Rita Felciano

How can you stay in the house?

YEAR IN DANCE: Bay Area dance brought surprises — and great works both odd and traditional — in 2010

|
()

arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN DANCE Watching dance in the Bay Area is a privilege. With the constant influx of eager young talents, people who stick around and develop, and established artists who still manage to surprise year after year, the experience can be a ball. This celebration is boosted by the "travelers" from other cities and countries who come in for a day or two and keep local dance from becoming overly self-satisfied. There is a lot wrong with capitalism, but competition — in terms of ideas — can be a real quality booster.Read more »

'Nutcracker' and beyond

Dates to mark on your holiday dance season calendar

|
()

You don't have to be into winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa celebrations to realize that there's something about December — the end of another decade this time around, the darkest part of the year — that calls out for treats either for yourself or a friend or two. Here are a few dance-related suggestions between now and the end of the year that won't bust your budget.Read more »

The Dozen

The SF Hip-Hop Dance Fest turns 12 in style

|
()

DANCE The Hip-Hop Dance Fest has grown up. What started 12 years ago as a showcase for local crews and studios has become an excellently balanced showcase of national and international artists. Only four of this year's 11 participants came from the Bay Area. Sad to say, the sorriest performance all night long came from a local one. Still, the future for hip-hop dance on stage looks brighter than ever.Read more »

Return to me

Adia Tamar Whitaker explores her identity in the exceptional Ampey!

|
()

If magical realism is rooted in Latin American cultures, nobody told Adia Tamar Whitaker. Her Ampey!, a 50-minute dance, chant, music, film, and narration piece, is an incantatory celebration of life — including the parts of life ingrained in our muscles and our dreams. If CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora program had produced nothing but Ampey!, it would have been worth doing. Performed by a stellar cast of dancers and musicians, Whitaker has succeeded in pulling together strands of complex subject matter into a first-rate, original piece of poetic theater.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Amy Seiwert

Quite possibly the Bay Area's most original dance thinker, creating a 21st century lingo of the body

|
()

As a kid in Cincinnati, Amy Seiwert didn't want to be a ballet dancer. She strove to become a gymnast, just like her adored older sister. But, she says, "I was a scrawny little thing." And when she tried walking on her head because her arms couldn't support her, her parents suggested that ballet might help her gymnastics. "I didn't want to do it," she explains. "Ballet was 'girly' stuff and I was a tomboy." Gymnastics' loss, however, became ballet's gain.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Ramón Ramos Alayo

Using song, music, visuals, and narration to create theatrically potent works that include Afro-Cuban, modern, folkloric, and popular dance styles

|
()

Whoever coined the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" didn't foresee an artist like Ramón Ramos Alayo, who is a stunning dancer, a socially committed choreographer, a passionate advocate of Afro-Caribbean culture, scholar of Yoruba spirituality, and an inspiring teacher of modern dance and salsa.Read more »

Paradise lost

Kunst-Stoff and LEVYdance travel through violent legacies in a powerful double bill

|
()

arts@sfbg.comRead more »

Delicate power

|
()

arts@sfbg.com

DANCE When Diaghilev's Ballets Russes premiered Mikhael Fokine's Scheherazade in June 1910, Paris exploded. Not only had the choreographer forsaken the hallowed halls of classicism, he had put on stage the most sensually explicit ballet ever seen in that city's stage. Its orientalism and Leon Bakst's exquisitely lush design influenced fashions and design for years.Read more »

Dance performance: "Keep Her Safe, Please!"

|
()

Many traditional dancers are no longer content with merely preserving a valuable heritage; they want to put their own stamp on it. So now there's a new kind of dance, already conveniently labeled “ethno-contemporary.” Taiwanese-born, Indonesia-raised, and additionally US-trained Wan-Chao is at the forefront of this promising new genre. She dedicated Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998 (Sat/16-Sun/17 at the Cowell Theater) to the victims of the anti-Chinese pogrom that included particularly vicious attacks against women.

Read more »

Hula heartbeat

Never your typical hula troupe, Na La Hulu I Ka Wekiu celebrates its 25th birthday

|
()

arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Quite a few hula companies populate the Bay Area, but none is led by a kumu hula (teacher) quite as charismatic as Patrick Makuakane. Watch him warm up an audience, and you'd think he could charm cash out of a bunch of IRS agents. Then he steps on stage, grabs a drum, and starts to chant, and you know that this is an old soul, somehow still in touch with hula's roots as a spiritual practice. "We love that duality about him," explains Makani da Silva Santos, one of his longtime dancers.Read more »