Moving Men – Modern dance at The Garage

MovingmenThNQAF 2009 is in full swing leading up the SF Gay Pride the end of June. Too many events are going on across the City to get to all of them but Shmoopy got tickets for us to see the modern dance performance “Moving Men” last night at The Garage on Howard Street. More performances all month.

It was a great show – the space is intimate so you get the up-closeness that is impossible at a venue like Yerba Buena when we go to see ODC Dance. You hear the thumping when people hit the floor, the schussing of the slippers skidding across the floor. The lights even sometimes caught sweat flinging – reminding the audience (as if we needed it!) how much athleticism is required to do modern dance. In one piece a dance was silhouetted in a backlight open doorway, reached up and grapped a hidden bar. He did a one-handed pull-up, very slowly so the effect was his body lifting from the floor as if growing weightless. But no – a one-handed slow pull-up was just the start. Then he started a series of slow leg raises. But wait! Then he started a series of clock-hand twists. All in the backlighted doorway.

The show was choreographed for four dancers but the company had to replace one performer at last week when he got a job with Virgin Airways and was put on call all this weekend. (I said to Shmoopy – yeah its Gay Pride LA this weekend; you can bet any flight attendant with an ounce of seniority is on vacation in LA right now). Anyway they had to change some of the pieces to reflect a fill-in dancer, who did a great job – and he obviously didn’t have the background and training of the others. He was huffing and puffing like you or me would. But the show went on, and well done!

I’m now listening to Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” as I blog this. This piece was the music to one of the dances. In fact a lot of great music was heard and I’ve got to remember to get some more off iTunes. This piece is a Philip Glass-y with vocals thing. A nice change-up from all the dance music we listen to. Curious how modern dance performances eschew “dance” music.

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