Jenkins and collaborators immerse the audience in ‘Toward 45’

San Francisco Chronicle
By Claudia Bauer
May 18, 2018

There are work-in-progress showings, and then there is Margaret Jenkins Dance Company’s “Toward 45.” Technically, it’s a casual salon where celebrated choreographer Jenkins, her 10 dancers and longtime collaborators like musician Paul Dresher and poet Michael Palmer can share ideas they’re developing for a celebratory performance next season, the company’s 45th anniversary.

In reality, “Toward 45,” which opened a three-night stand at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance on Thursday, May 17, is a fully realized, up-close immersion in music, poetry, contemporary dance and theater.

It’s also the first time all of the collaborators — Jenkins, Palmer, Dresher, theater artist Rinde Eckert and scenic and lighting designer Alexander V. Nichols — have worked on the same piece since “The Gates (Far Away Near)” in 1993, though they’ve collaborated in smaller configurations in the interim.