If creativity is born of limitations, this years WestWave Dance Festival should make for one heck of a dance sampler. The challenge: Create an original dance piece no longer than five minutes and no less than four and a half. While some fans claim the experimental format reduces concert dance to MTV style blips, others recognize it as a chance to see more professional companies per bill for their buck than anywhere in the U.S. outside the American Dance Festival. For those who have maintained for years that the West Coast needs its own version of the East Coast-based mecca, thats a giddy prospect.
Contemporary dance and ballet have dominated past WestWave Fests. This year, however, the three programs blend big name and on-the-brink troupes from a smorgasbord of styles including Hula, Cambodian, hip hop, and dance theater. Also new: a dance film night, panel discussion series, and a site-specific installation by aerial innovators Zaccho Dance Theater. As for the reduced stage time and eclectic roll call, the way we see it, get Flamenco fanatics whooping for hip hop dancers and balletomanes breaking down butoh, and the creative sparks will fly without limit.
Aug. 16-24, 2008