4 March 2021
By Rachel Howard
If a choreographer wants to make the most of this pandemic era, Sarah Van Patten is the woman to put on the screen. Van Patten, who joined the San Francisco Ballet in 2002, is the finest actress-dancer in the company, so it is good to have a beautifully directed record of her theatrical genius in Danielle Rowe’s new dance film, “Wooden Dimes,” the clever Art Deco centerpiece of the Ballet’s digital Program 3, which begins streaming Thursday, March 4.
Rowe, increasingly in demand to choreograph for regional companies and here making her first ensemble work for the Ballet, has carried out “Wooden Dimes” with a shrewd eye for spectacle and a mature choreographer’s skill. There are shiny prop-driven delights throughout the production, particularly a Ziegfield Follies-like sequence with fluffy feather fans shot from above and a clever group rendezvous with a massive table. But the real beauty of the film comes in two long pas de deux, simultaneously swirling and nuanced, for Van Patten and Luke Ingham. Between these little love poems our story, spare as it is, unfolds.
Read the full review of “Wooden Dimes” here.