Dance Theatre of San Francisco leaps into new season
2015, OCT 30th
Don’t Miss: The 17th Annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest brings 16 hip-hop dance companies from around the world to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre on Nov. 20-22, including Bay Area stalwarts Academy of Villains, Mix’d Ingrdnts, Loose Change and NastyRay, as well as dance crews from Philadelphia, L.A., Memphis and Sacramento.
One of newest additions to the Bay Area dance scene is taking an exciting leap. Since dancer Annie Henry launched Dance Theatre of San Francisco in 2013, the contemporary ballet company has made a vivid impression with performances at ODC Theater and Z Space. Now under the artistic direction of Dexandro “D” Montalvo, a respected teacher, rising choreographer and former dancer with Robert Moses’ Kin, DTSF is presenting an enticing new fall program at Cowell Theater on Nov. 6-8.
Not surprisingly, Montalvo, 30, has programmed a signature work by Moses, 2008’s “Toward September,” and a commissioned duet from Amy Seiwert. The presence of a new work, which does not yet have a title, by the prolific Seiwert is likely to quicken the pulse of any dance lover, which is why Montalvo says, “As soon as I was offered this position, it was an easy decision to approach her.”
“Amy has always been making great work. It’s really hard to find someone with such a strong individual ballet aesthetic. She’s pushing boundaries while still holding on to technique. She has a wonderful way of showing her individuality in all of her work.”
Montalvo is also presenting two new works of his own, a piece for the full company inspired by DTSF’s nine dancers, and a quartet for two men and two women en pointe. Known for his demanding and athletic style, Montalvo created the quartet looking to break out of choreographic conventions. “And I think it ended up working,” he says.
“The quartet features two different pas de deux, and the dancers are not allowed to disconnect the whole time. It turned out to be beautiful. The piece embodies realizing how to coexist, to share weight and push away from each other’s weight.”
Born and raised in New York City, Montalvo got his start dancing in what he calls “commercial” settings for productions broadcast on MTV and BET. He moved to San Francisco after graduating from SUNY Purchase to take a position at Liss Fain Dance company.
He feels that his six-year tenure dancing with Robert Moses’ Kin prepared him well to lead DTSF, one of the companies for which he choreographed during 2014, his breakout year. In March, he won an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for his choreographic work in “Art Behind Bars,” a site-specific project inside Alcatraz, and he also received an Izzie nomination for “Impulse,” which he choreographed for Robert Moses’ Kin.
While Montalvo’s choreographic profile is likely to rise with DTSF, the company also showcases his influence as a mentor. As soon as he landed in the Bay Area, he started teaching at Alonzo King LINES Ballet and ODC, and several DTSF dancers are his former students.
Jessica Wagner, who was hired before Montalvo took over as DTSF artistic director, studied with him at LINES, as did Dalmacio Payomo. And Mia Chong spent three years under his training at ODC “five days a week,” he says. “Then she went off to NYU, and she earned the spot at DTSF. She’s just phenomenal. To see one of my dance babies grow up into someone I’m working with is the happiest moment. That’s where I feel like (a) proud parent.”
Don’t Miss: The 17th Annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest brings 16 hip-hop dance companies from around the world to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre on Nov. 20-22, including Bay Area stalwarts Academy of Villains, Mix’d Ingrdnts, Loose Change and NastyRay, as well as dance crews from Philadelphia, L.A., Memphis and Sacramento. London-based Cindy Claes brings her unique amalgam of dancehall, krumping and hip-hop theater, and Hilty & Bosch, a locking duo from Osaka, Japan, present their high-energy act. For info and tickets, go to sfhiphopdancefest.com.
Contact Andrew Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org
DANCE THEATRE OF SAN FRANCISCO
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 6-7, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8
Where: Cowell Theater, Fort Mason complex, San Francisco
Tickets: $21-$39; fortmason.org/box-office