YEAR IN DANCE Looking back on 2012's over 500 performances — as calculated by Dancers' Group — the game of "best" and "worst" makes less sense than ever. What makes the Bay Area a place worth living in is the vitality of its arts, and dance in particular. We only have one superstar company, San Francisco Ballet, but we've got a number of excellent mid-size ensembles and just enough of a competitive environment to discourage rank amateurism.Read more »
DANCE Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' new Director of Performing Arts, received thunderous applause even before he had said a welcoming word to the capacity crowd in the venue's lobby. Such is this exceptional artist's charisma. When he told them that he wanted YBCA to become accessible to people who in the past may not have felt welcome there, they roared. It was to be that kind of evening.Read more »
DANCE This weekend the parade of holiday entertainments started off on a festive note, and it wasn't thanks to another interpretation of The Nutcracker or good old Scrooge. It was a brand new charmer from two experienced choreographers who pooled their artistic resources in 2008 to form Garrett + Moulton Productions. Given Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton's different artistic temperaments, this union sounded like an iffy proposition. But with three hits to their credit, the duo has proved that opposites do indeed attract.Read more »
Tango is spicy music. It makes you think of deep red dresses, glasses of rich wine, and warm nights for taking a long walk with your lover. Although we didn’t have one-way tickets to Argentina, an evening with the Redwood Tango Ensemble at the intimate and tiny Red Poppy Art House made the audience feel like they were that much closer to the real deal.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 »
GOLDIES Regular appearances are not Mica Sigourney's thing. True, most Friday nights you'll find alt-persona VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! at the Stud hosting Some Thing, the boisterously resourceful drag cavalcade (formerly Tiara Sensation) started two years ago with drag mother Glamamore and dj down-E. Even there, though, you couldn't call VivvyAnne's appearance regular: one night it's ersatz Dior, another it's lipstick, hobo beard, and a jock strap.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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Sparking machetes. Lots of them, clanking against each other, as the dancers holding them ran in circles.
I'll be honest, sitting in the front row was slightly intimidating, and also rather exhilarating! The ABADÁ-Capoeira dance troupe, plus special guests from as far Switzerland, filled the stage with pure energy, in rehearsal for the troupe's "Spirit of Brazil" show, running Thu/18-Sun/20. Read more »