Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Evolution of a Native Species 

Wednesday, Feb 25 2009
Comments
San Francisco is home to a dance scene steeped in contact improvisation, a phenomenon born of the 1960s counterculture. Part social movement and part art form, CI uses weight-sharing and counterbalance to create spontaneous, sometimes gasp-inducing dances between frequently sweat-pant-clad partners and groups. In the 1970s and ’80s, a generation of our very own local dancemakers began evolving the form for the stage by combining the pattern work of choreography with the spontaneous feel of CI’s unexpected encounters. Among the latest in the S.F. lineage to add his own twist to the tradition is Shannon Preto, a dancer with contact pioneer Scott Wells’ company; Preto’s own group, Dance/Theater Shannon, brings new and restaged work to its "Premiere Home Season" this month.

Preto’s unique brand of contact partnering is born of his immersion in Body/Mind Centering, a somatic practice that, in part, reapplies to adults the developmental movement patterns humans progress through from the womb. “Swimming” and “After the Collapse” hint at an organic physicality, while the polka-influenced “It Never Gets Old” proves that the hallmark playfulness of the local contact community is alive and well. Then there’s the curious “Dancing with Myself,” an improvised duet between a real dancer and a projected dancer manipulated by in-the-moment video editing. Seems Preto’s approach echoes what CI practitioners have claimed for years: Things get more interesting when you’re willing to leave a little to chance.
Feb. 28-March 1, 8 p.m., 2009

About The Author

Bonner Odell

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis
    January 14, 2015 was the first night of Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis in San Francisco. Photos by Calibree Photography.
  • No Pants BART Ride 2015 - NSFW
    The No Pants BART Ride commenced on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Participants rode without pants, and at the end of the ride they disembarked at The Mission to bar hop, eat burritos and take selfies. Photos by Richard Haick.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular