Critical Acclaim for Silvia Martins

"...a dancer of special warmth and fugitive elegance"


-Jennifer Dunning,
New York Times

"Her solo program...shows an exquisite, mature dancer with a sense of humor, wide-ranging technique and rich emotional resources."

"Silvia Martins' works reveal spirit, humor, awe."

"Her solo program, which she performed at Santa Clara University in 1991 and has brought to Footwork Studio this weekend shows an exquisite, mature dancer with a sense of humor, wide-ranging technique and rich emotional resources. Her physical sureness is all the more remarkable because she gave birth to a daughter, Sonia, just 10 weeks ago."

- Judith Green, San Jose Mercury News



"Of all solo events, a succession of solo dances performed by a single performer is the most problematic. Few in my experience have been able to maintain tension and sustain interest. But if Silvia Martins had performed no other dance than Tere O'Connor's Exit at Footwork Studio on Thursday, the program would have been a success. Martins made "Exit" a grippingly visual experience. Each movement, whether it was a little skip or heroic reach of the arms, was infused with great and unforgettable joy."

- Marilyn Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle



"Thursday evening the Summertime Dance Project offered something a bit exotic for this decade old Theater Artaud series-genuine modern dance.

The performance artist, pretenders and poseurs have snuck away in the night, leaving the space to Silvia Martins, a glorious solo dancer and choreographer currently lecturing on modern dance at UC-Santa Cruz.

She's enough to restore one's severely shaken faith in form clarity and musicianship. . . .She may be one of northern California's hidden treasures.

Martins essentially commanded the attention unaided for 90 minutes with performances of purity, emotional candor and wondrous resilience. . . .Martins has learned all that from experience. She has learned to respect other choreographic sensibilities and to probe their essences, while endowing the work of her colleagues with her own technical resources and physical allure.. . . It's significant that for her single choreographic contribution, Martins left the dancing to others. . . graduates of UC-Santa Cruz. . . . The trio melted into unisons, reformed into circles, separated and reunited in allusive alliances. Canons flowed into descents with the inevitability of mercury. Martins mimed the devotional quality of the music. Yet, there was room here, also-possibly a legacy from Morris-for surprising transitions, like simple somersaults. One wonders what moves Martins might wring from the remainder of the Gorecki work. But she may be too busy dancing Wong's "Bolero" for us to ever find out"

-Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Examiner



"If I told you I saw a marvelous dance to Ravel's "Bolero", would you believe me? The collaborators were Silvia Martins(performer) and Mel Wong (choreographer) . . . . Many a dance maker has entered into the lists with "Bolero", that popular morsel of hypnotic erotica West Coast critic Allan Ulrich terms a "tedious, 16 minute crescendo"; most have succumbed to stultifying music visualization. Wong makes the score new by ditching the easy orgasm scenario and giving us a portrait of a complex, fascinating, contemporary woman-fierce in her daring-who is afraid of something unknown out there in the dark:maybe us watching her. Martins. . . brings her best gifts to this work: fluency, strength and an instinct for dramatic effect. Martins is persuasive, too, in the other dances created for her. She captures perfectly the tone of "We'll Gather Lilacs" a typical example of Remy Charlip's genius for treating overblown sentimentality with just enough irony to render it lovely even to sophisticates. Martin's gravity and naturalness when her arms become branches and her quivering fingers breeze-swept blossoms, or when she draws a spray of flowers, as if it were a love letter from a fallen soldier, from the bosom of her ash-rose chiffon gown, convince you that springtime emotions are not to be despised."

- Tobi Tobias,The Village Voice



"Silvia Martins is one of those performers who one suspects can make just about anything look good. But the dances she presented on Thursday night at Dance Theater Workshop did not require that stretch. Each piece had a personality of it's own, though the program as a whole did not suggest Ms. Martins's possible range. " "Second Sight" . . . was a good introduction to Ms. Martin's distinctive blend of reticence and seductive near-abandon. In Remy Charlip's Delectable "We'll Gather Lilacs." too long missing from the New York dance scene, Ms. Martins made clear the solo's subtext. . .the dance shifts in mood, though not movement quality, from sublimated angst to delicate voluptuousness. Tere O'Connor tell the story of childhood loss and sudden dashed hope in purely physical terms in his affecting "Exit". . .

"Martins shift to hopelessness at the end was shocking.."

-Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times





Photography by
Bill Sizemore

Silvia Martins' email:

Last updated 11/96 by
Jennifer Clinton and Andrew Baldock