Genre-Defying Dance

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Speaking about gravity’s effect on postmodern dance, experimental choreographer and contact improvisation guru Steve Paxton said, “If you’re dancing physics, you’re dancing contact. If you’re dancing chemistry, you’re doing something else.” For locally based, globally derived Avy K Productions, such demarcations are quaintly outmoded. Avy K dances physics, chemistry, technology, anthropology, architecture, and poetry. Sometimes its members don’t even dance — the group’s co-founder, Vadim Puyandaev, is most often seen onstage creating live, wall-sized paintings that both echo and arouse the bodies before him. By freely combining media — sculpture, radio, movement, film, and toys all find a place — with chance, Avy K’s Kazakhstan-born artistic director and choreographer Erika Tsimbrovsky has taken a galvanizing approach to dance. The result has earned numerous awards for EVM Laboratories, the company Tsimbrovsky and Puyandaev ran in Israel before coming to the U.S. As always with Tsimbrovsky’s work, improvisation is the soul of Avy K, but these multimedia performances are not without elegant arrangements. In its San Francisco debut in 2007, three red apples offset the fluttering “wedding” dresses of three dancers; flickering projections broadcast urban rivers across naked, protracted bodies; a ream of crumpled butcher paper became a heaving shell, shelter, and/or ball gown. Tonight’s debut performance of Scrap-Soup includes 3D video, live painting, music, and mutating installations.
Dec. 19-20, 8 p.m., 2008

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