It’s a family affair for Robert Moses’ Kin 

For Thursday’s world premiere of his “The Cinderella Principle: Try these on, see if they fit” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, choreographer Robert Moses has developed a work that celebrates the fullest meaning of his company’s name: Robert Moses’ Kin.

The title of the piece refers to a George Clinton song Moses used as inspiration to explore challenges faced by nontraditional families — parents of children adopted from other countries, biracial families, single parents (by choice) and families with same-gender parents.

Moses, whose San Francisco troupe is celebrating its 15th anniversary, is well-known for a willingness to tackle thorny social issues. But his ability to reframe the material on a more human scale is what has earned him a wide and appreciative audience.

“At core so much of the work is about people and their caring, respect and love for each other,” Moses says. “It affirms a better self, a better nature, the ability to rise to the occasion and to help someone else and thereby, themselves.”

In “Cinderella,” Moses diverges from his signature repertoire of rapid movement and gesture-packed choreography, offering something poignant and more gently paced, befitting the subject matter of the piece.

“All the elements people love — beauty, line, energy — they’re all still there,” he says. “But the pacing is not as relentless as some of the other work I’ve done. There is more breath in this work. It has theatrical elements that pure theater goers will appreciate.”

Contributing to the theatrical experience is Moses’ collaborator, award-winning playwright Anne Galjour, also no stranger to socially-charged issues. The voiceover dialogue for “Cinderella” draws upon extensive interviews Galjour conducted with parents in nontraditional families.

“The choreography is already very powerful and layered,” she says. “So I sculpt the text in a way that complements what Robert and the company are doing. It gives you just enough so that your imagination can take hold and fill out the story.”

Experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison’s spare images of the human figure provide a provocative backdrop. For the live score, Moses enlisted the talents of Bay Area beat boxer Kid Beyond and composer Todd Reynolds on electric violin.

“Rehearsals have been incredibly dynamic,” Moses says. “I nod my head, make a gesture suggesting ‘more rhythm, or more gentle,’ and [Todd and Kid] look at each other and instantly create something beautiful, energetic and startling.”

“I’ve made very large works before but this is on a different scale,” he says.  “It’s very rewarding.”

If you go
The Cinderella Principle: Try these on, see if they fit
Presented by Robert Moses’ Kin

Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday
Tickets: $20 to $35
Contact: (415) 978-2787;

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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