The Joe Goode Performance Group’s current season at the YBCA is well worth catching, as I report in my review for the Chronicle today:
” In 2003, Joe Goode — San Francisco’s influential maven of dance theater — announced that he was embarking on a trilogy “about the extraordinary dimensions of ordinary people.”
The first installment, “Folk,” was business as usual for the Joe Goode Performance Group: a linear story of rural disaffection and redemption, full of campy humor, lullaby melodies and a faint whiff of condescension toward its more unsophisticated characters, masked as reverence for their “simple” ways. It was funny and thoughtful; it was the Goode everyone already knows and loves.
Then came 2004’s “Grace,” a collaboration with composer Mikel Rouse. This music was unlike any heard at a Goode performance before: richly textured, overwhelmingly lovely, awash in pretty chord changes and lush layers. And it seemed to unlock a new expansiveness in Goode. Gone were the child’s tunes, the ingratiating posturing.
At the work’s core instead was a stunning poem about finding spiritual release in a sidewalk crack and a tender moment of love between strangers. “Grace” was about seeing a glimmer of deeper meaning, unbidden and unexpected, and coming in the middle of the trilogy, that’s just how it struck the audience. Goode aimed for transcendence, and he hit it.
The final installment of the trilogy is here, unveiled Friday and running through Sunday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. “Hometown” teams Goode with clarinetist and composer Beth Custer, with whom he has previously created four other works. And perhaps as a result, it finds Goode working in a familiar, albeit inimitable way.
“Hometown” will make you laugh and make you think, but it won’t make you cry. It’s not the revelation that “Grace” was, but it is a wry, satisfying conclusion to Goode’s series, and it shares the program with “Grace.” Can’t go wrong there. ”
Click here for the full review.