Rita Felciano

75 alive

The oldest ballet company in the country intends to show that the dance form is a thoroughly contemporary, international art.
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With its 75th season, which starts Jan. 29, the San Francisco Ballet — the oldest ballet company in the country — intends to show that the dance form is a thoroughly contemporary, international art.

With the exception of the lovely Giselle (created by Adolphe Adam in 1841), the entire season has been choreographed within the company's lifetime. When it was created in 1938, Lew Christensen's Filling Station was considered the first American ballet. Read more »

Twelve for the road

A look back at dance in 2007
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The past year's many exhilarations are here condensed into a month-by-month format. Let a veil of silence fall over the frustrations, and remember the yin and yang in everything, dance included.

January: Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, Marin Civic Center Auditorium, San Rafael. Read more »

Magic garden

Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos
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A most welcome gift arrived Dec. 12: pure dance, pure music, and pure poetry. It was "Jardín de Mis Sueños," Caminos Flamencos' new show (repeating in Mountain View on Dec. 21) and the last one at ODC Theater, which starts extensive renovations in January. Read more »

Ceres business

Dynamic choreography propelled "Limits of the Marvelous"
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Brittany Brown Ceres's dances are voluptuous and lucid. They are also finely crafted, though in her first full-evening concert, "Limits of the Marvelous" — at Dance Mission Theater on Nov. 30 — they were not always quite as finely performed. The larger ensemble numbers' speed suggested technical challenges not always met. Read more »

Well-heeled

A modern dance legend visits Japan
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Ask a dancer under 30 in Europe about Pina Bausch, and most likely you'll get a blank stare or a shrug. You might as well mention Isadora Duncan or Martha Graham. Important, yes; relevant, no. For them, Bausch, the most radical innovator of European dance in the past three decades, is passé. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Dance: Shinichi Iova-Koga

Butoh and beyond that mesmerizes
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Shinichi Iova-Koga's work is grotesque, beautiful, and funny. As a dancer he is never less than mesmerizing — ephemeral like smoke, limpid like a vernal pool. And yet he is an accidental dancer. The son of two painters, he was initially drawn to photography; at age 12 his bathroom doubled as a darkroom. Then, at San Francisco State University, he became a film major. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Dance/Performance: Keith Hennessy

Cabaret and spectacle with an activist attack
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"Citizens. Wake Up. A new day is dawning in San Francisco and all over the world."

Keith Hennessy, "A Speech to the Poor Artists," San Francisco City Hall, Oct. 4, 2000

Keith Hennessy has made work in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, yet he has stayed at the margins all this time. Yes, his audiences are good, and they show up time after time to watch his latest work, but he hasn't gotten the grants that would allow him to do big tours or reach a more mainstream audience. Maybe he prefers it that way. Read more »

King of the dance

A true innovator celebrates 25-plus years of ballet and beyond
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Alonzo King's Lines Ballet celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend, but King's influence on Bay Area dance goes back further than that. Veteran dancers remember his ballet classes for the musical combinations that he gave his students in the '70s. Read more »

Bigger is (mostly) better

LEVYDance finds new digs
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REVIEW Moving from the small ODC Theater to the much larger Kanbar Hall of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco seems to have been a good idea for Benjamin Levy's LEVYdance. At the opening of its home season Oct. 12, a large crowd seemed curious to see what else the young choreographer has in his palette. The good news is that Levy has no intention of repeating himself. The two world premieres, Nu Nu and Bone Lines, showed him stepping outside his previously hyperkinetic fierceness and embracing a more imagistic approach to dance making. Read more »

Oh, Donna

Award-winning choreographer Donna Uchizono's namesake company makes its Bay Area debut
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You don't necessarily expect a choreographer to be interested in playing with conceits. After all, dancers work in an art form that is primarily nonverbal and movement driven. Yet Donna Uchizono's imagination embraces ideas in conjunction with physicality. "All of my work is concept based," she explained over the phone from her home in New York. "The idea always comes first, and then I develop a movement vocabulary to support the concept. So the pieces are very different from each other."

Sometimes she takes off from a single word. Read more »