Katie Gaydos

Dark power

Hubbard Street Dance brings heavenly lightness and deep emotion to the stage

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE With stunning classically trained dancers and a repertory that features emerging and legendary choreographers, it's no surprise that after bringing four West Coast premieres to Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall (Oct. 29-30), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago left audience members in awe. Under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, former dancer and artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theater, HSDC continues to uphold a long tradition of exceptional dancing and exciting contemporary choreography.Read more »

Orgone heats up the Independent with fresh funk, 8/6/10

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It was freezing (as usual) outside SF’s Independent last Friday. Thankfully, Orgone kept the packed venue warm and sweaty inside with funky rhythms, thick bass lines, sexy vocals, and swanky brass melodies. On stage, like old friends jamming together, the nine-member band emulated the upbeat enthusiasm and down to earth cool (that’s not too cool to get down) that their unique sound embodies. Merging old-school funk and jazzy hip swaying grooves with experimental psychedelic undertones, Orgone delivered upbeat funk with a mellow modern swagger. Read more »

West Coast represents

ODC/Dance's "Summer Sampler" delivers the goods

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Dance is inherently sexy. The millions of devoted fans obsessed with shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars certainly think so. But why, when so many people love watching dance, does the general public still place modern dance on an out-of-reach pedestal? Maybe the overly general words "modern dance" scare people away. Whatever the aversion, the question still remains: why is it so difficult to get people to go see something they'll ultimately love?Read more »

Labayen Dance/SF revisits Carl Orff’s iconic Carmina Burana

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Enrico Labayen’s dance company Labayen Dance/SF took a hiatus from 2004 to 2009 while Labayen was off studying traditional folkloric dances in Southeast Asia. Labayen may have been absent for a few years, but the world premiere of his Carmina Burana, Revisited at Dance Mission Theater (July 23-25) proved that Labayen Dance/SF is back in full force. Inspired by the Philippine matriarchal ritual Tadtarin and set to Carl Orff’s iconic score, Carmina Burana, Revisited was a powerful and passionate celebration of female strength. Read more »

Freeing up the ballet -- Post:Ballet performs at Cowell Theater

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Call me a bourgeois classicist, but I like pretty dance. Maybe a decade of ballet training left me partial to a streamline aesthetic and women in pointe shoes, but regardless, I think there is something undeniably appealing about watching dance rooted in beauty. Luckily, choreographer Robert Dekkers knows how to make dance that is both aesthetically pleasing and free from some of the more restrictive aspects of ballet. No tutus, tight buns, or overly sweet sugarplum fairies with Dekkers’ new contemporary ballet company, Post:Ballet. In its inaugural performance at Cowell Theater last weekend (July 16-17), the company proved that even classical ballet dancers are capable of moving with the free-flowing release associated with modern dance. Read more »

State of interdependence

Kara Davis and Sarah Jo Zaharako merge music and dance in "Symbiosis"

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DANCE There's no question that dance and music live and breathe together. Anyone who has been moved to motion by a rhythmic beat or catchy melody can attest to that. Yet where the two art forms intersect and drive each others' creative process is often harder to pin down, for they exist both independently and interdependently.Read more »

Falling in love with the Foundry’s Please Love Me

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After the SF-based dance company the Foundry (founded by Alex Ketley and Christian Burns in 1998) performed their most recent project, Please Love Me, July 7 at Theater Artaud, I overheard a woman ask her friend: “Well, what did you think?” After a minute of searching for just the right words, her friend replied, “I feel like I just had really intense, emotional sex. I need a second to process it.” While Please Love Me isn’t about sex, the woman’s answer seems fitting. Combining dance with original music and video projection by former Ballet Frankfurt media artist Les Stuck, Please Love Me is intense, beautiful and emotionally poignant. Read more »

Powell Street dancers find a TURF of their own in the heart of the city

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If you’ve ever stepped outside the BART/MUNI Powell Street Station, or passed by the three-story Forever 21, you’ve probably seen the group of street dancers between Market Street and the cable car turnaround. They make spinning on their sneakers look deceptively easy. They form right angles with their arms behind their backs. And most impressively, they flaunt fast-paced hand gestures and optically illusory movements with a crisp, clean swagger. Read more »