on the beat with few rhythmic variations. That and the same shades of red did not make for interesting nor varied dynamic.
Work: Like an Ox on the Roof (world premiere)<br>Choreographer: Mark Foehringer<br>Dancers pictured: Logan Learned and Sarah Cecilia

Work: Like an Ox on the Roof (world premiere)
Choreographer: Mark Foehringer
Dancers pictured: Logan Learned and Sarah Cecilia

Photo © & courtesy of Matt Haber

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