Limber up

How to fill your dance card this fall
|
(0)

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Are you looking for edginess? Do you prefer subtlety to pizzazz? The upcoming dance calendar has it all, however exotic or traditional your tastes. Fortunately, presenters seem to be aware of the Bay Area's knowledgeable and supportive dancegoing audience. Cal Perfomances' monthlong focus on Twyla Tharp — with the American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey and Miami City ballets — and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' presentation of international companies whose work circles around big ideas (reality, peace, identity) are particularly noteworthy. Two smaller venues deserve equal attention: ODC Theater, long a stalwart supporter of local companies, has restarted an excellent presenting series of touring artists who can't fill larger spaces; and CounterPULSE, which, in addition to showcasing fresh works, offers ongoing postperformance conversations between dancers and their audience.

Nora Chipaumire Chipaumire left the Bay Area to join Urban Bush Women, the country's preeminent African American all-female dance group. Nobody who saw her last performance at ODC could possibly have forgotten the fierce intensity of the statuesque Zimbabwean's dancing. She returns with Chimurenga, her one-woman multimedia show in which she meditates on her and her country's history.

Sept. 9. ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., SF. (415) 863-9834, www.odctheater.org

Erika Shuch Performance Project Shuch is never afraid of pushing sensitive buttons. She also does her homework and often works with collaborators. Her new 51802 looks at how incarceration imprisons and liberates those left behind.

Sept. 13–29. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, SF. (415) 626-3311, www.theintersection.org

Chris Black Black really wanted to be a baseball player, but she ended up a dancer-choreographer of witty and theatrically savvy dance theater works. In her newest, Pastime, she gets to be both, with nine innings, nine dancers, and three weekends of free shows.

Sept. 15–30. Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Washington, SF; Precita Park, Precita at Harrison, SF; Golden Gate Park, Peacock Meadow, JFK near Fell entrance, SF. www.potrzebie.com

Mark Morris Dance Group Morris choreographing to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has to be either sublime or a travesty. By all accounts, he has succeeded where just about everyone else (except George Balanchine) has failed. The West Coast premiere of the tripartite Mozart Dances will surely enthrall the Morris faithful; it may even convert a few straggling skeptics.

Sept. 20–23. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Lower Sproul Plaza (near Bancroft at Telegraph), Berk. (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.net

Smuin Ballet One of Michael Smuin's great accomplishments was the encouragement he gave to performers whose dances could not be more different from his own. Amy Seiwert is an exceptionally gifted choreographer whose reach and expertise have been growing exponentially. Her new piece will be the seventh for the company, joining works by Smuin and Kirk Peterson.

Oct. 5–14. Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon, SF. (415) 978-2787, www.smuinballet.org

Armitage Gone! Dance In the '80s, Karole Armitage's steely-edged choreography to punk scores shook up the New York dance world. Now, after 15 years of self-imposed exile in Europe, she has come home. For her company's Bay Area debut, she brings the enthusiastically acclaimed Ligeti Essays and Time Is the Echo of an Axe Within a Wood.

Oct. 13–14. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard, SF. (415) 392-2545, www.performances.org

Oakland Ballet Company At 72, Oakland Ballet's Ronn Guidi won't give up.

Also from this author

  • Natural selection

    ODC/Dance unearths the Goldsworthy-inspired 'boulders and bones'

  • East Bay grace

    Diablo Ballet celebrates its 20th anniversary

  • Branching out

    Blind Tiger Society self-produces its intriguing ODC Theater debut

  • Also in this section

  • The curtain calls

    Bay Area theater falls into place

  • Bay Area fall fairs and festivals

    A bevy of cool fiestas

  • Visual raids

    We place our bets on the best gallery and museum shows this fall