Dancers soaring across stage in their underwear are never to be missed. Especially when the women strip the men down to the barest of skivvies and redress them in haute couture created on the spot with masking tape, butcher paper, and tissue. Inspired by a manual on correct female conduct written in 1963, the world premiere of A Guide To Elegance features dancers moving to the sounds of Pamela Z's original score and a voiceover intoning the themes of the manual.
Suggestions for the elegant woman include never shopping with another woman because no matter how dear a friend, she will unconsciously sabotage your sartorial efforts. It also recommends assuming the persona of a delicate bird so men feel encouraged to protect you. Ironic, humorous and ever-so-slightly alarming, the piece explores the evolution of gender identity and the nature of social commentary. As well as the impossible-to-underestimate value of a black velvet dress in winter.
ODC's 39th annual spring season includes a number of company favorites as well as Labor of Love, another world premiere that portrays the struggle of committed adult love set to Mozart. A San Francisco tradition for almost four decades, ODC busts it out with the compelling modern dance yet again.
Through March 28. Yerba Buena Center, 700 Howard St. Tickets are $10-45 at www.odcdance.org.