DANCE The tenth anniversary concert for Benjamin Levy's LEVYdance Company should have been an occasion for looking back a little and glancing into the future a lot. The fact that this was a subdued, at-time depressing event was certainly not the dancers' fault. They were fabulous, crackerjack performers: fierce, fast, and committed, whether in solo passages or in ensemble work. If you watch dance primarily because of its performers, this was your night.Read more »
GOLDIES John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and Fayard and Harold Nicholas are among the dance world's most famous couples. In the Bay Area, nobody comes close to the relationship between Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson, of Berkeley's Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.
Over the years the two men have a created a heaven for dance unlike anything that exists here, and probably could not be replicated anywhere else. Shawl and Anderson are the local dance community's patriarchs.Read more »
GOLDIES Choreographer, impresario, and arts advocate Joe Landini likes to say yes. "It's my philosophy to start that way," the founder and artistic director of the Garage — San Francisco's most hoppin' performance venue — explains. "If you say no to something, the conversation is closed. There is nowhere to go."Read more »
DANCE Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith may be best known for their hit biannual show, the CONCEPT series where you munch free popcorn while watching informal presentations of local choreography. Their own company, RAWdance, performs only occasionally. So to see them in a full-evening program, "re: framed" (Nov. 2-4 at ODC Theater), was to realize just how special their work is. Raw it ain't, conceptual it is.
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DANCE In the continental United States, the Filipino population is mostly concentrated in California, and it's a good bet that most are settled in the Bay Area. Still, their voices are not as present in dance — outside the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival — as they should be.Read more »
DANCE Once you have learned to ride a bike or tie your shoes, your body will recall the movements and their sequential logic for the rest of your life. It's called muscle memory and dancers are fantastic at it.Read more »
DANCE Speaking from a practical perspective, Zhukov Dance Theatre is more of a pick-up company than what is commonly understood as an existing ensemble. Of the seven dancers currently performing, only Martyn Garside and Doug Baum have danced with Zhukov before. Two of them, Madison Hoke and Andrea Thomson, are still students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Yet the most remarkable aspect of the loosely woven, 65-minute Coin/c/dance (Sept. 27-29 at Z Space) was its sense of coming out of one mold.Read more »
DANCE Suspended by a single rope, Jennifer Chien's bare feet gently push against the white wall of Zaccho Dance Theatre's studio. The move propels her into space; perhaps she is swimming, perhaps flying, or just floating on Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi's finely detailed score.Read more »