Rita Felciano

Goldies 2014 Dance: RAWdance

"Abstract" choreography meets audience engagement

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GOLDIES "Anybody want more popcorn? How about coffee?"

Ryan T. Smith is calling out to a packed audience in the oddest-shaped dance studio in San Francisco — long and narrow, like a bowling alley. The occasion is the latest installment in RAWdance's popular bi-annual CONCEPT series, started in 2007 by Smith and partner Wendy Rein in their Duboce Triangle neighborhood.Read more »

Charting the flow

Aszure Barton and Hilary Palanza showcase the power of unpredictability

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Though I missed the beginning of Aszure Barton's gently appealing Awáa — I have trouble with 7:30pm curtains — it was easy to be drawn into her fluidly changing world, in which invisible currents propelled dancers to either give into or work against them. It's an intimate work, rich with evocative details, fabulously danced by six men and Lara Barclay. Much appreciated were Barton's touches of humor, but after a time I longed for a stronger underpinning for all this danced lushness.Read more »

Momentum moment

The Black Choreographers Festival celebrates 10 years with an energetic, ambitious program

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE For its 10th anniversary, the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now won't start with its customary lineup of performances, but with a ritual so ingrained that many dancers continue it even after they have retired from the stage. Dancers are obsessed with taking classes. Classes are why they scrape money together. If you're part of a company, classes are a part of your daily routine. If you aren't, you're on your own — and at around $10 or $15 a session, that can quickly add up to a serious amount of cash.Read more »

To the occasion

'RISE' an uneven effort for Robert Moses' Kin

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Vanishing point

Hemorrhage takes on San Francisco's identity crisis

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Sitting at her large desk overlooking the intersection of Mission and 24th Street, Krissy Keefer speaks eloquently and movingly about the genesis of Hemorrhage: An Ablution of Hope and Despair, the latest work for her 10-woman Dance Brigade Company.Read more »

The good foot

The FRESH Festival and Liss Fain Dance welcome 2014 with exciting new works

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE The fourth FRESH Festival sounds like something that might attract foodies. In fact you do need an appetite — for thinking way outside of the box. The participating dancers, musicians, designers, and writers feed on each other's disciplines to stretch their own thinking about who they are and what they want to do. If sometimes the "how" intrigues more than the "what," so be it. Watching new modes emerging can be such an upper.Read more »

Joy to the stage: Smuin Ballet's 'The Christmas Ballet' is a tradition worth keeping

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Smuin Ballet's The Christmas Ballet, which the late choreographer Michael Smuin premiered in 1995, has earned its spot among the myriad of Bay Area holiday entertainments. This year's opening night at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — performances run through Dec. 28 — was packed with a casually dressed yet festive crowd of all ages, including grandparents with their elementary school age charges. (Gratefully absent were the toddlers that flood ballet performances). It was probably the most diverse and receptive audience an evening of ballet can muster these days.

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Keep moving

THE YEAR IN DANCE: A month-by-month look back at the twists, turns, and leaps of 2013 

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN DANCE This is not 12 Days of Christmas but 12 Months of Dancing. And while there were plenty of lords-a-leaping and ladies dancing (and even a few drummers drumming and pipers piping), there is nothing even remotely accumulative in this annual looking-back at the year that was. Chronology — and what stood out within a particular month because of the generating ideas — and their shape on the stage determined the (sometimes difficult) selection.Read more »

To have and to hold

RAWdance digs deep with intricate, excellently performed 'Mine'

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From the ground up

Stanford's Festival Jérôme Bel celebrates the 'non-dance' pioneer

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Conceptual French choreographer Jérôme Bel thrives on conversation. Sometimes, he participates directly, as he did in Pichet Klunchun and Myself, in which he and Thai dancer Klunchun talked on stage. Performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2009, the piece enchanted me with its daring theatricality and enraged me with its faux naïveté. Pichet was both sturdy like a rock and evanescent like a passing thought.Read more »