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ODC’s Anniversary: Celebrating 4 Decades of High Energy, Take-No-Prisoners Dance

If you’re under 35, lived in the Bay Area, and your parents were culturally inclined, you probably grew up watching ODC dancers spring across the stage. (Yes, I'm talking about me here. Hello, Velveteen Rabbit.) One of the most highly respected dance institutions around, ODC is known for intricate choreography, impressive athleticism, and a knack for portraying the full range of human emotion. And now the company is turning 40.

To celebrate four decades of high energy, take-no-prisoners dance, ODC presents three world premieres and favorites from past seasons. Kim Okada’s new I look vacantly at the Pacific...through regret (named after a Japanese pencil box) is an ode to the awkward and unintentionally hilarious attempts we make to understand other cultures. Speaking Volumes is Brenda Way’s follow-up to last season’s well-received Architecture of Light. Created in collaboration with movement artist Shinichi Iova-Koga, KT Nelson’s world premiere Listening Last explores the impact of urban living on the environment. From the archives come the emotional dynamo Stomp a Waltz, the meditative Investigating Grace, fast-paced John Somebody, and Waving Not Drowning, culled from a 1963 French manual on female decorum. 

Through March 27. Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard Street. Tickets are $10-60 at 415-978-2787 or odcdance.org.