RJ Muna When We Fall Apart.jpg

Joe Good Performance Group in “When We Fall Apart.” Photo by RJ Muna.

A master craftsman, Joe Goode builds formidable and intrinsic dances that speak volumes about life’s very foundation. And his talent stays fast and true as he continues his careful path of merging unique spaces with organic movement. His latest, “When We Fall Apart”, debuts this weekend at Z Space. In this work, Goode delves into the delicate balance that is house and body: structure, relationships, supports, and space.

What: Joe Goode Performance Group’s presents When We Fall Apart

Where: Z Space, 450 Florida Street at 17th Street, SF

When: June 14-30

Tickets: $20-35 online

This past March, I, along with a few hundred people, whipped out rainboots and Gortex, and hopped over puddles toward Goode’s workspace–down in the blurred Mission/Potrero Hill areas–to experience a preview of “When We Fall Apart.”

Before previewing it, Goode provided a little background saying that as a student of Buddhism, he’d been thinking about things like birthdays and “this body” a lot. Wanting to delve more deeply and broadly into his subject, he and his dancer artists conducted interviews with friends and family members, asking two main questions:1) How has life turned out different from the way you expected it to and 2) have you ever experienced a time in when everything went dark?

Goode brought in architect Cass Calder Smith (of 25 Lusk and Barbacco fame) to mold the visual and actual structural integrity for the piece. A craftsman in his own right, Calder Smith sees constructed space at how it ought to be: natural, unobtrusive, and forward-thinking. And at this showing, we saw Calder Smith’s pride and joy–a minimalist, wood-slatted, upside-down V on wheels–spin, stretch, shelter, and collapse.

What the company sampled for us felt like a long, breezy stream of collective dreams. With torso-centric turns and lofty lifts, the performers buzzed along against the constant upward tick of beats (original, enthusiastic compositions by Ben Juodvalkis), live video text, and dancer/performer Damara Vita Ganley’s melodic crooning.

Wandering in and out of the wooden house structure, the dance easily flowed into a luscious, frank physical conversation, one that transcends beyond those on the stage and rushes out with sheer, powerful energy to the infinite reaches of the performance space walls.

With off-balance handstands and in-motion, swooping lifts, we become constant observers of precarious positions, what it means to be fully or partially supported, and what happens when the moving bodies and space around you shift into something entirely new or unexpected.

What forges to the forefront are the big questions that we may keep wrestling with for eternity, the questions that no one ever wants to be faced with: what happens when everything disappears, and what do I have left and who am I without the things and people around me.

From what I’ve gleaned, Goode may not have hard answers (you weren’t expecting him to, were you?), but his understanding and compassion for who and what we are is a wonderful thing to behold.

“When We Fall Apart” runs June 14-30, and the early shows are selling fairly well (I’ve heard “sold out” thrown around for opening weekend). I recommend you reserve your tickets ASAP.

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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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