Dance

India Jones

Bolshoi Ballet -- a hoot, a wonder, and big in all the right ways at Zellerbach
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Small may be beautiful, but so is big — especially if it is spelled "Bolshoi," Russian for big. The Moscow company's current production, La Bayadère, a tale of love and revenge, is set in an India whose Orientalism will make politically correct viewers shudder but that called up paroxysms of delight from the balletomanes who packed the Bolshoi Ballet's recent performances at Zellerbach Hall.

As a huge unwieldy spectacle, this Bayadère is a hoot and a wonder. Read more »

im'ij-re

The centerpiece of a program of new works
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PREVIEW In 2007 choreographer Amy Seiwert set Morton Feldman's hauntingly beautiful score "Rothko Chapel" on Robert Moses' Kin dancers. Watching Memory was fresh, mysterious, and mesmerizing. Not the least of its appeal came from Marc Morozumi's stunning lanterns, which enveloped the dancers in subtly changing luminosity. Read more »

in/divisible

An affirmation for those engaged in the ongoing struggle for equality
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PREVIEW The fact that the state Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 probably was no surprise to Dance Ceres choreographer-dancer Brittany Brown Ceres, since the aftershock of the proposition's passage coincided with her residency at CounterPULSE. But it probably did strengthen her faith in dance's ability to suggest and strengthen concepts of community, self, and instigating and supporting change. The upcoming in/divisible, presented as part of this year's National Queer Arts Festival, may also serve as an affirmation for those engaged in the ongoing struggle for equality. Read more »

Mark Morris Dance Group

"L'Allegro" returns to Berkeley to again consider whether happiness or melancholy is the better state to strive for
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PREVIEW The year was 1988. Mark Morris and his intrepid dancers lived in Belgium. Not too happily. Morris and the good citizens of Brussels were not exactly a match made in heaven. Yet there they were: the Monnaie, the city's gilded opera house; professionally-designed costumes and sets; a full orchestra and a chorus of 43-plus soloists. And, please let us not forget, there was also Milton, Handel, and Blake. No wonder Mark Morris and his 24 dancers threw themselves into a project that was bigger and more challenging than anything they had yet undertaken. Read more »

Well-suited

AFRO-SURREAL: Ronald K. Brown steps into Nick Cave's creations
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

AFRO-SURREAL Why would you commission a choreographer for a work featuring performers stuck into costumes that hide their bodies? This anomaly didn't deter the 69 dancers who, in late April, auditioned at ODC Commons for a world premiere by Ronald K. Brown. Read more »

SFIAF's dance events

May they have many more and may we have many more SF International Arts Festivals
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PREVIEW Perhaps the best part of this year's San Francisco International Arts Festival is that it's happening at all. After the dispiriting news of the demise of the Oakland Ballet, one is grateful for anybody who is surviving. SFIAF's dance offerings are not as many as most of us would like, but they are excellent and splendidly varied. The hottest ticket in town, of course, is Sasha Waltz and Guests. The Goethe Institute also includes her work in its concurrent film series. Read more »

Lizz Roman and Dancers

She doesn't restrict herself to the interior
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PREVIEW The last time we saw Lizz Roman, her dancers were parading on Project Artaud Theater's catwalk, climbing its scaffolding, and dangling from its imposing industrial crane (relics from the time the place buzzed as a canning factory). Now, three years later, she has taken over another popular performance venue, Dance Mission Theater. This time she doesn't restrict herself to the interior; At Play starts outside at the corner of Mission and 24th streets, then moves upstairs into the various areas that most of us consider to be adjuncts to the main theater. Read more »

SCUBA with Catherine Galasso and Salt Horse

Reality and fantasy collide and cooperate
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PREVIEW Two years ago Catherine Galasso appeared at the WestWave Dance Festival in Gnome Trouble, based on the Grimm brothers' fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red. Freud would have loved to bite into that story of sibling rivalry. Even though Galasso's piece wasn't that successful, it somehow stayed in memory. Apparently she likes folk tales. She is back with another one, The Improbable Reign of Norton I, Emperor of the United States. In fact Norton was a 19th century San Franciscan, eccentric to say the least. Read more »

In bloom

At 88, choreographer Anna Halprin's spirit of dance continues to grow and spread
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

Next time you plop in front of the TV because you're just too tired for anything else, remember the sociologists who tell us that the country is aging, and that we should plan for it. Landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and dancer-choreographer Anna Halprin may not be your average "senior" couple, but we could do worse than to admire the most recent gift this long-lasting personal and professional relationship has given the Bay Area. At the very least, it should get us off the couch.

Lawrence Halprin is 92; Anna Halprin is 88. Read more »

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Joyously celebratory in one piece and so mordantly corrosive in the next that it leaves you shivering
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PREVIEW Let's send a libation or some other such thing in the direction of Terpsichore — the muse of dance — because Paul Taylor Dance Company is back. For five consecutive years, we've had an opportunity to gain a perspective on Taylor's 50-plus years of dance-making. Then the money ran out. Thankfully San Francisco Performances found a way to have these remarkable dancers return with another set of three different Taylor programs. The earliest, the very dark Scudorama, which was thought to be lost, dates back to 1963. Read more »