GO (SF Bay Area edition): Chris Black’s “Pastime” in the parks

From Paul Parish:
Went down to Justin Herman Plaza this afternoon, the park across from the Ferry Building at the edge of the old port of San Francisco, and saw Chris Black’s group Potrzebie do a sweet, goofy 40-minute piece about baseball called “Pastime.” They danced it in a sunny little hollow with fancy apartments on one side and the bay on the other and tourists strolling the sidewalks.
The hollow was a little natural amphitheater, with tufty grass that lumped up and made the dancers’ footing look kinda iffy (and created quite a sense of there being some there there). Not to worry, they’re not on their feet all that much, since they’re sliding into third base a whole lot, and besides they’re modern dancers, so of course, they’re on the ground a lot.
It’s a delightful piece for nine dancers in intermural-ish uniforms, green-green grass stains and mud. Sometimes very Mad Magazine. Andrew Ward, who was a gymnast, stole third based like he knew how; he shared a duet with Felipe Barrueto-Cabello that had lots of loft in it. Periodically they’d huddle and suddenly lift a dancer, who’d strike an ESPN pose; everybody got a photo-op.
The 7th inning stretch was hilarious. Chris* had a daffy solo. Towards the end comes a sentimental song by Tony Bennett, and to that music there’s a group dance that’s remarkably lyrical, and a solo for Lou Gehrig that’s poignant in the extreme — knotty, gnarly, but in slow motion, like Tai Chi that gets stuck. I’m not sure who the dancer was who did that, but I THINK it was Kevin Clarke.
The piece is free, and they’re doing it in a different park each week. (See below or Potrzebie website for details.)
*Chris Black choreographed the piece with dancers’ input. She “came off the bench” to replace Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, who had an unlucky fall on a trampoline and broke a bone in her hand. Stuart was there, right arm in a cast, sitting on the grass with the rest of us as gulls and blackbirds clattered overhead and the shadows of the apartment buildings started to cover us.
Saturdays and Sundays, 1:05pm.
September 22 & 23: Precita Park (Precita Ave. and Harrison St. in the Mission)
September 29 & 30: Golden Gate Park Peacock Meadow (JFK drive near Fell St. entrance, between McLaren Lodge and the Conservatory of Flowers)
Lawn seating means kids, lawn chairs, coolers and blankets all welcome — arrive early for the best seating!
Musical score will be broadcast via transistor radios — if you’ve got your own, bring it!

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