FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Ballet, hula, modern, and more on fall's vast dance slate
Ticket-buying decision time kicks into high gear in October, with the season's most intense concentration of big-time artists both local and visiting. Making its Bay Area premiere with the full-evening After Light (Oct. 13-14, YBCA, SF; www.performances.org) will be another of San Francisco Performances' finds, Britain's Russell Maliphant Company. The work, set on three performers to Erik Satie's Gnossiennes, is inspired by dance genius Vaslav Nijinsky's photographs, choreography, and drawings. Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (Oct. 18-21, Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, SF; www.mjdc.org) presents a first look at Times Bones, for which the choreographer excavated ideas in her rep to re-examine for new content.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet's collaboration with musicians and lighting designer Axel Morgenthaler are well known. Increasingly, King seems to be searching also for innovative scenic collaborators to contextualize his mythic choreography. A preview last spring of the as yet un-named premiere (Oct. 19-28, YBCA, SF; www.linesballet.org), at the very least, promised that Jim Campbell's set of hundreds of LED globes will create its own rhythmic motion.
African and African American voices will be heard at YBCA as part of its commitment to showcasing contemporary dance from that continent. Voices of Strength (Oct. 19-20, YBCA, SF; www.ybca.org) is a quartet of four African women — among them Mozambique's well-known Maria Helena Pinto — who will show one work each. New YBCA Program Director Marc Bamuthi Joseph concocted "Clas/sick Hip Hop" (Nov.30-Dec.1, YBCA, SF; www.ybca.org) for which he matches a violinist with five radically different hip-hop artists, including the legendary Rennie Harris, who 20 years ago pioneered the art's theatrical potential.
Others I will try not to miss: smart dance with RAWDance's Burn In/Fall Out, (Nov. 2-4, ODC Theater, SF; www.rawdance.org); Deborah Slater's in progress collaboration with dancer-vet Private Freeman, Private Live (Nov. 2-3, CounterPULSE, SF; www.deborahslater.org); and Sebastian Grubb's Workout (Dec. 14-15, CounterPULSE, SF; www.counterpulse.org). At the Garage (Garage, SF; www.715bryant.org), it will be Human Creature Dance Theatre for Halloween (Oct. 31), neo-Finnish punkkiCo (Nov. 16-17), and contemporary Congolese, now SF-based dancer Byb Chanel-Bibene (Dec. 5-6). Perhaps I'll also return to the Garage for Burlesque Basquiat, Dorian Faust's birthday tribute to the late painter (Dec. 21-22).