As part of my dance-writing blitz last week, I took the time to check out emerging San Francisco choreographer Leslie Seiters? new show, and review it for Voice of Dance:

?Leslie Seiters? work is so delicate, you almost wonder how she can bear to share it. The mental worlds she constructs are fragile and almost painfully intricate?last year, for instance, she and Rachel Shaw duetted among dozens of tiny, hand-painted teacups hung from fishing wire. That show, a minefield of emotional vulnerability, won Seiters good buzz on the San Francisco modern dance scene and a residency at ODC Theater. For the last two weekends Seiters was back at 848 Community Space with a newly formed company, little known dance theater, and an hour-long premiere as entrancing as an unlocked diary.

Leslie Seiters’s “The Way to Disappear”

The Way to Disappear explores dark-hour-of-the-soul questions in a dreamy, light-filled landscape. The work is essentially a danced installation, and for the first 15 minutes the audience is invited to wander through. Seiters and Shaw inhabit a room of floating vintage green wallpaper, their paper dresses blending into the background. On the side of the stage, where Sean Riley?s set design creates an alcove from strings anchored by old men?s shoes, Jessica Swanson, Frieda Kipar, and Marielle Lauren Amrhein work vigorously at erasing charcoal drawings of their faces?but stubborn traces remain. At the back of the stage, Christy Funsch snips away at tissue paper bearing projected handwriting.?

It was a lovely little show, and this seems the perfect time to let Bay Area dance folk know that 848 Community Space, perhaps the funkiest of San Francisco venues (yes, even funkier than Dance Mission), is moving to bigger digs and renaming itself CounterPULSE. The original 848 is essentially a low-ceilinged room with a bulky heater hung stage right, with doors on the back wall leading to a kitchen and bathroom serving for entry and exit. But its sweaty intimacy was is its charm, and there?s nothing small about many of the talents that have graced it over the last 13 years. One of my favorites, Scott Wells (a choreographer who really should be better known outside the Bay Area), hung the ceiling with fake flowers and used the tight confines to let his dancers slam against the walls. That piece couldn?t have been created anywhere else.

Scott Wells.jpg
Scott Wells and Dancers

I?m sure the new space at 1310 Mission Street, with its 1700-square-foot floor and 22-foot ceilings, will have the same plucky spirit. But if you want to say your fond farewell, and help support the move, 848 will be hosting Anniversary Shows to benefit the relocation November 19 and 20. The lineup includes Keith Hennessy, Robert Henry Johnson, Scott Wells, Leslie Seiters, and many others. For details, click here.

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