The intimate architecture of Relief, the latest from Charles Slender-White’s contemporary dance company FACT/SF, seeks a certain hard-won solace.
It does away with any big, overarching themes, and instead pursues a joyful, close-quarters engagement with its small audience, which is limited to 40.
The evening begins mulling around a small bar in a corner of the Joe Goode Annex, the cavernous post-industrial box at the northwest corner of Project Artaud in San Francisco's Mission District.
The space has been pared down so that the bar and some nearby chairs form a cozy antechamber alongside another box framed by vertical columns covered in permeable paper. This interior paper box reveals six dancers in a strenuous group warm-up.
Eventually, bartender Jeanne Pfeffer lifts a section of one column and invites the audience inside, onto a single row of chairs along the three makeshift walls painted cobalt blue.