Unlike some of the notable work by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, there is nothing head-on about “Play and Play,” presented at UCSD’s Mandeville Auditorium on Thursday (presented by Artpower). It’s exuberant pure dance. Yet this gentler work also offers a profound message … about play as a sacred activity that teaches us how, simultaneously, to be both individuals and members of a community.
There was a thrilling “West Side Story” moment, two big groups entering from either side of the stage. Men partnered women. Women partnered women. Men partnered men. The women’s ponytails pranced! Shawn Burgess, in an acrobatic solo, radiated so much joy, I thought he was going to levitate.
…gifted dancers invited us to escape the fatigue of work and politics, while listening to Vivaldi and Bizet…
Sure, it’s a marketing gimmick, but “Beer and Ballet” offered more than just the chance to quaff a brew while watching dance. The program showcased California Ballet’s international roster of stunning ballerinas.
Neil Ieremia is Samoan and his choreography fuses contemporary, hip-hop, and haka, an ancient Maori war dance known for its intense foot stomping and full-voiced shouting.
High-energy “Propulsion” showcases Blythe Barton’s visceral combat, Lara Segura’s thorny relationships, Andrew Holmes’s deft use of space, and John Paul Lawson’s “Yippee! I get to leap!”