THE YEAR IN DANCE: A month-by-month look back at the twists, turns, and leaps of 2013
August ODC/Dance's yearly Summer Sampler (Aug. 2-3, ODC Theater) is such a smart idea. As these superb dancers adapt themselves to their more intimate "home" theater and afford an opportunity to observe them up close, they newly reveal themselves as individuals and as a group. This year's splendidly performed program showcased ODC's most recent creation, the splendid Triangulating Euclid, Kimi Okada's sparkling new Two If By Sea, and the company premiere of Kate Weare's The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us.
September The San Francisco Dance Film Festival (Sept. 12-15, various venues) is growing up fast. This annual showcase of screen dance — the intricate partnering of two motion-driven arts — more than ever impressed with the range and quality of its lineup: shorts, documentaries and filmed versions of stage performances. Amy Dowling and Austin Forbord's Well Contested Sites, filmed on Alcatraz with professional performers and former prisoners, carved itself into your brain as well as into your heart.
October Somehow artists manage to scratch enough support together to keep working (and eating, and living) in the Bay Area. So anniversaries still happen. But I can't remember a recent one as joyous as Rhythms of Life: Down the Congo Line (Oct. 5, YBCA) for Dimensions Dance Theater's 40th. To see a whole generation ready to build on what Deborah Vaughan has started was not the least of its gifts.
November In Joe Goode's Annex, Jo Kreiter's Flyaway Productions just may have found a home. The venue's two-story ceilings and industrial look allowed Kreiter to add some discreet ladders, wires, and ropes as support structures for the aerial work she set on her six athletic women dancers. You can take the metaphor inside the piece any way you want, but Give A Woman A Lift (Nov. 8) soared.
December Like it or not, parenthood is life-changing. Maybe that's why, in Father On (Dec. 5, ODC Theater), Scott Wells' five dancers — four of who are recent dads — looked not only sleep-deprived but also often frantic. The one non-dad, Rajendra Serber, was the ultimate outsider. Using game structures and sports imagery, Wells created a hilarious but also curiously affectionate piece about the challenges and confusions encountered by the male and his kid. The lesson on becoming a sensitive father left me laughing through tears. *
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