My review of “DanceWave 1” in the Chronicle:
“Time is an elastic function of human perception. Rarely have I felt that so keenly as at Tuesday’s “DanceWave 1” program, part of the reinvented WestWave Dance Festival. Amy Seiwert’s pas de deux “Air” seemed over in one exquisite instant, while Erika Tsimbrovsky’s “The Silence of Stones” threatened to stretch a punishing eternity. In fact, each lasted five minutes.
The time limit is part of the new packaging for WestWave, a festival that has long struggled to balance inclusiveness with quality control. In recent years, it’s also fought for survival in the face of funding cuts, venue closures and the inevitable exhaustion of valiant longtime director Joan Lazarus.
Those woes were solved when Dancers’ Group took over WestWave, partnering with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and DanceArt. For this, its 17th year, WestWave has gained a grand new venue at the YBCA’s Novellus Theater and, under Dancers’ Group Executive Director Wayne Hazzard, a fresh format. Each of the three “DanceWave” programs offers a dozen acts, each allowed five minutes maximum to show their stuff, from ballet to belly dance, tango to taiko. Hazzard pitches it as a Bay Area dance iPod on shuffle. Each “DanceWave” program repeats at some point either tonight or Friday, but for such a simple concept, the programming is absurdly confusing. Check the schedule, and check it twice.
Or just show up and see which grab bag of five-minute performances you end up with, but come forewarned: WestWave continues to be wildly hit-or-miss. On Tuesday, the time limit only mildly mitigated a long string of misses. And then there was Seiwert’s gorgeous “Air,” reminding us why the WestWave is so needed.
The festival gave Seiwert, now resident choreographer at Smuin Ballet, a crucial leg up into the dance-making world by encouraging her earliest works, and even producing a full evening of her choreography last year. With “Air,” she is now clearly a fully mature artist. ”
Click here for the full review.