My review of the opening of ODC/Dance’s home season in yesterday’s Chronicle:
“Brenda Way is a choreographer with no shortage of smart ideas. The trouble comes when she tries to throw them all into one dance.
“A Pleasant Looking Woman in Sensible Clothes,” her latest, has a clear and timely subject: the political terrorization of ordinary people in their own homes. It also has a lot of accoutrements: video by the Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa, ’50s suburban costumes by Cassandra Carpenter, chairs for dancing on as part of Alexander V. Nichols’ evocative stage design and a hodgepodge recorded score by David Lang. There are men in suits representing the intrusion of government surveillance into our private lives, a rolling steel door to symbolize our imprisonment within fear, and a generous helping of movement invention. The one thing the dance doesn’t have is an emotional arc.
Don’t let that keep you from catching ODC/Dance’s Program 1, unveiled Thursday during the gala opening of this 36th annual home season, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The troupe, full of young talent, has probably never danced better — both in Artistic Director Way’s new piece and in the two very fine dances that flank it. Co-Artistic Director KT Nelson’s new “Scramble,” set to Bach, is a baroque delight, while Way’s 1999 “Investigating Grace,” also to Bach, showcases performances worthy of its serene beauty. In fact, the exquisite clarity of these bookends sets the conceptual clutter of “A Pleasant Looking Woman” in stark relief.”
Click here for the full review.