Dance

Dark power

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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

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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

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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 »

Paradise lost

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Delicate power

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE When Diaghilev's Ballets Russes premiered Mikhael Fokine's Scheherazade in June 1910, Paris exploded. Not only had the choreographer forsaken the hallowed halls of classicism, he had put on stage the most sensually explicit ballet ever seen in that city's stage. Its orientalism and Leon Bakst's exquisitely lush design influenced fashions and design for years.Read more »

Hula heartbeat

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Quite a few hula companies populate the Bay Area, but none is led by a kumu hula (teacher) quite as charismatic as Patrick Makuakane. Watch him warm up an audience, and you'd think he could charm cash out of a bunch of IRS agents. Then he steps on stage, grabs a drum, and starts to chant, and you know that this is an old soul, somehow still in touch with hula's roots as a spiritual practice. "We love that duality about him," explains Makani da Silva Santos, one of his longtime dancers.Read more »

On the way

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ODC Founder and Artistic Director Brenda Way put it best when, toasting the crowd at the end of the premiere of her Architecture of Light, she said: "If you don't leave a footprint, you will be forgotten. If you tread lightly, you'll fly away. So here's to you who hit the ground running."Read more »

Visionary movement

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DANCE Celine Schein, executive director of Chitresh Das Dance Company and its Chhandam School, was not born into Indian culture. But difficult Hindi words flow from her tongue with the ease of a native speaker. It's a skill that should stand her in good stead during this weekend's "Traditions Engaged: Dance, Drama, Rhythm," which includes evening and daytime performances, lectures, panel discussions, and demonstrations of Indian classical dance.Read more »

Fresh "Horses"

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Some choreographers pack enough material into an hour of dance to leave you more satisfied than those who take twice as long and say less. Such was the case with "18 Virgo Horses" (Sept. 16-18), a double-bill by Dana Lawton and Jia Wu, who earn their rent money teaching at Saint Mary's College in Moraga. The old saying that inspiration wedded to craft makes for good art came to mind as I watched Lawton and Wu's four pieces at CounterPULSE last week. The evening made me glad that the dance season has started again.Read more »

Leap into fall

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Looking over the fall dance schedule, two ingredients jump out: celebration and experimentation. Given the depressed economy and vacuous political conversations, this optimism comes as a welcome surprise. But then dancers are a resilient lot; they are used to rock bottom or nonexistent budgets and functioning below the radar screen of the pundits who try to tell us which way the culture is tilting. They simply go about doing what they sense needs to be done and put their own stamp on the social ecology. Read more »