Layla Means Night: Rosanna Gamson seduces audiences at San Francisco’s ODC Theater

Carin Noland in LAYLA MEANS NIGHT (Photo: Jose Diaz)

Carin Noland in LAYLA MEANS NIGHT (Photo: Jose Diaz)

Rosanna Gamson’s Layla Means Night, a riff on the Persian fable of Scheherazade, draws audiences into what program notes describe as “an immersive tour through a world of ritual violence and exquisite pleasure.”

The audience of approximately 70 is split into three groups – men, women and a co-ed group – and, after a ritual purification, our hands washed by beaming young maidens in long silky gowns in the lobby of the spunky ODC Theater in San Francisco’s Mission district, we are guided through a series of tableaux throughout the building. The groups occasionally overlap but do not see the same scenes, or see them from different perspectives.

Rosanna Gamson's LAYLA MEANS NIGHT (Photo: Jose Diaz)

Rosanna Gamson’s LAYLA MEANS NIGHT (Photo: Jose Diaz)

Delightful and surreal moments abound. Overall, however, the experience is logistically over-engineered, and fails to create the desired tension and otherworldly atmosphere.

Textual elements also fail to impress. But the moments in which dance took on the story-telling verged on the magnificent.

– Sounds intriguing? Read our full review on BACHTRACK. –

– Watch the trailer here: –

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