I reviewed Margaret Jenkins’ newest for today’s Chronicle:
“In the inevitable ebb and flow of a long, rich dance-making career, Margaret Jenkins is reaching high tide. She just finished a piece to premiere as part of San Francisco Ballet’s New Works Festival in the spring, and 2006’s blockbuster “A Slipping Glimpse” – created in collaboration with dancers in India – recently wrapped an acclaimed nationwide tour.
With the grande dame of Bay Area modern dance so busy, perhaps no one should feel surprised that “Other Suns,” unveiled Thursday at Project Artaud Theater, feels like a minor event. It isn’t that Jenkins’ latest, which the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company continues performing through Sunday, seems rushed into the world or unfinished. It just might take a while to see quite where “Other Suns” fits within the Jenkins oeuvre.
Partly, that’s intentional. Clocking in at only 45 intermissionless minutes, “Other Suns” is billed as the first part of a trilogy to be completed in 2009. The inspiration, Jenkins says, arose from a past residency in China, and parts 2 and 3 will be created with the Guangdong Modern Dance Company of Guangzhou. As with most Jenkins works, though, “Other Suns” is so abstract that the specific cultural reference seems incidental. Aside from the Asian influences in the music of Bun-Ching Lam (the rest of the soundtrack is by Paul Dresher), there is nothing recognizably Chinese here.
Instead, this will probably be remembered as “the Jenkins piece with the water,” though water is just one element of the arresting visual design by longtime Jenkins collaborator Alexander V. Nichols. ”
Click here to read the full review.