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.”
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.
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
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
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