Dance

Working to dance, dancing to live

A look into the not-so-conventional lives of San Francisco's freelance dancers

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Ms. Behavior

Aura Fischbeck choreographs the tension between restraint and letting go

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Fat chance Aura Fischbeck could have escaped becoming a dancer. Her mother was one of the last students of legendary German Expressionist dancer Mary Wigman; her father is an actor/musician who pioneered multimedia dance theater in the 1960s. Additionally, she had an older sister, also a dancer. "[She] was always a step or two ahead of me," Fischbeck remembers. "I grew up surrounded by dance, but I didn't like some of the politics that go with the profession."Read more »

How can you stay in the house?

YEAR IN DANCE: Bay Area dance brought surprises — and great works both odd and traditional — in 2010

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN DANCE Watching dance in the Bay Area is a privilege. With the constant influx of eager young talents, people who stick around and develop, and established artists who still manage to surprise year after year, the experience can be a ball. This celebration is boosted by the "travelers" from other cities and countries who come in for a day or two and keep local dance from becoming overly self-satisfied. There is a lot wrong with capitalism, but competition — in terms of ideas — can be a real quality booster.Read more »

'Nutcracker' and beyond

Dates to mark on your holiday dance season calendar

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You don't have to be into winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa celebrations to realize that there's something about December — the end of another decade this time around, the darkest part of the year — that calls out for treats either for yourself or a friend or two. Here are a few dance-related suggestions between now and the end of the year that won't bust your budget.Read more »

The Dozen

The SF Hip-Hop Dance Fest turns 12 in style

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DANCE The Hip-Hop Dance Fest has grown up. What started 12 years ago as a showcase for local crews and studios has become an excellently balanced showcase of national and international artists. Only four of this year's 11 participants came from the Bay Area. Sad to say, the sorriest performance all night long came from a local one. Still, the future for hip-hop dance on stage looks brighter than ever.Read more »

Return to me

Adia Tamar Whitaker explores her identity in the exceptional Ampey!

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If magical realism is rooted in Latin American cultures, nobody told Adia Tamar Whitaker. Her Ampey!, a 50-minute dance, chant, music, film, and narration piece, is an incantatory celebration of life — including the parts of life ingrained in our muscles and our dreams. If CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora program had produced nothing but Ampey!, it would have been worth doing. Performed by a stellar cast of dancers and musicians, Whitaker has succeeded in pulling together strands of complex subject matter into a first-rate, original piece of poetic theater.Read more »

Flesh of our flesh

AXIS/inkBoat's ODD creates physical landscapes

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Dark power

Hubbard Street Dance brings heavenly lightness and deep emotion to the stage

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE With stunning classically trained dancers and a repertory that features emerging and legendary choreographers, it's no surprise that after bringing four West Coast premieres to Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall (Oct. 29-30), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago left audience members in awe. Under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, former dancer and artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theater, HSDC continues to uphold a long tradition of exceptional dancing and exciting contemporary choreography.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Amy Seiwert

Quite possibly the Bay Area's most original dance thinker, creating a 21st century lingo of the body

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As a kid in Cincinnati, Amy Seiwert didn't want to be a ballet dancer. She strove to become a gymnast, just like her adored older sister. But, she says, "I was a scrawny little thing." And when she tried walking on her head because her arms couldn't support her, her parents suggested that ballet might help her gymnastics. "I didn't want to do it," she explains. "Ballet was 'girly' stuff and I was a tomboy." Gymnastics' loss, however, became ballet's gain.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Ramón Ramos Alayo

Using song, music, visuals, and narration to create theatrically potent works that include Afro-Cuban, modern, folkloric, and popular dance styles

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Whoever coined the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" didn't foresee an artist like Ramón Ramos Alayo, who is a stunning dancer, a socially committed choreographer, a passionate advocate of Afro-Caribbean culture, scholar of Yoruba spirituality, and an inspiring teacher of modern dance and salsa.Read more »