Rita Felciano

Leap into fall

FALL ARTS: Dance critic Rita Felciano's seasonal picks
|
(0)

Looking over the fall dance schedule, two ingredients jump out: celebration and experimentation. Given the depressed economy and vacuous political conversations, this optimism comes as a welcome surprise. But then dancers are a resilient lot; they are used to rock bottom or nonexistent budgets and functioning below the radar screen of the pundits who try to tell us which way the culture is tilting. They simply go about doing what they sense needs to be done and put their own stamp on the social ecology. Read more »

Free as the breeze?

Joe Goode Performance Group -- now at the Old Mint building -- is Traveling Light and eloquent as ever

|
(0)

Peripheral vision

Liss Fain melds active intelligence and full-bodied physicality

|
(0)

DANCE Liss Fain has been choreographing in San Francisco for the last 20 years. Her work has remained on the periphery, probably because it doesn't sync up with trends or the tenor of the times. Fain choreographs highly structured, emotionally cool works in which she shapes and shifts a ballet-based modern dance vocabulary as if to see where she can take it. This type of approach and Fain's type of craft are rare today. It's a pleasure to see an active intelligence engaged in such full-bodied work.Read more »

Love streams

Dance Continuum SF's take on romance is smart, funny and poignant

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Dance Continuum SF's artistic directors José Ivan Ibarra and Peter Litwinowicz danced and studied with Bay Area José Limón disciples Gary Masters and Cheryl Chaddick. Though they are their own men, the lineage shows. Limón's weighted yet luminously airy style and his taking on of momentous topics without a whiff of irony is not much in fashion these days. So the old man would have approved when the four year-old company called its June 11-13 concert "Life, Love and Rituals."Read more »

Sparkle motion

Paul Festa marries drag and ballet in The Glitter Emergency

|
(0)

Global movement

San Francisco International Arts Festival: dance highlights

|
(0)

Albert Einstein said that "dancers are the athletes of God." He didn't say which god he had in mind, nor has the quote made all that much sense. What's so hot about being in sports? Martha Graham tried to explain it by saying dancers achieved that exalted status through the practice and discipline of their daily work. But couldn't that be said for any artist? Still, looking at the lineup of dancers at this year's San Francisco International Arts Festival makes me think Einstein had a point after all.Read more »

Human, nature

Deborah Slater Dance Theater marks 20th anniversary with world premiere
|
(0)

Tropic of dancer

Director Ramón Ramos Alayo sets the stage for the fantastic CubaCaribe festival

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Judging from the packed salsa classes he's been teaching at Dance Mission Theater for 12 years, Ramón Ramos Alayo is correct: the Bay Area is a hotbed for Cuban-Caribbean culture. But even he underestimated its pull. When I spoke to him on a recent balmy spring evening, he was expecting that night's attendance to drop. "It's light and warm, so people like to spend their free time outside," he explained before heading for class. Wrong. If more aficionados had shown up, they would have had to move the furniture.Read more »

Bright futures

Two promising new works-in-progress debut at CounterPULSE

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

DANCE This past weekend, Kendra Kimbrough Barnes and José Navarrete with Violeta Luna — CounterPULSE's winter artists-in-residence — showed what artists can do, given time and space to work. Both tackled complex issues that extract high human costs. For Barnes it was imprisonment; for the Navarrete-Luna team, water. Both half-hour pieces will benefit from some refinement and rethinking.Read more »

Last but not least

Merce Cunningham's final, memorable Nearly 90(2)

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Looking at the last piece by the greatest choreographer of the second half of the 20th century seemed a daunting prospect. What if it was less than good? Could I see it as something that stood on its own terms regardless of the context?Read more »