san francisco international arts festival

Last week was the first week of the San Francisco International Arts Festival, and there are a lot of good things to see.

I saw three shows over the weekend, including one called Pandora 88 by a German duo calling themselves Fabrik Companie. The piece was a beautiful blurring of the line between theatre and dance, staged inside a box roughly 1 1/2 times the size of a refrigerator.

It began with the children’s games of tag, hide-and-seek and charades. Then it shifted into an outer-space motif that looked and felt exactly like old school video effects I remember from TV shows I loved as a child – Zoom, Sesame Street…

Toward the end, the piece became heavier and more dramatic. Like growing up.

In its final moments, one of the characters discovered a way out, and with the help of his friend he escaped the confines of the box, through a small hole in the ceiling. He looked around nervously for a moment and then reached down to help his friend.

His friend declined, and the stage went dark.