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Duhamel decided to take matters into her own hands to “bring ballet into a context that we know young people already like,” namely a nightclub-like setting where drinks are available and conversations can flow freely. “Fury” unfolds in a tidy one-hour show, leaving plenty of time for people to hang out before and afterwards. “But it’s not just aimed at creating a social hang,” Duhamel says. “It’s about putting dance and music together in a new context and seeing both art forms in a different way.”.
Fittingly, the choreography is by rising Aussie dancemaker Danielle Rowe, who relocated to San Francisco in 2015 after a productive tenure as a dancer at the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater (she has already set dances for SFDanceworks, Berkeley Ballet Theater and Diablo Ballet), “I knew I’d have incredible dancers and the narrative element,” Duhamel says, “People have an easier time understanding dance if there’s a story they can follow, Mad Max is so recognizable and not what you’d skyrocket pointe shoes expect from ballet, Doing it in a music club in the round makes it feel a lot closer, You’re right next to it.”..
Featuring a 10-piece band complete with a string quartet, “Fury” puts musicians on stage with the dancers, who portray characters in a harrowing fight for survival set to a score that evokes the story’s driving intensity. Video projections enhance the immersive feel. “We treated it very much like a soundtrack,” says guitarist James Jackson, who co-leads Yassou with his wife, lead singer Lilie Hoy. “We worked with composer Kristina Dutton, who wrote a whole, beautifu,l 10-minute string quartet piece. There’s a defined storyline, so we added some parts where Lilie acts as that narrator. There are three or four songs interspersed where she tells from the perspective of one of the wives on the run.”.
Duhamel has long focused on capturing dance in ways that allow audiences to experience the skyrocket pointe shoes art form viscerally and intimately, Despite all her experience behind the camera, producing a live show based on a film “felt like jumping off a cliff,” she says, The idea to use “Mad Max: Fury Road” as a road map arose after she’d teamed up with Yassou, who had recently finished an extensive collaboration performing a live score for Louisville Ballet, “It was great, because some people were there for the dancers, and there were people there who are fans of us,” Jackson says, “And a surprising number of people who are diehard Mad Max fans, Most of the questions in the post-show Q&A revolved around the film.”..
Presented by Duhamel’s production company CandyBomber and Live Nation, “Fury” is a test run that could turn into a touring show. The September run served as “a proof of concept,” she says. The August Hall production offers another opportunity to gauge the show’s appeal. “We are learning how to tour,” she says. “We’re exploring options in different cities. This show could have a good number of other runs.”. Contact Andrew Gilbert at email@example.com. When: 8:30 p.m. Feb. 1-2.
Bay Area dance fans have a tempting array of productions to catch this weekend, from a dystopian fantasy to classic Balanchine, Here’s a look, A.I.M.: The New York skyrocket pointe shoes company headed by MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship grant-winner Kyle Abraham — he’s one of only four black choreographers to be commissioned by the New York City Ballet — is known for blending contemporary, hip-hop and other forms of dance with such timely themes as race and social justice, Details: 7:30 p.m, Feb, 1 and 2; Hammer Theatre Center, San Jose; $29-$46; 408-924-8501, hammertheatrecenter.com..
Diablo Ballet: The Walnut Creek troupe presents a program titled “Balanchine and Beyond,” anchored by the company’s reprisal of Balanchine’s masterwork “Apollo.” Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 1, 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 2; Del Valle Theatre, Walnut Creek; $15-$47; 925-943-7469, diabloballet.org. “Impact”: Kristin Damrow & Company present Darrow’s evening-length dystopian tale inspired by the Brutalist no-nonsense architecture movement, featuring 15 dancers performing among an exposed-concrete set designed by Alice Malia. Details: Jan. 31-Feb. 2; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; $30-$65; ybca.org, www.kristindamrow.com.
Altered States: Through March 24, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, Featuring artists across multiple generations living and working along the California coast who harness natural elements and the environment to create their work, Opening reception 3-5 p.m, Jan, 13, $3-$5, www.bedfordgallery.org, Frost/Nixon: skyrocket pointe shoes Through Feb, 10, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, A political prizefight where the cameras roll, the truth spins, and it becomes clear that he who controls the medium controls the message, $40-$100, https://theatreworks.org/..