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Performance Review: CA Touring Project

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Re-arranging the cavernous Diavolo Dance Space to seat the audience on all four sides of the "stage," the California Touring Project opened our eyes to some inventive and entertaining new dances. Choreographed and performed by artists from both the north and the south of our golden Mecca, the evening was filled with samples of good dancing, creative minds and solid performances.

The four choreographers on this year's edition of the two-year-old traveling institution presented work that, in some ways, represents accomplished histories in the dance world.

The youngest dancemakers--caseboltandsmith--invited audience members to participate in their work, Having Words. Gently welcoming the seated viewers to extend an arm and hand to partner the choreographer/performers, the duet soon became a quartet, a sextet, and, by the end, there were over a dozen folks on the marley floor. As Liz Casebolt and Joel Smith instructed their newfound cavaliers to place a hand on their shoulder as they quietly introduced themselves to one another, the two smoothly moved their own bodies around, against, and in tandem with their no-longer terrified accomplices. Warmly, this created a small and supportive community right in front of our eyes. Sweet, risky and compositionally sound, the dance revealed a light humor in its simple poetics.