Move(men)t: A Men's Dance Festival

Ten choreographers in all will show their chops in the tiny but hopping Garage performance space

PREVIEW In the history of dance, the male of the species occupies a curious position. In some cultures only men were allowed to dance in public. In Western aristocratic education, dancing was a requirement for a future courtier. But until fairly recently, ballet choreographers consistently undervalued male dancers, and it was women who pioneered modern dance. In the 1930s, however, Ted Shawn's all-male ensemble did much to break down the prejudice against men in dance. In the Bay Area, every decade or so brings about a refocusing on masculine performances. There is an energy — both virile and tender — to these presentations that, in the past at least, made them very special experiences for men and women alike. Some of that, unquestionably, had to do with the testosterone that just bounced off the walls. Even so, to see so many guys cooperating with each other is still not something we are accustomed to seeing on stage. The latest incarnation of all-male dancing, "Move(men)t: A Men's Dance Festival," now in its second year, includes Mark Foehringer, who has long choreographed for men; Folawole Oyinlola, of Nigerian descent, who excels in improvisation; Kegan Marling, perhaps best known in his partnership with Jane Schnorrenberg; and Joe Landini's new San Francisco Moving Men. Ten choreographers in all will show their chops in the tiny but hopping Garage performance space.

MOVE(MEN)T: A MEN'S DANCE FESTIVAL Fri/10–Sat/11, 8 p.m., $10-$20. The Garage, 975 Howard, SF. (415) 885-4006.

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