Recession or not, dancers gotta do what they gotta do. Here are 10 performances that will reward your time and dollars.
Capacitor It's been a decade since Jodi Lomax brought her (at the time) odd mix of science, dance, and circus arts to the Bay Area. Previous works have been inspired by astrophysics, plate tectonics, and forest systems. The new The Perfect Flower promises a more intimate experience. Sept. Read more »
PREVIEW In music, silence has a purpose similar to that of the negative space in sculpture: it heightens your awareness of the artist's material. So perhaps for a choreographer as musically adventurous as Liss Fain, it should be no surprise that the two new works in her latest Yerba Buena Center for the Arts concert carry the word "silence" in them. Both pieces are American premieres. At the very least, the two works should offer different perspectives on the concept of stillness. Read more »
PREVIEW The WestWave Dance Festival has been limping along for the last few years, but for most of its past, it has been a much-welcome venue for new and little-heard voices of Bay Area dance. For many artists, the opportunity to show that one new piece for which they have managed to scratch the money together, and to do so in a professional environment, has proved essential to keep going. WestWave now seems to be in a holding pattern, engaged in the process of rethinking itself no mean endeavor considering the evaporation of funding sources. Read more »
It was a gathering of tribes with more tattoos and partially shaved heads per square foot than anywhere else in San Francisco. The sartorial imagination at times rivaled the one on stage. In other words, it was the eighth Fresh Meat Festival, celebrating transgender and queer performance, and Project Artaud Theater packed them in.
Announced as the largest festival of its kind in the country, Fresh Meat is the brain- (and heart-) child of Sean Dorsey. Read more »
PREVIEW If you are a fan of the unknown, follow SCUBA, the six-year-old brainchild of small-budget presenters in Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and (since 2005) Philadelphia. This consortium of astute dance observers became acutely aware of the difficulties that not-yet-established artists face when trying to show their work beyond their immediate home base. So they made a deal: each could suggest local works they respect, and in turn program from the pool what they thought would be of interest to their audiences. Read more »
PREVIEW By now the Planetary Dance, Marin County's annual solstice celebration, has become a joyous, all-day event that starts at sunrise for early trekkers on top of Mount Tamalpais and ends, after the main event at Santos Meadow in Mount Tamalpais State Park, at a sunset fire at Muir Beach. The idea is to use communal dance as way of healing the earth, a concept and practice as old as humankind. Some hardy souls, event instigator Anna Halprin among them, have been participating since the beginning, 29 years ago. They are now bringing their children and grandchildren. Read more »
Small may be beautiful, but so is big especially if it is spelled "Bolshoi," Russian for big. The Moscow company's current production, La Bayadère, a tale of love and revenge, is set in an India whose Orientalism will make politically correct viewers shudder but that called up paroxysms of delight from the balletomanes who packed the Bolshoi Ballet's recent performances at Zellerbach Hall.
As a huge unwieldy spectacle, this Bayadère is a hoot and a wonder. Read more »
PREVIEW In 2007 choreographer Amy Seiwert set Morton Feldman's hauntingly beautiful score "Rothko Chapel" on Robert Moses' Kin dancers. Watching Memory was fresh, mysterious, and mesmerizing. Not the least of its appeal came from Marc Morozumi's stunning lanterns, which enveloped the dancers in subtly changing luminosity. Read more »
PREVIEW The fact that the state Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 probably was no surprise to Dance Ceres choreographer-dancer Brittany Brown Ceres, since the aftershock of the proposition's passage coincided with her residency at CounterPULSE. But it probably did strengthen her faith in dance's ability to suggest and strengthen concepts of community, self, and instigating and supporting change. The upcoming in/divisible, presented as part of this year's National Queer Arts Festival, may also serve as an affirmation for those engaged in the ongoing struggle for equality. Read more »
PREVIEW The year was 1988. Mark Morris and his intrepid dancers lived in Belgium. Not too happily. Morris and the good citizens of Brussels were not exactly a match made in heaven. Yet there they were: the Monnaie, the city's gilded opera house; professionally-designed costumes and sets; a full orchestra and a chorus of 43-plus soloists. And, please let us not forget, there was also Milton, Handel, and Blake. No wonder Mark Morris and his 24 dancers threw themselves into a project that was bigger and more challenging than anything they had yet undertaken. Read more »