FALL ARTS Fall may no long bring with it the nervous anticipation of entering a new classroom, clutching a shiny lunch box to your chest. But for those of us hooked on live performance, September brings its own thrills, as theaters, studios, and lofts reopen their doors. If dance happens to be your particular bag, you can't do much better than the here and now. Few other places in the country can beat the Bay Area for the sheer variety with which nude, slippered, and high-heeled feet take the stage.
ODC/Dance's 2013 "Summer Sampler" was a smash. The theater was completely packed, and it looked like the entire staff was present to greet audience members on the way to their seats, glasses in hand without spilling a drop. You couldn't even get mad at latecomers, because theater director Christy Bolingbroke accomodated them so graciously. This was a party before the first performer even set foot on the Marley floor.
But it was dance that made this evening memorable. The short, tightly run program offered three smart, excellently chosen pieces, including a world premiere.Read more »
DANCE Though only in its third incarnation, Amy Seiwert's wide-open "Sketch" has become a hit. The idea behind this annual summer project is to give acclaimed choreographers a chance to tread unfamiliar territory. One of the drawbacks of having a sizable repertoire to your credit is that you develop a comfort zone. You know what's worked for you in the past, but the world is not nearly as wide open as it used to be.Read more »
DANCE Though only in its fourth season, Robert Dekkers' Post:Ballet has already gained an enthusiastic, impressively large following that has allowed the company to move from the Cowell to the Herbst to this year's Lam Research Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It's easy to see the reason for Dekkers' success.Read more »
DANCE Last weekend, World Arts West's San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival closed out four almost completely sold-out weekends of performances. It is tempting to take this 35-year-old celebration for granted. Yet despite universal accolades, excellent audiences, a steadily improving roster of artists, an increase in live music, and ever-better production values, EDF still does not receive the support it deserves.Read more »
DANCE Ben Levy sure knows how to throw a party. For the 10th anniversary celebration of his LEVYdance company, he once again closed off SOMA alley Heron Street, where his studio is located, and hung balloons, speakers, and lights. He put up bars and set out soft sofas, and erected a large stage with a central pit full of pillows (for those who might prefer to recline). It was one of those rare San Francisco evenings with clear skies — and just the slightest of breezes — which made you glad you don't live across any bridges.Read more »
DANCE If you are even tangentially connected to San Francisco's dance community, one name will pop up again and again: Ed Mock. He was part of San Francisco's awakening as a center for arts on the edge before his death from an AIDS-related illness in 1986.Read more »
DANCE Christy Funsch's latest program, State: not anywhere near to now (May 31-June 2, CounterPULSE), represents what we have come to expect from her work: it is full of surprises, as comfortable as one's own skin, and both immensely private and ever so open. It also keeps some of its secrets. Funsch's primary output has been in solos, a genre she enters into with the utmost confidence. Her dance making is nuanced, rich in detail, and impeccably crafted. For all their quietness, her pieces resonate like finely tuned bells.Read more »
DANCE For all of the hype about the communicative power of social media, the energy that flows from one body to another has yet to be beat. Dancers know that. That's why they keep searching for new ways to make this silent language speak.Read more »
DANCE Smuin Ballet has grown up. Perhaps that should come as no surprise, since the company celebrates its 20th anniversary this November. While the troupe, now 17 strong, has always been engaged in showing what ballet can be without huge production values (and huge budgets), the company is lately doing it better than ever.Read more »