ODC Dancing Downtown 2005

The ODC dance company has been around San Francisco for a long time. My wife and I caught them lately in the first part of their Dancing Downtown 2005 show.

Modern art is an interesting thing. It gets derided quite a bit because people just don’t see the art in a canvas painted a uniform color, or other things like that. I like seeing people actually put effort into stuff. I like seeing alternative technique, not alternatives to technique.

Well, ODC is quite the dance company. I didn’t quite get everything they were getting at, but it was nice to have to think about it and wonder what they were getting at, instead of having a woman in a giant Earth costume dancing around.

But it was a stunning display of athletic dance. People were twisted into all kinds of contortions, men carried women around, women carried men around. And, throughout it all, it was clear they really did have great technique. The first piece had a distractingly weird soundtrack, but the rest of the show was good. It was equal-opportunity dancing. At any moment, women would be paired with men or other women and men were paired with women or other men.

The crowning piece was “On a train heading south”. In a move that somebody like Jim Mason would cook up, they suspended dripping blocks of ice above the stage. This one was clearly making a point, in brilliantly lit ice and expert dancing. It even got a little disturbing at points as they pantomimed a woman being ravished on stage.

Overall, it was a pretty awesome show.