ODC’s SCUBA dancers dive deep

ODC, the incubator for promising and cutting-edge dance talent, has teamed up with other U.S. dance presenters to form SCUBA, a consortium providing touring venues for selected artists.

On May 6 at ODC, SCUBA presents its 2011 program featuring a trio of choreographers, all of whom have won acclaim in their respective communities for their touching, challenging and sometimes amusing work: San Francisco’s Katie Faulkner, New York’s Chris Yon and Seattle’s Amelia Reeber.

Faulkner, artistic director of little seismic dance company, and 2011 winner of San Francisco’s audience-voted Artists With Audiences Responding to Dance competition, is known for her economic, meaning-packed movement.

For this performance she presents her latest piece “Sawtooth,” described by Faulkner as “much darker and more sexual than anything I’ve explored to date.” The work’s two women characters, clothed in the trappings of social class and decorum, nonetheless express an unedited, primal sensibility.

Coming on the heels of “Until We Know for Sure,” Faulkner’s honest and moving duet about relationship dynamics for which she won the AWARD prize, “Sawtooth” was born of darker imagery that had been percolating for a while.

“I’ll get an image in my mind — sometimes it’s static, sometimes it’s dynamic. If it dogs me long enough I feel it becomes my responsibility to coax that image into existence and figure out what it is, who the [characters] are, and why they’re there,” she says. “Of all the pieces I’ve made, this one is coming from some other, more recessed part of my consciousness.”

Visual design for the piece was inspired by photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto’s primordial images of diorama displays at New York’s Natural History Museum and Eli Nelson’s spare sounds, and rhythmic score provide counterpoint to lounge music Faulkner selected.

Amelia Reeber, winner of Seattle’s AWARD competition in 2009, performs “this is a forgery,” a constantly evolving, kind of stream-of-consciousness solo reflecting Reeber’s interest in the concept of “authentic movement.”

“The Very Unlikeliness (I’m Going to Kill You!)” by Brooklyn-based Chris Yon is set to jazzy, hip-hop and electronic music that underscores rapid directional changes, quirky arm and hand gestures and unexpected transitions of environment and mood.

The SCUBA acronym — for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus — is an apt metaphor for the process these artists employ: remaining clear-eyed and fearless while mining the depths and complications of relationships with our world and with ourselves.

IF YOU GO

SCUBA 2011

Presented by ODC

When: 8 p.m. May 6-7; 7 p.m. May 8
Where: ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., San Francisco
Tickets: $15 to $18
Contact: (415) 863-9834, www.ODCtheater.org

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