At its previous performances in North Carolina and New York, Kate Weare’s commanding “Marksman” played in large proscenium theaters, where Clifford Ross’s backdrops of black and grey images suggesting cresting tsunamis loomed high above the six dancers. The effect was lost last weekend in the black box ODC Theater where I saw “Marksman” on the San Francisco stop of its yearlong tour. Here, the dancers were practically near enough to touch, and Ross’s totemic scrolls did not seem so overpowering. But while Weare herself seemed to lament the shift in scale during Friday’s post-performance talk, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This is how I relish Weare’s dancers: up close, their heavy breath in my ear, the articulation of every sinew as entrancing as a leaf’s unfurling. And this is what places Weare’s work an order of magnitude beyond even the most accomplished dance-making typically seen in San Francisco: her use of movement not as “steps” but as a vehicle for exploring primal states of being—her way of making every kinesthetic event an intensely present teetering on the edge of time.
Nicole Diaz, Kayla Farrish, Ryan Rouland Smith and Thryn Saxon in Kate Weare's “Marksman.” Photograph by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading