DANCE This past weekend, an unlikely double bill once again proved how fertile the Bay Area soil is for dancers' imaginations. FACT/SF's Pretonically Orientedv.3 was steeped in critical theory yet physically grounded. Drawing on local history, Lenora Lee Dance's Reflections offered a window into self-assertion. While employing Asian American images — martial arts and lion dancing — the work resonated beyond its specific cultural context. Both works were developed during summer residencies at CounterPULSE.Read more »
FALL ARTS While by no means complete, these selections have enough variety to hopefully entice the experienced as well as the novice dancegoer.
Zhukov Dance Theatre Product 04, Yuri Zhukov's latest evening of dance, says a lot about the man. His work is solid, non-showy but sturdy, and, above all, beautifully performed. Zhukov's company is small, with four excellent dancers. (Sept. 1-3, ZSpace; Facebook: Zhukov Dance Theatre.)Read more »
DANCE Joan Lazarus is one determined woman. This month, WestWave Dance celebrates its 20th anniversary. WestWave originated in 1991 as SummerFest by choreographer Cathleen Murphy; Lazarus joined her three years later, and the two women ran it together until Murphy moved on.
A few months ago Lazarus made noises about perhaps calling it quits. She was frustrated because in all the years of curating these annual menus of contemporary, often brand-new, choreography, "I could not make it work," she says. Audiences remained small, budgets smaller.Read more »
DANCE One of the most fascinating aspects of the world of dance studies has been the split that has taken place in the last few decades between dance history and dance theory. To oversimplify, the first concerns itself with discussing works in terms of their formal values of aesthetics; the second, influenced by cultural studies, prefers to look at pieces as social constructs.Read more »
DANCE Life partners running a dance company together is rare, and when it happens the couple usually keeps responsibilities distinct. In ballet, Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey did it for many years; Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary are making a go of it in Los Angeles. In modern dance, it is simply unheard of. Modern dance companies are one-man or one-woman affairs. But no longer: Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton have broken the mold.Read more »
DANCE The Ka-Ren people, who live on the border between Thailand and Burma and who have never recognized these political divisions, are known for their indigenous jewelry-design traditions. They didn't get a gemologist in Ledoh, though they did get a dealer in a different kind of jewel — dances — and not because of a well-developed plan. Rather, it was serendipitous.Read more »
The San Francisco International Arts Festival's model of presenting guest and local dancers side by side was initially designed to alleviate Bay Area artists' concern that SFIAF might siphon off funding for their own work. Yet the format works artistically. The 2011 festival's first week's lineup of local and imported dance proved it. One-night stands at the Marines Memorial Theatre came from Israel's Barak Marshall Company and Santa Fe's Dancing Earth. From San Francisco, Hope Mohr Dance and FACT/SF shared evenings at Fort Mason.Read more »
In 1810, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans were divided between white and black (free and slave). In 1910 "mulatto" and "other" were added. Last year's respondents had the choice among 15 racial categories, in addition to a space for ones not listed. Assigning people to predetermined slots is becoming so complicated — and controversial — that it's hard not to wonder what the census form will look like in 2050 when more than 50 percent of the population will be "mixed."Read more »