“Sometimes art for art’s sake is not enough,” proclaimed the program notes for D.I.R.T., Dance in Revolt(ing) Times, the political dance festival that took San Francisco’s Dance Mission Theater by storm in February.
But if you believe – along with August Wilson, Ai Weiwei, and Pussy Riot – that all art is politics, then this false dichotomy was just a diversion from the serious business of art.
Of the seven sketches presented in the third and final weekend of this festival, only Krissy Keefer’s Sin Palabras and Amara Tabor-Smith’s Untitled Evidence successfully wove polemic into dance. The rest were disjointed juxtapositions of visuals, audio and props, that meandered on in their own hermetic worlds, no curator in sight. To feel strongly about your subject is not enough.