The Aftermath Affair: Ferocity Made Physical
The word “powerful” doesn’t do justice to Bianca Cabrera’s new production, The Aftermath Affair, at ODC Theatre. With an all-female company of 16 dancers, known as the Blind Tiger Society, an original soundtrack composed by Ben Juodvalkis, Aftermath is an astounding tour de force and brilliant calling card for Cabera and Juodvlkis, two rising stars of the Bay Area dance world.
The result of years of collaboration, Aftermath is a visceral, theatrical work that bristles and aches with intensity, virtuosity, and sublimity. Imagine post-Burning Man, Nine Inch Nails-styled industrial tracks colliding with mesmerizing soundscapes; dancers with the delicacy, precision, and athleticism of Baryshnikov melting and exploding into each others’ bodies with atomic energy.
Through an intense mixture of energy, movement and sound, the Society gives a taut, supernova performance that will leave unsuspecting audiences breathless, emotionally drained but wanting more.
Both Cabrera’s and Juodvalkis’ genius is obvious. Though Aftermath boasts no plot, its imagistic approach tells a profound and timeless story of the human struggle to survive, balancing internal and external forces. Jodvalkis’ lush beats and sometimes elegiac score are the perfect complement to Cabrera’s propulsive, exhaustive creativity.
Cabrera calls her company “Blind Tiger Society” in homage to her West Oakland base of operation, where the View witnessed a rehearsal of Aftermath. The term was the nickname for Prohibition-era speakeasies and, according to Cabrera, pays tribute to the do-it-yourself ethos of today’s dance artists.
Born in Los Angeles of Mexican and Polish descent, Cabrera traveled through Chicago, Colorado, and Seattle before landing in San Francisco to found her dance troupe. The young choreographer juggles multiple jobs—teaching, bartending, and studio management—to bring her works to fruition. Funding to pay for the performance space comes from the Fleishhacker and Rainin Opportunity Awards.
If you only see one contemporary dance performance this year make it The Aftermath Affair. You won’t regret it...and you’ll never forget it.
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