Contemporary dance company, ODC/Dance, features a world premiere in its annual Summer Sampler in San Francisco this weekend – Kimi Okada’s Two If By Sea. The program also includes Triangulating Euclid – a collaboration between Brenda Way, K T Nelson and Kate Weare – and another Kate Weare work, The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us.
Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC – Oberlin Dance Collective – takes its name from Oberlin College in Ohio, its place of origin. The Company is known internationally for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth, and was rated ‘Best Dance Company’ by the San Francisco Bay Guardian in five of its Best of the Bay editions between 2002 and 2012. In 2009, ODC/Dance was selected by BAM as one of three dance companies to tour internationally under the sponsorship of the US State Department’s inaugural DanceMotion USA tour.
Triangulating Euclid was created earlier this year by two of the Company’s resident choreographers, Brenda Way and KT Nelson, in collaboration with New York-based choreographer Kate Weare. It takes its inspiration from a rare original edition of Euclid’s Elements, known as one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics. Described as “beautifully enigmatic” by the Huffington Post, and as “an exuberant celebration of the way dancers inscribe themselves into space” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Triangulating Euclid is the first time in which Way, Nelson and Weare have teamed up, and was created with the explicit intention of exploring new artistic territory, marking the beginning of a bi-coastal collaboration between these three artists.
Kimi Okada’s Two If By Sea is a duet – danced by Vanessa Thiessen (who retires this year) and Jeremy Smith – which delves into the secrecy of signs used by a couple to communicate – as partners – to the outside world. Described in the program notes as a “rhythmic, physical duet” it reveals the power of both the hidden and undisguised signals which we all use.
The program ends with Kate Weare’s trio, The Light Has Not The Arms to Carry Us, which premiered at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance festival in 2008. It’s an abstract “exploration into primitive states”, examining abasement, wariness, sensuality and tenderness, using formal movement, rhythmic play and the decisive use of space defined by light.
Brenda Way, Kimi Okada and KT Nelson will host a talkback session with the audience after the performances. Among the awards won by the three resident choreographers are a Guggenheim, six Isadora Duncan Dance Awards – including two lifetime achievement awards – a San Francisco Examiner Golden Slipper Award, and a Tony nomination. Brenda Way was selected as the first choreographer to serve as Resident of the Arts at the American Academy in Rome for 2009/10 and recently received a prestigious leadership award from the San Francisco Foundation.
The ODC/Dance Summer Sampler takes place on August 2 and 3 at the ODC Theater, 3153 Seventeenth Street, San Francisco. For tickets and further information, please call the Box Office on 415 863 9834 or visit www.odcdance.org.