Trolley Dances 2021: Hits, Misses

Each of us has a personal geography of emerging from the pandemic, landmarks that tell us we’re coming home. One of my milestones was the Dance is in the Air festival at Liberty Station, which began May 21 and continues through Sunday. Another biggie—the return of Trolley Dances! Granted, there were changes. The home to which we’re returning, post-COVID, isn’t the same one we left.

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Malashock, Griffin Choreograph Hope

Two “tribes”—one dressed in brown, the other in green—exchange wary glances. Using wooden cubes, they stake out their territory and line up, facing off.  Yet, a moment later, a man ventures out from the four-person greens, a woman from the browns. To music with a waltz tempo, they explore lyrical partnering.

How do we respond to someone we perceive as “other?” With curiosity or fear?

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Live Dance at Liberty Station!

I’m excited to go anywhere these days, but a live dance show! My first in more than a year! In fact, it’s a festival—four weekends of performances by the resident companies at Dance Place! Declarations of “I’m vaccinated” were followed by hugs! I may end every sentence with an exclamation point!

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Who Cares? Everyone—City Ballet’s “Balanchine and More”

City Ballet of San Diego opened its “Balanchine and More” with “Who Cares?,” George Balanchine’s 1970 ballet set to nine Gershwin tunes. Lighthearted and flirty, the piece was a delicious kickoff for a program demonstrating the extraordinary care that has made City Ballet a stellar company whose dancers gobble up challenging repertory … and do it to a live orchestra.

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In “5 Soldiers,” 5 Dancers Offer Gripping Take on Military Life

“5 Soldiers” takes place at the White Box Theater at Liberty Station. The intimate space is ideal for Rosie Kay’s intimate, intense take on soldiers training, living, and ultimately risking their lives together. It’s ideal, as well, given Liberty Station’s history as a Naval training facility and whatever psychic resonance from those eager, scared, brave young sailors lingers in the walls. And it’s running here for two more nights. Go!

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A.I.M Offers a Bonus: A Performance by Kyle Abraham

Kyle Abraham took us in his arms and invited us in with three intimate pieces danced by his superb A.I.M (Abraham.In.Motion) company at the Balboa Theatre on Thursday. Then, before anyone could get too comfortable, he ignited the stage with the propulsive, hip hop-flavored “Drive.” The program also offered a rare treat: Abraham himself, filling in—in “The Quiet Dance”—for a company member who couldn’t perform that night.

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