Seasoned Dancers

This year, you'll find a bittersweet tinge to the comic ballets of the Mark Foehringer Dance Project

Comedy matters to choreographer Mark Foehringer, whose work is colored by his unconventional childhood (raised in Brazil by Minnesotan Lutheran missionaries) and by his terpsichorean history, which includes dancing character roles en travesti (in drag) for classical ballets like La Fille mal gardée and Cinderella. But at this year's Mark Foehringer Dance Project home season, viewers can expect bittersweetness with their wit, reflecting not only the hardships of maintaining a ballet company in a shaky economy, but also the mood of this last anxious year.

Change and the passage of time inform this program, although it's whimsy that distinguishes Foehringer's The Four Seasons from other balletic adaptations of Vivaldi's score. The piece opens with "Spring," a comic pollination rite buzzing with birds, bees, and butterflies; followed by the "Summer" couplings and uncouplings of young lovers; the sepia-toned Victorian picnic of "Fall"; and "Winter," with its retirement home where long-standing disputes play out and the unpartnered waltz with their walkers. "It's not a laughing at," Foehringer likes to say of the ending, "it's a laughing about."

The seasons don't change much here except when 
the Mark Foehringer Dance Project performs.
Marty Sohl
The seasons don't change much here except when the Mark Foehringer Dance Project performs.

Details

Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23-24, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $18.50-22.50

978-2787

www.yerbabuenaarts.org

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F.

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