Dionysian Festival

Pub date May 20, 2008
SectionArts & CultureSectionDance

PREVIEW Mary Sano may have a small performance space, but she sure packs them in. The Tokyo-born Sano is a disciple — so to speak— of Isadora Duncan, one of the most influential yet most underperformed women dance pioneers from the dawn of modern dance. Sano regularly puts on mixed programs in which she and her dancers bring to life Duncan’s repertoire. The 11th Dionysian Festival presents Sano and her five dancers — one flying in from Tokyo — in selections from Duncan’s Brahms Waltzes, Op.39 (1905). Sano also premieres Spring, a tribute to her teacher Mignon, a protégé of Anna and Irma Duncan, who were themselves protégés of the free-spirited choreographer. (Duncan dancers trace their lineage like British aristocracy). Mignon, born a century ago, originally began — but did not complete — this piece set to Franz Schubert’s charming Rosamunde incidental music. Sano finished it in what she hopes would be her mentor’s spirit. An unnamed dance drama in collaboration with koto player Shoko Hikage highlights Sano in her experimental mode. Also performing are G. Hoffman Soto’s improvisational dance group, SotoMotion; two Bharata Natyam dancers, Priya Ravindhran and Rebecca Whittington; and on Saturday only, avant-garde Peruvian violinist Pauchi Sasaki with bamboo flutist Hideo Sekino.

11TH DIONYSIAN FESTIVAL Sat/24, 8 p.m. Sun/25, 5 p.m. Mary Sano Studio of Duncan Dancing, 245 Fifth St., SF. $15–$17. (415) 357-1817