Hope Mohr Dance
ODC Theater, San Francisco
June 9, 2016
by Rita Felciano
copyright © Rita Felciano, 2016
From Aristotle to Artaud, and Martha Graham to Yvonne Rainer artists have theorized about the nature and purpose of what they are doing. Some of those thoughts have found themselves condensed into manifestos. There are probably as many perspectives on the creative process as there are artists. One way or another, the creators are stuck on the unstable ground of the what, how, where and why of their work. Studies of those statements motivated Hope Mohr's “Manifesting”, a smart and multi-faceted sextet for moving, singing and talking dancers. Mohr is known for intellectually challenging pieces; here she created something like a comedy of the absurd about the self-doubts with which every artist struggles. Whatever sympathy she may have for externally imposed parameters, she ended up with what she calls in the piece to “stand self-reliantly.” The questions are important but this forty-minute piece works not because of the what but because of the how. If that is also a manifesto, so be it. The reprise of last year’s “Stay” made Mohr’s an intelligent, demanding and yet sensuously pleasing ninth anniversary season.
Hope Mohr dancers in "Manifesting." Photo Margo Moritz