KT Nelson, Co-Artistic Director, ODC/Dance
I appreciated the pairing of the two new works by distinctly different female choreographers and valued the informal chat with each choreographer. Watching and listening to Maxine and Xie talk, direct, mumble and gesture gave me conscious and unconscious specificity about what mattered to them artistically.
Maxine’s movement and theatrical language was individualized through each man, giving them confidence and a personal connection to the performative and physical world of the work. This was satisfying. Her overall sequencing was flawless in my world. I found myself slightly disappointed in the last scene. Not for its spirit but for lacking the specificity in partnering and craft she showed earlier in the work.
Dana Genshaft, former SF Ballet soloist/freelance choreographer
I find it wonderfully refreshing to see this film, and appreciate the spotlight on these two women making work for a male dance company.
The first piece right away struck me as the work of an experienced crafter. Later in the documentary I saw that I was not off; Maxine‘s work was anchored in a deeply thoughtful and thorough creative process, paired with a heightened sensitivity to the musical space.
I love that the piece rests inside Jazz Music and has a playful relationship with the ‘score’. The language allows for a roundness and softness in the movement while also playing with effortless patterns and transitions for the group. The men seem to enjoy the range the work allows them, both in terms of the physical as well as emotional play with each other. Through the highly organized structure, the men seem to ascend to a sort of freedom in the performance, like an impulse or improvised moment.