The most compelling dance performances challenge the audience experience, whether with atypical stages or by blurring lines between genres. All the better if the performance carries an urgent story. The Bay Area dance events selected in this year’s fall preview extend beyond the black box theater, whether by activating waterways or scaling building facades. Many of these events also weave today’s pressing social issues into their choreography. It’s the Bay Area, after all, and today’s local dancers and choreographers proudly carry the torch of the region’s legacy in art as activism.
ODC Theater, San Francisco
Sept. 1-11, 2022
How can dance embody the separation of families caused by incarceration and mass detention of immigrants? Lenora Lee Dance’s world premiere of In the Movement, produced in collaboration with Asian Improv aRTs and the API Cultural Center, ventures to choreograph these topics. The work incorporates recorded interviews with currently or formerly incarcerated individuals and advocates, as well as recorded music, live vocals and video filmed on Alcatraz Island. In responding to this source material, In the Movement employs dance to illustrate systemic cycles of oppression.
Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco
Sept. 15, 2022
Choreographer Dimitri Chamblas wants to slow down. He describes his internationally touring work, Slow Show, as an “intensive and agitated” practice of stretching time through micro-movements that adapt to the dancer’s location—previously, a frozen lake in Minneapolis, or an outdoor amphitheater in Ouagadougou. In San Francisco, the work will take place at the "La Rose des Vents" sculpture in the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. The site-specific performance and dedication to the gilded kinetic sculpture, created by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, will feature an ensemble of 50 dancers who respond to the site through a series of “intense, concentrated and trance-like operations.”
Joe Goode Performance Group, San Francisco
Sept. 15-18, 2022
Joe Goode Performance Group’s second bi-annual GUSH Festival explores queer intergenerational interconnection and ancestral cultural identity. brontë velez’s SPIN promises to use aerial dance to illustrate “the ways Black folks spin and get spun out,” and Gizeh Muñiz Vengel & Ernesto Peart Falcón’s dance duet ‘islas breves’ questions a blurred ancestral lineage. The festival also welcomes three longtime Joe Goode artists—Gabriele Christian, Molly Katzman and Joe Goode himself—for a duet that choreographs each collaborator’s partnership with a queer guest elder or youth performer.