Stage

From the ground up

Stanford's Festival Jérôme Bel celebrates the 'non-dance' pioneer

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Conceptual French choreographer Jérôme Bel thrives on conversation. Sometimes, he participates directly, as he did in Pichet Klunchun and Myself, in which he and Thai dancer Klunchun talked on stage. Performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2009, the piece enchanted me with its daring theatricality and enraged me with its faux naïveté. Pichet was both sturdy like a rock and evanescent like a passing thought.Read more »

The art of dialogue

Voices and impressions from Poland's Dialog Festival
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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Maybe there's no better way to grasp your own time and place than by leaving it — in this case, trading San Francisco for Wroclaw, Poland, and Pacific Standard Time for a whiplashing case of jet lag. Wroclaw was home base for a little more than a week during the recent Dialog Festival (Oct. 11–18; dialogfestival.pl/en), which was in its seventh season as a major biennial international theater festival created and programmed by Krystyna Meissner, a force in Polish and European theater for decades.Read more »

Government smackdown

The Taming hits below the Beltway but stays shy of a knockout

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER The premise of Bay Area playwright Lauren Gunderson's latest, The Taming (not to be confused with her other latest, I and You, running more or less simultaneously at Marin Theatre Company), felt riotously germane on opening night, less than a week into the recent shutdown of the federal government. But only at first.Read more »

Choose your own adventure

FALL ARTS: STAGE Anything is possible at the SF Fringe Festival

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Fall forward

FALL ARTS: THEATER Onstage highlights of the coming season

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arts@sfbg.com

FALL ARTS Kings and queens, Brits and brats, music and mayhem, puppets and oppressors—the stage brims with them this fall. Talk about holding a mirror up to nature.Read more »

Independence movement

Oakland's SALTA collective plans to be 'always looking for a space'

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER/DANCE The crowd outside the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland was hopping. Fidgeting, really — imperceptibly at first, but soon enough bodies were bouncing and flailing, until the scrum of dancers packed shoulder-to-front-to-back on the sidewalk morphed their collective way through the front door.Read more »

Diversity in motion

SF Ethnic Dance Festival triumphs, despite budget cuts and the loss of its main venue

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arts@sfbg.com

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 »

Pride on fire: This year's must-do events

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Strap on that rainbow jetpack -- there's a heckuva lot of stuff going down at Pride. Here are our pinkiest, proudest picks. 

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What's hot in Siberia

'Hamlet, 'Hey, Slavs!' and other high points along the trail of a Russian theater excursion

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Emerald green rooftops and gold domes enliven the skyline of Omsk, a provincial city and former Soviet industrial hub of roughly one million people, located at the intersection of two Siberian rivers: the wide, island-populated Irtysh and the smaller, swifter Om. The latter gave its name to the town, which grew from a fort established at the meeting point of the rivers in 1716, back when this was the disputed frontier of the expanding Russian empire.Read more »

One ringy-dingy

Lily Tomlin takes her classic characters on the road

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marke@sfbg.com

STAGE "Oh, Ernestine has plenty to say about the current phone-surveillance thing," the irrepressible Lily Tomlin told me, referencing her famous "one ringy-dingy" phone operator character and the recent NSA spying revelations. (Tomlin was driving down an LA freeway on her way to do some errands, popping in and out of coverage on her hands-free.)Read more »