West Wave Closes with a Dark (Very Dark) Exploration of the Fairy Tale World

Rachel Speidel Little and Bryan Ketron in Milissa Payne Bradley's SHELTER (Photo: David DeSilva)

Rachel Speidel Little and Bryan Ketron in Milissa Payne Bradley’s SHELTER (Photo: David DeSilva)

The intoxicating aroma of artisan bread baking in the stone hearth ovens of Panorama Bakery next to Z Space in San Francisco’s Mission district turned out to be the only wholesome feature of an evening spent in the company of Amy Seiwert and four other choreographers whom she chose to collaborate on a fairy-tale-themed program that closed the month-long West Wave Dance Festival.

Knowing a little of the work of Seiwert, Maurya Kerr, Milissa Payne Bradley, Julia Adam and Robert Dekkers, I did not expect the Disney treatment, but was unprepared for the darkness and carnage on display in Make.Believe. 

Jane Hope Rehm in Julia Adam's LA BELLE MERE (Photo: DavidDeSilva)

Jane Hope Rehm in Julia Adam’s LA BELLE MERE (Photo: DavidDeSilva)

Payne Bradley and Dekkers retold the stories of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood in the imaginative Shelter and electrifying Redhood’s End.

In the delicious, multi-layered La Belle-Mère, Adam imagined a sweeping backstory for all the Wicked Stepmothers in fairytale history.

In Mirror, Seiwert deconstructed our obsession with youthful beauty and the elusive Prince Charming.

Kerr messed with our perceptions of what is “human” and what is “beastly” in her unflinching Brutalisms.

Robyn Gerbaz and Chris De Vita in Maurya Kerr's BRUTALISMS (Photo: David DeSilva)

Robyn Gerbaz and Chris De Vita in Maurya Kerr’s BRUTALISMS (Photo: David DeSilva)

These five dances brimmed with sly wit and macabre invention. No two resembled each other, but all gave startling insight into the psyches of these five masterful young dance-makers.

Katherine Wells and Weston Krukow in Amy Seiwert's MIRROR (Photo: David De Silva)

Katherine Wells and Weston Krukow in Amy Seiwert’s MIRROR (Photo: David De Silva)

We gave this program 5 stars on Bachtrack. What a pity it ran for only one performance, but it was a miracle that West Wave was resurrected at all this year. Kudos to Joe Landini for pulling a rabbit out of the shrinking funding hat. If you were not among the select crowd who managed to secure a ticket on Monday night, savor what you missed in our review on Bachtrack.

Charley Cohen in Robert Dekkers' REDHOOD'S END (Photo: David DeSilva)

Charley Cohen in Robert Dekkers’ REDHOOD’S END (Photo: David DeSilva)

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