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.
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.

Sonja Dale in A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will.© Stephen Texeira. (Click image for larger version)

Liss Fain Dance – A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Liss Fain Dance knows how to set a mood. As I walked into Z Space on Friday night for the opening of “A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will”, I was completely transfixed by the environment – both visuals and sound.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet in Common Ground.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet – Handel, Common Ground (world premiere with Kronos Quartet) – San Francisco

★★★★✰   For those dance fans who are also music devotees, this bill is a must see.

Dallas McMurray, Sarah Haarmann and Sam Black in Pepperland.© Mat Hayward. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pepperland – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   Cal Performances patrons were clearly entertained on Friday evening. I, too, wanted to like the piece, but it didn’t really resonate with me.

Valerie Harmon and Peter Kurta in Ben Needham-Wood's Echo.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary Ballet – Dance Series 01 bill – Walnut Creek

★★★★✰   A winning first program, one with the range and breadth that Smuin is famous for.

Liane Burns and Charles Slender-White of FACT/SF in June 2017 picture.© Robbie Sweeny. (Click image for larger version)

FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival including works by Simpson/Stulberg, Fog Beast and Joy Davis – San Francisco

★★★★✰   The evening definitely delivered a broad swath of dance performance – a very strong debut and a great addition to the SF dance festival circuit.

Tegan Schwab in Kate Weare's Giant.© Andrew Weeks. (Click image for larger version)

ODC/Dance – Summer Sampler 1: Head in the Sand, Something About a Nightingale, Giant – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   A solid program overall, there were moments that satiated my craving for lightness and moments that challenged it.

Aidan DeYoung and Kelsey McFalls in Gabrielle Lamb's Lacunae.© David DeSilva. (Click image for larger version)

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery – SKETCH 8: Origin Stories – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Whether walking through space, cycling through a gestural sequence or dancing a technically demanding phrase the dancers were a real joy to watch. The choreography on the other hand, was more of a mixed bag.

Garrett Anderson, right, with full ensemble in James Sofranko's Homing.© Alexander Reneff-Olson. (Click image for larger version)

SFDanceworks – Season Three: Snap, Homing, The Old Child, Jardí Tancat – San Francisco

★★★★✰   SFDanceworks is going places. Formed in 2014 by longtime San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko, the relatively new company already finds itself in a season of expansion.

Jodi Lomask, Cari Delaplane and Mayuko Hosoai of Capacitor.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Capacitor – Left To Her Own Devices: 20 Years of Sculpture in Motion – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Artistic Director and Founder Jodi Lomask describes Capacitor as a “dance, cirque, sculpture company that often works with scientists…” The program excerpted seven works created from 2000 to 2014.

James Bowen, Edisnel Rodriguez, Lani Dickinson, Yuko Monden & Dwayne Scheuneman in Amy Seiwert's The Reflective Surface.© David DeSilva. (Click image for larger version)

AXIS Dance Company – Historias rotas, The Reflective Surface, Radical Impact – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Brew describes physically integrated dance as “dancers of different physicalities uniting together as equals, colleagues and collaborators to create high-caliber art that is relevant and reflective of the world we live in.” And each offering on the program embodied that spirit and sentiment.

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