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Audiences will feel a shift the moment they arrive at the White Box for Circumvent, a Blythe Barton Dance concert about transformation and reflection.

“Instead of the familiar, proscenium stage, audiences surround the dancers,” says Barton, who directs a cast of nine this weekend.  “Seating-in-the-round provides a unique opportunity to view choreography in three dimensions. Dancers swoop, glide, and flutter within inches of the audience.”

Brittany Taylor performs with Blythe Barton Dance in “Circumvent” at the White Box. Image: BBD

Seating-in-the-round, or arena staging, is rooted in ancient rituals and Greek theater. The design makes a dance experience personal. It also puts the audience in direct view of each other.

Barton reconfigured the small space into a galley shape with great success last year.  For context, read my review of her show,   http://www.sandiegostory.com/widening-the-lens-in-beautiful-horizontal-body-without-body-within/

Dances felt personal, such as “Conversations at a Table,” with Nicholas Strasburg pressing his head onto a table.

And Barton’s company is in transition. This will be the final performance for Strasburg.

“At the end of the month, he is off to Chicago to pursue a career in Physical Therapy,” Barton said. “It is a true loss to the San Diego dance community as we watch a talented dancer, mesmerizing performer, and trusted partner take his last bow!”

“New to BBD are the immensely talented Andrew Holmes and Lauren Christie. Andy is a long time San Diego favorite, performing with Mojalet and Malashock Dance and Lauren is a recent transplant from Washington, DC where she performed with Christopher K Morgan and Dancers.  Here’s a fun fact: Christopher got his start performing with Malashock Dance!”

The process of choreography in this concert has become an investigation of reflection, Barton says.

“In our politically charged country,” she says, “each manipulation of body and space takes on a deepened meaning of inclusion and exclusion, struggle and compassion, creation and destruction.

“In one piece, dancers become a barrier, a wall preventing passage in the solidity of gesture and the tangle of limbs. In another, an overtly electronic soundscape and mechanically preserved flora created a hostile environment where the importance of human touch remains.”

In divergence from much of Barton’s group choreography, Circumvent also features a series of solos created in collaboration with each dancer to express the uncertainty and bravery of their personal journeys. She also revisits “Duologue,” a rebounding duet presented for the Hot Men Dancing series.

Andrew Holmes with Blythe Barton Dance performs in “Circumvent.” Image: BBD

Full Cast: Lauren Christie, Cecily Holcombe, Andrew Holmes, Bradley Lundberg, Cara Steen, Nicholas Strasburg, Brittany Taylor, Chelsea Zeffiro. With guest: Karina Martinez.

Circumvent Friday, February 24 — 8 PM, Saturday, February 25 — 4 PM & 8 PM, Sunday, February 26 — 2 PM

White Box Live Arts, 2590 Truxtun Road, Upstairs, San Diego, CA 92106

Tickets: http://circumvent.brownpapertickets.com

blythebartondance.com

MORE DANCE THEATER OPERA AHEAD: 

This is the final weekend of FALSTAFF, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera.  Ken Herman pens a glowing review. http://www.sandiegostory.com/san-diego-operas-falstaff-worth-its-weight-in-vocal-splendor/

STOMP. Balboa Theatre. Mar. 2-4. www.broadwaysd.com

San Diego Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize 2017.  White Box. Mar. 4. http://www.sandiegodancetheater.org/ChoreographersPrize.html

California Ballet: Peter Pan. Civic Theatre. Mar. 4-5.  http://californiaballet.org/peter-pan/

Bereishit Dance Company. Mandeville Aud. UC San Diego. Mar. 9. Presented by www.artpower.ucsd

Geoff and Arianna Gonzalez rehearsing Jerome Robbins’s “Afternoon of a Faun.” City Ballet of San Diego presents Balanchine and Beyond. Image: Jim Carmody

City Ballet of San Diego: Balanchine and Beyond. Spreckels Theatre. Mar. 10-12. Balanchine’s “La Source,” “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux,” and Jerome Robbins’ “Afternoon of a Faun,” and Peter Martin’s “Hallelujah Junction.”  www.cityballet.org  Mar. 10-12.

University Dance Company. San Diego State Univ. Mar. 17-19. www.music.sdsu.edu

FREE Dance Day. UC San Diego Dance Dept. Mar. 18.

WinterWORKS. Mandell Weiss, UC San Diego. Mar. 16-18. http://theatre.ucsd.edu/season/winterWORKS/index.htm

Malandain Ballet Biarritz:  Beauty and the Beast. Civic Theatre. Mar. 18. Presented by La Jolla Music Society. www.ljms.org

Black Grace. Spreckels Theatre. Apr. 8. Presented by La Jolla Music Society. www.ljms.org

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Mandeville Aud. May 25. Presented by www.artpower.ucsd

 

Kris Eitland

Kris Eitland

Kris Eitland covers dance and theater for Sandiegostory.com and freelances for other publications, including the Union Tribune and Dance Teacher Magazine. She grew up performing many dance styles and continued intensive modern dance and choreography at the Univ. of Minnesota, Duluth, and San Diego State Univ. She also holds a journalism degree from SDSU. Her career includes stints in commercial and public radio news production. Eitland has won numerous Excellence in Journalism awards for criticism and reporting from the San Diego Press Club. She has served on the Press Club board since 2011 and is a past president. She is a co-founder of Sandiegostory.com. She has a passion for the arts, throwing parties with dancing and singing, and cruising the Pacific in her family's vintage trawler. She trains dogs, skis, and loves seasonal trips to her home state of Minnesota.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Blythe on February 24, 2017 at 12:19 am

    So much lovely performance art in San Diego. I am honored to be a part of this dynamic community.

    Thanks, Kris!
    Blythe
    -Blythe Barton Dance

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