On the west side of Union Square Park last Friday evening, choreographer Katie Faulkner and visual, music, and sound artist Michael Trigilio massaged the outdoor space from boxy, angular tourist mecca into an urban, hip movement collage. Faulkner’s talent lies in the intricate and witty, as evidenced in her creations for her little seismic dance company, and in “We Don’t Belong Here,” her newest offering (thanks in large part to Dancer’s Group’s ONSITE program), builds on her ingenuity.

What: Katie Faulkner’s “We Don’t Belong Here”

Where: Yerba Buena Lane @ Market St (near 4th Street)

When: Oct. 6-9, 8PM

Cost: FREE

Erupting from a discussion of the space between the space–that is, of public and performance space–“We Don’t Belong Here” does more than just present. It redefines space both the physical sense of here is the stage, here is the audience. And it takes a cold, desolate square and creates immensely dense and vibrant pockets of life within it.

As audience members gathered ahead of the performance, we all stood in a slightly wavy line from north to south. But as the 20 dancers moved and weaved from one section to another, we began to move with them. A “them and us” mentality remained, but it lessened and we broke ourselves into huddles or squished together, only separating ourselves at the half-time run through the stands.

IMG_6144-Foto by Pak Han.jpg

Little Seismic dance company performs in downtown San Francisco, photo by Pak Han

This question of where we fit, how much of “me” is too much, and where do we go pervades the piece, and while there are no clear answers, it calls for more. More investigation, more environment-driven creation, and even more so, more dance that challenges the status quo.

Faulkner’s creation lands somewhere squarely between the literal and the abstract, giving us a refreshing blend of large jumps, sumptuous partnering, and drawn-out gesticulations all under the big top of imposing buildings around us and cable cars dinging as they rumble by. Moving a crowd is never easy, but Faulkner does it like some of us bake cakes. Or tie our shoes. Watching her choreography caress the pavement, it’s all just utterly fascinating.

“We Don’t Belong Here” continues tonight through Sunday. The venue this weekend is slightly different; instead of Union Square, it’s presented along Yerba Buena Lane just off of Market Street. Performances are at 8PM and all shows are free. In case of rain, please confer with Dancer’s Group’s website.

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the author

Becca Klarin writes about dance. Her first stage role was at the age of four, where she dressed in a brightly colored bumble bee tutu and black patent leather taps shoes. She remembers bright lights and spinning in circles with her eleven other bees, but nothing more. Becca also has an affinity for things beginning with the letter "P", including Pizzetta 211, Fort Point, pilates, parsvakonasana, and plies.

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