Dance Criticism

I started yoga after dancing professionally. I needed something to fulfill the passion I had experienced with dancing. Yoga gave me that and much MOR. In fact, it was with one of my dance colleagues that I first practiced yoga. Turns out many of my yoga peeps and senior teachers also came to yoga this way– after dancing with choreographers and companies like, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham, Lucinda Childs, and others. Years later I was asked to review a dance concert and then suddenly found myself writing about many of the companies and choreographers who had always been my inspiration.

Below you will find my reviews and interviews of companies, choreographers, and dancers such as; Wendy Whelan, Batsheva, Nederlands Dans Theater, Sankai Juku, Alvin Ailey, Mark Morris, Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones, Paul Taylor, Pilobolus, Mark Abraham, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and, MOR. There are also music reviews of Philip Glass and Meredith Monk, as well as critiques on dance documentaries such as “Bobbi Gene“.

David Moreno - Dance Criticism
David Moreno - Dance Criticism

Photos by Robbie Sweeny

“…You have a way of letting us “know” the object of your review (film or solo)  both from your perspective but also as it stands on its own. Your prose gives us a narrative and a physical feeling ….. I love the feeling of physicality and the physical presence you offer the reader. You see both the whole, the arch and the momentary. Very lovely.” KT Nelson ODC San Francisco

I won my first dance contest on a Los Angeles TV program called “Boss City” when I was 16 and in my early 20s began dancing in musicals, operas, liturgical and, experimental dance troupes. I also studied with dance pioneers Steve Paxton (Contact), Emily Conrad (Continuum) and, Anna Halprin (Postmodern Dance.) Their influences — along with my yoga gurus — greatly impact how I move and teach. I am currently intrigued by the Gaga method of Ohad Naharin which seems to reinterpret the works of Conrad and Halprin into a fresh new format. In San Francisco I dance with one of the few certified Gaga instructors, James Graham.

“…BIG Thanks! This is a review to treasure–even more for the writing than the glowing comments… Your descriptive writing captures the spirit of the work–“bubblegum!”…I love that you caught that I both want to brush aside and honor the whole “25th” thing with “pervasively instinctual tongue-and-cheek sensibility.” Scott Wells Choreographer & Artistic Director – Scott Wells & Dancers, San Francisco

  • The Joffrey Ballet
    November 28, 2017
    The Joffrey Ballet

    Global Visionaries

  • Kristen Bell of Margaret Jenkins Dance Company - by Tom Kubik
    October 10, 2017
    Margaret Jenkins Dance Company

    Skies Calling Skies Falling (World Premiere)
    Site Series (Inside Outside) (Reimagined)

  • Taylor Mac
    September 9, 2017
    A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

    Genius drag on display at Stanford.

  • Bobbie Jene Smith and Keir GoGwilt
    August 8, 2017
    A Study On Effort: Bobbi Jene & Keir GoGwilt

    Created by Bobbi Jene Smith in collaboration with Keir GoGwilt

  • Joe Good Performance Group - 30th Anniversary
    July 7, 2017
    Joe Goode Performance Group: 30th Anniversary Season

    An anniversary is a landmark to a memory, to previous work gone by, and descent into the unknown abyss of what will come.

  • Bobbie Jene Smith
    July 7, 2017
    Bobbi Jene (2017)

    West Coast Premiere
    37th Annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

  • James Graham
    May 5, 2017
    Going Gaga: Q&A with James Graham

    James Graham is a dancer/performer/choreographer/teacher and a consistently rising star in the Bay Area’s dance community.

  • Batsheva Dance Co
    February 15, 2017
    Batsheva Dance Company

    Last Work (2015)

  • Dance Lovers 6
    February 10, 2017
    Dance Lovers 6

    …duets by couples, crushes, & comrades

  • Available Light 2
    February 4, 2017
    Available Light (1983)

    A revival of a Lucinda Childs/John Adams collaboration in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday

  • Touchy Subjects
    November 14, 2016
    Touchy Subjects (premiere)

    Scott Wells & Dancers

  • Letter To A Man
    November 10, 2016
    Letter to a Man

    Robert Wilson/Mikhail Baryshnikov explore the diaries of Nijinsky

  • Remy Charlip
    November 4, 2016
    Rainbow Logic: Arm and Arm with Remy Charlip

    Who was Remy Charlip?

  • Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble
    March 3, 2016
    Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble

    “The Soul’s Messenger”

  • What The Day Owes To The Night
    January 1, 2016
    What The Day Owes To The Night

    Compagnie Hervé Koubi

  • Atomos - Company Wayne McGregor
    January 1, 2016

    Company Wayne McGregor

  • Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host
    December 12, 2015
    Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host

    Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes, Anna Bass

  • Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary Tour
    October 10, 2015
    Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary Tour

    “Simply put Preludes and Fugues is the world as it ought to be, Yowzie as it is. The Fanfares celebrate both.” –Twyla Tharp, 2015

  • Sankai Juku
    October 10, 2015
    Sankai Juku

    “Golden in time, cities under the sand. Power, ideas, and beauty fading in everyone’s hand…” Joni Mitchell

  • Alonzo King Lines Ballet, SF
    May 3, 2015
    Alonzo King Lines Ballet, SF

    “Triangle of the Squinches” (world premiere)

  • DV8 Physical Theatre, SF
    May 3, 2015
    DV8 Physical Theatre, SF
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
    April 25, 2015
    Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company
    April 20, 2015
    Paul Taylor Dance Company

    Seeing any of Paul Taylor’s dances is always a combination of a modern dance history lesson and retrospective

  • Alonzo King LINES Ballet
    April 7, 2015
    Alonzo King LINES Ballet

    Alonzo King’s world premiere of “Biophony,” which is inspired by archival recordings of animals and sonic imprints of natural habitats

  • Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble
    March 31, 2015
    Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble

    “On Behalf of Nature”

  • ODC Dance
    March 27, 2015
    ODC Dance

    “boulders and bones” (2014)

  • ODC Dance, Program Two
    March 23, 2015
    ODC Dance, Program Two

    The effect is mesmerizing and ethereal and, beautifully juxtaposes the black stage and Liz Brent’s gender bending “Burning Man”.

  • Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo
    February 27, 2015
    Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo

    (pri·ma don·naˌprēmə ˈdänə/ “a very temperamental person with an inflated view of their own talent or importance.”)

  • Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion
    February 25, 2015
    Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion

    From the minute Kyle Abraham hit the stage in “Pavement,” dribbling an imaginary basketball then taking that movement into fluid modern dance and back, his signature hip hop, streetwise trademark was in motion.

  • The Wooster Group’s “Early Shaker Spirituals”
    February 9, 2015
    The Wooster Group’s “Early Shaker Spirituals”

    “Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free, ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.”

  • Les 7 Doigts de la Main Circus
    February 8, 2015
    Les 7 Doigts de la Main Circus

    Sequence 8 (West Coast Premiere)

  • Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
    January 19, 2015
    Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

    An hour-long intimate dance recital of works by four very different leading choreographers, all of whom have created specific dances for prima ballerina Wendy Whelan.

  • Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes, SF
    December 8, 2014
    Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes, SF

    Sing out of key the original Golden Girl theme song en masse–which apparently everyone in San Francisco knows.

  • Alonzo King Lines Ballet
    November 25, 2014
    Alonzo King Lines Ballet
  • Dohee Lee World Premiere
    November 18, 2014
    Dohee Lee World Premiere

    Mago In Three Parts

  • Joe Goode Performance Group
    November 8, 2014
    Joe Goode Performance Group

    “He’s a good boy…Heeee zzza Goode boooboi…He’s a…” chants and slurs Melecio Estrella at the start of “29 Effeminate Gestures.”

  • Batsheva Dance Company
    November 8, 2014
    Batsheva Dance Company

    Sadeh 21

  • Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, San Francisco
    April 9, 2014
    Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, San Francisco

    40th Anniversary Season

  • Trey McIntyre Project, U.S. tour
    March 26, 2014
    Trey McIntyre Project, U.S. tour
  • Two Room Apartment, San Francisco
    March 26, 2014
    ‘Two Room Apartment,’ San Francisco

    They follow each other, mimic each other, taunt one another, seduce, and push away, seamlessly crossing each other’s border as if a border never existed.

  • Stephen Petronio Dance
    March 17, 2014
    Stephen Petronio Dance, SF
  • Hubbard Street Dance, Berkeley
    February 9, 2013
    Hubbard Street Dance, Berkeley
  • Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
    February 25, 2012
    Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
  • Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Berkeley
    December 12, 2011
    Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Berkeley

    “Danzón” (1995)

    “First, she dances to the right.
    Then, she dances to the left.
    Then, she dances on the spot.
    So what?!” — “Danzón”

  • Lucinda Childs, SF
    May 5, 2011
    Lucinda Childs, SF
  • Paul Taylor Dance, SF (On Tour)
    April 7, 2011
    Paul Taylor Dance, SF (On Tour)

    “Brief Encounters” (2009)
    “Three Dubious Memories” (West Coast premiere)
    “Brandenburgs” (1988)

  • Lucinda Childs Interview Dance, 30 Years Later
    April 4, 2011
    Lucinda Childs Interview: ‘Dance,’ 30 Years Later

    David Moreno caught up with Childs at her home a month before “Dance” will be performed in San Francisco.

  • Stephen Petronio, San Francisco
    March 8, 2011
    Stephen Petronio, San Francisco

    “I drink the air before me,
    and return, Or ere your pulse twice beat…”
    —Ariel, “The Tempest”

  • Pilobolus Dance Theater: 40th Anniversary
    October 10, 2010
    Pilobolus Dance Theater: 40th Anniversary

    Pilobolus is one of the most popular dance companies in the world and a mega American cultural institution.

  • Levy Dance, SF
    April 9, 2010
    Levy Dance, SF

    Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly

  • Akram Khan Co., Bahok
    February 2, 2010
    Akram Khan Co., Bahok
  • Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, On Tour
    October 10, 2009
    Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, On Tour

    Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray

  • Lines Ballet, San Francisco
    October 10, 2009
    Lines Ballet, San Francisco

    Refraction: (with original score by Jason Moran) 2009
    The Moroccan Project 2005

  • Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, SF
    September 30, 2009
    Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, SF
  • Joe Goode Performance Group
    August 8, 2009
    Joe Goode Performance Group

    “Traveling Light” Performance & Installation