Our sincere thanks to those who attended our December 2017 Performance Season at ODC
Theater where we kicked off our celebrations of the company’s 15 th Anniversary. Here’s what
the SF Chronicle had to say about the show:
By Steve Winn
December 15, 2017
The six Garrett + Moulton company dancers might have been shot out of a circus cannon the
way they zoomed and caromed around the ODC Theater stage in designer Julienne Weston’s
gaudy striped and checked and polka-dotted getups. There was good reason for all the
exuberant clowning around in “Zingo.” It was the first of three world premieres marking the
15th anniversary season of choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton’s ingratiating
Seen at the opening on Thursday, Dec. 14, the three pieces on the bill stood in high contrast to
each other. After “Zingo,” which featured internal shifts from high-voltage passages set to antic
Romanian band tunes to near still-life interludes with Erik Satie on the soundtrack, came the
elaborate geometries of “The Mozart.”
Last but certainly not least was “Crystal Anniversary Ball Passing,” a work of such captivating wit
and organic eloquence a viewer almost forgot that the dancers — 18 strong, with a dozen guest
artists as reinforcements — remain seated throughout on riser-like platforms.
Even as the program changed gears so decisively, a distinctive style and sensibility kept
bubbling through. It had to do with a flowing release and exchange of energy, as the dancers’
bodies would compress with hunched shoulders, sunken necks and sharply angled elbows, then
burst and flower open to connect with each other in feverishly inventive ways — hooked
ankles, a head gripped and rolled in someone else’s hands, fluttering finger holds. Or they
exulted in the liberation of unhindered open space. David Robertson’s modulated lighting made
the atmosphere in which they moved especially charged and activated.
In the Romanian stretches of “Zingo,” the Garrett + Moulton dynamic played out in comical
acrobatics that were by quick turns rubbery and rachety, all of it perpetual, unpredictable
motion. The Satie passages, which incorporated balloons and flower petals, seemed a little too
studied, more coy than droll. But it was clear the panting dancers needed a break.
“The Mozart,” on a sequence of the composer’s solo piano extracts, was busy and eventful,
perhaps to a fault, and hard to take in on a first encounter. A set of variations provided
welcome solo showcases for each of the six impressively self-possessed dancers — Carolina
Czechowska, Michael Galloway, Gretchen LaWall, Nol Simonse, Haiou Wang and Miche Wong.
Hard as it is to play favorites, Wang stood out for his transitions from tensile compactness to an
eloquent limberness that seemed to flow from his flexible torso out to his mobile limbs and
serene but expressive face.
While this version of “Ball Passing” was listed as a company premiere, the evening’s final piece
was a reprise of something that’s been done many times, by as many as 68 performers. The 18
on hand here were more than enough to create the utterly absorbing impression of some
ethereal blue-shirted cheerleading team whose exchanges of soft rubber balls merged mind-
bending assembly-line precision with sudden effusions of sheer exhilaration, their arms raised
and undulating like long grasses bending in a breeze. It was one of those spine-shivering
celebrations that seemed simultaneously to be about everything and only the movement
happening at that very instant.
Steven Winn is the San Francisco Chronicle’s former arts and culture critic.
Other Reviews and Articles about the Show:
ForAllEvents Review:
http://forallevents.info/reviews/garrett-moulton- company-at- odc-san- francisco/
KQED Preview: