The human quest to find “the one” is fodder for dance maker Stacey Printz, whose world premiere of “Soul+Mates” opens at Z Space this week.
Printz’ choreographic signature, a kind of lusty athleticism, naturally lends itself to the material.
“I’m a very passionate person — I like the visceral experience of moving and connecting bodies,” she says. “This project has great range. There are those sweet, quiet and intimate moments, but sometimes love is associated with very desperate or jealous acts.”
Printz and her collaborators provide different angles on the topic to create what she calls a “circular” experience for the audience.
Cleverly, she uses a prop — a white couch — to link the audience with the performance.
“The couch represents so many things in our lives,” Printz says. “It’s where people make out, have intimate conversations, speak to a counselor … and there’s a cinematic connection — entire movies scenes take place on couches.”
The couch makes its first appearance in the lobby, where couples may sit on it and have their pictures taken by photographer Andre Hermann, who will add the images to a photographic collage on display. The collage shows images of couples sitting on the same couch in Golden Gate Park, where they spoke with Printz about their relationships.
Taking visual cues from a recurring theme in those conversations — to find the right “fit” — Teresa Brazen made a short film, which screens in the lobby.
Eventually the couch is moved onstage, where it appears and disappears behind set designer Sean Riley’s shifting vertical panels that divide the stage into sequestered spaces, allowing the audience to become like voyeurs to secret liaisons.
The more intimate scenes find the dancers draped across, bouncing around and hiding behind the couch. Tom Ontiveros’ lighting design and composer Kraddy’s hybrid electronic score accompany the spicy action.
It may seem as though Printz would be a die-hard romanticist, but she remains ecumenical about the concept of soul mates.
“The common thread is longing,” she says. “People still long for connection. But that can be fulfilled by experiences with close family members, female friendships and then, of course, romantic relationships … and then maybe there’s more than one soul mate.”
IF YOU GO
Printz Dance Project
Where: Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $22 to $30