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A Brainily Sensual Dance Work Comes to the ODC Theater

Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith are presenting dance's next generation to the masses.

Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith


Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith move like a romantically entwined couple, she lithe and unfurling, he muscular and intense, each as uninhibited as a lover with the other’s body. They’re just friends, though— and together they’re the forces behind the San Francisco dance company RAWdance, which has surged to the forefront of the Bay Area dance scene thanks to their brainily sensual work.

In Double Exposure, however, it’s their bodies, not their minds, that provide the sparks. The 70-minute show, for which Rein and Smith asked 16 of the West Coast’s most thought-provoking choreographers (KT Nelson, Holly Johnston, Joe Goode, and Amy Seiwert, among them) to craft duets, returns to ODC Theater for a second run October 26–28.

“When we started the creation process, we were very honest with ourselves that the project could utterly fail,” says Rein, whose rippling abs belie the fact that she studied computer science in school. Instead, it was quite the opposite: Last summer’s world premiere sold out, launching Rein and Smith on a tour that took Double Exposure to New York’s Joyce Theater and the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and put them on the national radar.

The October reprise, then, is a chance to witness some physical and emotional risk-taking, but also to catch two artists on the rise. “We put two years of work into Double Exposure,” Rein says. “It will only get better with time.”


Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco 

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