Scott Wells and Dancers

Pub date July 2, 2008
SectionArts & CultureSectionDance

PREVIEW Watching dancers launch themselves into space is every bit as exciting as the sparks and explosions that fill traditional July 4 celebrations. Take, for example, the frequently airborne Scott Wells and Dancers. The company’s Last Call show will be every bit as full of surprises as a fireworks display, only more environmentally friendly and weather independent. If you’re not familiar with this masterful artist, Wells is a super free spirit who has been setting up frameworks for contact improvisation pieces for the past 16 years. Many choreographers create works that use contact improvisation as a starting point for generating ideas that then get formalized. But Wells offers the real thing: the experience that there is only one moment, and it’s now. He also chooses music wisely and uses it beautifully. Two things strike you when you watch these dancers/athletes tumble, fly, and roll: the trust is absolute, and so is the fun. For Last Call, the company is bringing back — for the last time, Wells says — Home Again, the riotous 1991 encounter of man-meets-furniture. I am no great sports fan, but when Wells mounts Gym Mystics, his 2007 take on gymnastics, I’ll join the club. Also on the schedule is the world premiere of West Side Story, staged for 11 performers to Leonard Bernstein’s legendary score. Independence Day festivities include a 5 p.m. party prior to the performance with food, drinks, movies, and a guest artist.

SCOTT WELLS AND DANCERS Fri/4, 7 p.m. (party, 5 p.m.); Sat/ 5 and July 10–12, 8 p.m. Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida, SF. $18–$22. (415) 863-9834,