YouTurn 2014 offered an intriguing progression from a highly performative dance, to one combining a personal focus with performance, to a piece so private it was like peeking through curtains into the dancer’s living room. It also proved that, while bubble wrap never gets old, body painting does.
In Compagnie Kafig’s San Diego debut last Wednesday, the first piece, “Correria,” demonstrated the all-male company’s energy and range, which goes way beyond hip-hop to include circus, Afro-Brazilian as well as contemporary dance, the Brazilian martial art form capoeira, and terrific theatricality. But it was with “Agwa” that Kafig created a rapturous, holy artistic experience.
Forget about cute little mice in the battle scene. In “A Culture Shock Nutcracker,” the rodents are rats in slashed tights, creeping in low like a street gang, wonderfully nasty. This hip hop take on “The Nutcracker” ballet gets a lot right its first time out; but there’s room for some redos the next time around.
Seeing the International Exposure contemporary dance festival in Tel Aviv made me feel as if my nervous system got disconnected, and I had to create new neural pathways. The best of the Israeli dance makers are that good. And guess what? This work is rippling out to San Diego.
The slogan of [the] movement initiative1375641721-large is “Dare to move,” and daring is clearly bred in the bones of founders/directors Caryn Glass and Ami Ipapo – both are veterans of Streb Extreme Action, the Brooklyn company known for its bruising physicality and aerial work that makes your heart catch in your throat.
Often, during the Sydney Dance Company’s “2 One Another” at Mandeville Auditorium on Saturday, I wished I could be seeing the piece in rehearsal. I wanted to focus on the movement, free from the sometimes bombastic music and over-bright, hyperactive lighting. Sensory overload may be just what artistic director/choreographer Rafael Bonachela had in mind.