A collaboration of live dance and three-dimensional visual art takes over Union Square in the form of Bitter Melon. The point? To recontextualize San Francisco’s most foot-trafficked public spaces from the consumerist shopping thoroughfare it is today back to the symbol of victory and social change it was when it was erected in the early 20th century. In this original piece, the multicultural Push Dance Company, directed by Raissa Simpson, explores separate but parallel times of turmoil: the Filipino community in the Philippine-American War (1899-1902) and the African-American community during the Great Flood of Mississippi (1927). British visual artist Ben Wood worked with technologist David Mark to craft accompanying 3-D filmic images to project onto two sides of Union Square’s towering 97-foot Dewey Monument, which was completed in 1903 in honor of Admiral George Dewey leading the Navy to victory in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War. The impact of this performance combined with the meaning of its chosen location should at least temporarily imbue viewers with the spirit of a diverse city.
May 25-28, 8 p.m., 2012