My Q and A for Thursday’s Chronicle:
“Benjamin Levy’s latest dance was inspired by an increasingly common experience: He changed his “relationship” status on Facebook only to realize that he’d just broadcast his private pain to the world.
In “Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly,” which opens tonight at Theater Artaud’s Z Space after a week of “flash mob” performances all around San Francisco, the audience is invited to share the space in which Levy and partner Aline Wachsmuth dance. Web cameras pick up movements to trigger animated projections by new-media artist Mary Franck. As in the new social network reality, personal exchanges become public chain reactions.
Levy’s movement style has a chain-reaction quality, too: His steps are swift and hyperkinetic, the torque of a hip or an elbow moving through the whole body like an electrical current. Not yet 30, he founded his company LEVYdance as a UC Berkeley senior in 2002, after his first piece of choreography won the top award at the American College Dance Festival, going on to performances at the Kennedy Center. Levy quickly won press acclaim and notice as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.”
Q: “Everyone Intimate” wasn’t prompted only by your “relationship update,” though it seems that was one spur.
A: I’ve had a lot of shifts and transitions in my life in the last year. It made me curious about how I react to change and how people generally react when they’re uprooted and threatened, and how that’s changed. How do you express heartbreak in a status update? How do you write about a five-year relationship ending in an e-mail?”
Read more here.