Dana Lawton Dancers
September 16-28, 2022
Cowell Theater,Fort Mason Center, SF
A Dance/Drama for California
Dana Lawton and her company have brought a valuable and exciting dimension of dance/theater to Bay Area audiences. “The Farallonites” is not only a beautifully staged, danced and produced theater event, it presents an opportunity to learn California history and geography.
Lawton tells us that: “I was first drawn into this project because of the poetry and imagery. These particular people living on an island, isolated from the growing city of SF had a tension I was interested in exploring. Building a community in an inhospitable place, being resourceful and relying on each other to help those sailing through the golden gate. People who put their lives in danger so that others could prosper were the type of people I wanted to spend time with. So I made them up, made them struggle, find water, climb the hill over and over, fix the lighthouse, weather the storm and also find joy.”
The dancers are an ensemble of great skill; several soloists are outstanding.
Olutola Afolayan work was particularly lyrical and expressive. Leah Hendrix-Smith was moving and delightful as the”child on the rope”…a young person who cannot and should not get away.
Garth Grimball was a soloist at the beginning and later, with Leah Curran, he and she performed a romantic duet. Other dancers include Michael Armstrong, Eduardo Garcia, Katie Lawson-Gill, Colin McDowell, Robin Nasatir, Vera Schwegler, and Jennifer Smith.
Lawton has accomplished a production that should travel to California schools and audiences throughout the state. It is a reminder that we all need to know: that even in isolation (as we have recently experienced), we can find intimacy, courage and even joy. All this was well illustrated in the dance’s events: solos, duets, group ensemble and especially In the joyous ‘square dance’ section wherein familiar steps and patterns raised all levels of delight.
For complete information about the many artists who contributed to “The Farallonites’ see www.danalawtondances.org