Author: Heather Desaulniers

Heather Desaulniers is a freelance dance writer based in Oakland, California. She is the Editorial Associate and SF/Bay Area columnist for CriticalDance, the dance curator for SF Arts Monthly and a frequent contributor to several dance-focused publications. Website: www.heatherdance.com

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Lani Dickinson and Yuko Monden Juma in Pita's Alice in Californiland.© David DeSilva. (Click image for larger version)

AXIS Dance Company – In•ter•twine, works by Arthur Pita, Jennifer Archibald & Robert Dekkers – San Francisco

★★★★★   AXIS, a bold and innovative leader in physically integrated dance, just presented their latest triple bill including two important premieres…

Madeline DeVries in Azoth.© Manny Crisostomo. (Click image for larger version)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet – The Personal Element, Azoth – San Francisco

★★★★✰   A double-bill of compelling contemporary movement, the centerpiece of the performance was Azoth, a new collaboration between Artistic Director Alonzo King, tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and composer/pianist Jason Moran.

Aaron Loux in Mozart Dances.© Ken Friedman. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Mozart Dances – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Mozart Dances goes far beyond a basic choreographic rendering of the score, instead inviting an active dialogue between disciplines.

Miche Wong in Garrett + Moulton Productions publicty image.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Garrett + Moulton Productions – Four Acts of Light & Wonder bill – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   …the most apt descriptor for the entire program was joyful.

Isaac Bates-Vinueza and Alysia Chang in Seiwert's Verses.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery – SKETCH 9: Perspective bill – San Francisco

★★★★✰   The SKETCH series, from Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, is one of my favorite summer dance events in San Francisco. The company dancers are always terrific, both technically and artistically.

Lyubov Andreyeva and Dmitry Fisher in The Pygmalion Effect.© Michael Khoury. (Click image for larger version)

Eifman Ballet – The Pygmalion Effect – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Yes, the narrative has its inherent challenges, but the choreography, performances and design all riveted with drama, intensity and humour.

Lydia Clinton and Cauveri Suresh in Dance Exhibit.© Robbie Sweeny. (Click image for larger version)

Lauren Simpson Dance – Dance Exhibit – San Francisco

★★★★✰   I caught the show on closing night and saw a terrific company debut filled with collaboration, rigor and a connection to the visual art community.

Michelle Dorrance and Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie in ETM: Double Down.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – ETM: Double Down – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Dorrance Dance have a winning formula – creative innovation, dynamic physical feats, engaging stage presence and feet that move at superhuman speeds.

Aaron Robison and Joseph Walsh in Possokhov's "...two united in a single soul...".© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem, Bound To, “…two united in a single soul…” – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Program 5, titled Lyric Voices, welcomed back Trey McIntyre’s Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem and Christopher Wheeldon’s Bound To and the new work came from Yuri Possokhov…

Sarah Cecilia and David Calhoun in Another Time.© Matt Haber. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Foehringer Dance Project | SF – Like an Ox on the Roof quad bill – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Foehringer’s ambitious mixed repertory program of three premieres (all with live music) and one restaging revealed a company with deep artistic breadth…

ODC/Dance in World's on Fire.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

ODC/Dance – World’s on Fire (premiere) – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The music was striking. And ODC’s company dancers shone. Though as an overall experience, I would describe Fire as mixed.

Kana Kimura in The Calling.© Sharen Bradford. (Click image for larger version)

Jessica Lang Dance – Lyric Pieces, The Calling, Thousand Yard Stare, This Thing Called Love – San Francisco

★★★★★   It was a marvellous showcase of Artistic Director Jessica Lang’s choreographic voice and the nine-member ensemble’s extraordinary talent.

San Francisco Ballet in Marston's Snowblind.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Fifth Season, Snowblind, Etudes – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I was thrilled to see Snowblind returning. It was by far my favorite offering of last year’s Unbound Festival because it captivates on every level: potent storytelling, emotive choreography, fitting design tropes and deep character development.

San Francisco Ballet in Millepied's Appassionata.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Divertimento No. 15, Appassionata, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – San Francisco

★★★★✰   A triple bill joining George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, the San Francisco Ballet premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata and Justin Peck’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

Ryan T. Smith and Aaron Perlstein in Brilliant Alarm.© Hillary Goidell. (Click image for larger version)

RAWdance – Brilliant Alarm, 14, Roar – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Celebration was definitely in the air on Thursday night. Not only was RAWdance opening a new winter program, including two world premieres, but the evening also marked the local gem’s fifteenth anniversary…

Alicia Delgadillo, Andrew Murdock, Florian Lochner and Ana Lopez in William Forsythe's N.N.N.N..© Todd Rosenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – Jardí Tancat, N.N.N.N., Lickety-Split, Grace Engine – San Francisco

★★★★✰   I only wish Hubbard Street’s Berkeley run could have been longer than three performances, and based on the audience’s cheers and applause, I don’t think I was alone.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

★★★★✰   I’m a Nutcracker fan. And I’m a fan of San Francisco Ballet’s current production, choreographed in 2004 by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson…

ODC/Dance in The Velveteen Rabbit.© Steve DiBartolomeo. (Click image for larger version)

ODC/Dance – The Velveteen Rabbit – San Francisco

★★★★✰   As November fades away and December’s bustle begins, an enchanting Bay Area dance favorite returns for its annual two-week run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Aura Fischbeck Dance in DUSK.© Claire Duplantier. (Click image for larger version)

Aura Fischbeck Dance – DUSK – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   DUSK had a lot going for it. First was the overall concept. DUSK challenges the viewer to not only acknowledge the idea of transformation, but to consider what lies beneath.

Takako Suzuki and Sigal Zouk in Körper.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sasha Waltz & Guests – Körper – San Francisco

★★★★✰   In English, körper means ‘body’, and so, as one might guess, the ninety-minute tour de force, directed and choreographed by Sasha Waltz, turns its eye to the body in space.

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