DANCE "Next door," you are told in the packed Senegalese restaurant in the heart of the Mission. "Back there," you hear, as a hand points in a very dark, very empty bar you enter through an unmarked door. What's "back there"? It's a large space, perhaps formerly used for storage, lit by blinking Christmas tree lights and two blinding spots. You wonder what a former African dictator would have thought about a celebration of his life being created in such circumstances. Read more »
DANCE CounterPULSE always makes a point of thanking its volunteers. One can only hope that they'll turn up en masse to help clean up after Faye Driscoll and Jesse Zaritt step off the stage this coming weekend. Their You're Me is not exactly what might be called a clean show. Still, if the work-in-progress preview, presented at the end of their residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts almost two years ago, is any indication, the mess is more than worth it. After all, most of us will recognize a mess when we see it.Read more »
DANCE Unlike more commercially competitive markets, the Bay Area is, fortunately, still a place where young choreographers have the freedom to grow. This past weekend, two who are primarily known for dancing other people's works showed their own promising premieres.Read more »
Strong drum beats, hip shimmies laden with bells and voices coming together in song. This show has it all. Presenting "Dance + Diaspora" two performances this Friday and Saturday -- pics above are from the dress rehearsal -- by choreographers Jill Parker (with her Foxglove Sweethearts troupe) and Tania Santiago (with her Movendo con Capoeira troupe) -- a showcase of steamy belly dancing and heart-pumping Capoeria.
This weekend, go watch some dance. Sam Love and I stopped by Dance Mission this week to check out a final rehearsal of a piece choreographed by Gregory Dawson and left feeling elated. Dawson has gathered a group of ridiculously limber and supremely talented dancers for refined, minimalist, yet achingly beautiful pieces that pulse with a strong, affirming spirit. His company is just one of several featured at the Black Choreographers Festival, a celebration of African American dance, art and culture. The piece we saw clearly stemmed from classical ballet roots, but also found inspiration in contemporary dance, creating a performance that displayed awe-inspiring athleticism (those extensions!) as well as thought-provoking drama, tension, and story. Go get your tickets already. It will be fabulous! Read more »
DANCE Once a year, long-time colleagues Todd Eckert and Nol Simonse share an evening showcasing their choreography. Unfortunately, the "Shared Space Six" program, presented last weekend at Dance Mission Theater, was not as promising as one would have hoped. Most dispiriting was that the evening's best piece, Eckert's Disparate Affinity, dates back to 2006.Read more »
DANCE The Bebe Miller Company's A History at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts last weekend proved to be both exhilarating and frustrating. First, the good: watching two gorgeous dancers engage each other in one encounter after another both huge and tiny for over an hour. Gradually, they emerged as two completely different and yet ever-so-compatible characters.
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THEATER/DANCE Choreographer Mary Armentrout's itinerant, site-specific performance installation, reveries and elegies, passed through CounterPULSE last weekend. A post-solstice meditation on dislocation and flux, it was also the harbinger of a striking new season at the SOMA performance incubator. In fact, reveries and elegies, true to its theme of displacement, can be considered the odd one out among programming whose defining structure is the duet.Read more »