I reviewed Erika Shuch’s new “Orbit” in today’s Chronicle:

“What makes Erika Shuch’s work so arresting isn’t the way she intuitively melds movement and theater, or the knack she has for attracting brilliant collaborators, or the Gen Y appeal of her slouchy, all-too-human performers. What’s made this still-young choreographer a standout since she emerged in San Francisco six years ago is her childlike audacity in the face of big questions.

Shuch is a maker of metaphors, an existential explorer whose characters consider their place in the galaxy through poetic symbols. When Shuch’s ideas get away from her, the product can be ponderous. But when her philosophical free association focuses on flesh-and-blood relationships, the results can be utterly disarming.

“Orbit,” which just opened a three-week run at Intersection for the Arts, is mostly a case of the latter. It is profound but not pretentious, spectacularly clever and arguably Shuch’s best work yet.

The metaphor this time is the search for extraterrestrial life, examining the human need for connection and the high odds against truly achieving it. Shuch and fellow cast member Danny Wolohan rush onstage, kissing madly, then repel one another. A voice-over tells us that “Orbiting is missing the target. One object doesn’t see or feel the effects of the other object” — a concept reinforced by the bright bull’s-eye adorning the side of Shuch’s dress. ”

Click here for the full review.

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