I was looking forward all week to the show last night by the marvelous local modern dance company ODC Dance Company, which performed a show called Small Plates at Yerba Buena theatre. I don’t say that to evoke an “oh, oh he must have been disappointed” suspicion. Just to explain that all of a sudden yesterday morning I got a rush writing assignment and I really would have preferred not to have that deadline hanging over me last night at the performance. I briefly considered skipping the performance, since I’ve been crying for assignments for months and all of a sudden, poof! But I let my ‘bad advice bear’ convince me I could get the assignment done after I got back, and I had been looking forward to it so!
Anyway, the performance was spirited, athletic and crisp. I told my friends who hadn’t been to a modern dance performance before that it was to classical ballet as modern art is to Rembrandt. Inspired by it, probably requiring an understanding of it to appreciate it fully, but trying to portray things beyond a realistic storyline. So I couldn’t tell you what the dancers were trying to evoke exactly – just that the movements, synchronization, sound and lighting effects felt as if they must be coming from somewhere deep inside the dancers. What they were doing felt organic – how else could they have learned all the movements and positions? The music was for its own part a bit abstract, at parts with voiceovers, at other parts with just very complex rhythms.
And if you don’t like ballet – and I do not – you should still try modern dance. You might also call it a very intellectualized Cirque de Soleil. I hope no one from the ODC sees this because they will probably be horrified at the comparison.
As an enticement, the “small plates” Thursday night performances feature free wine and food at 5:30pm (convenient if you work downtown) and the performance starts at 6:30 and ends by 8pm. All for only $20 which is a good deal. Did I mention the dancers are hot?
Of course, I wasn’t able to finish the assignment after the dance. We got back early enough but I didn’t get a good train of thought going on how to approach the particular topic (the thrilling topic of distributed agile project management as exemplified in Simon & Schuster’s new web presence) until midnight. So I packed it in and got up at 6:30 this morning and managed to finish by the deadline.