DANCE Looking at the last piece by the greatest choreographer of the second half of the 20th century seemed a daunting prospect. What if it was less than good? Could I see it as something that stood on its own terms regardless of the context?Read more »
DANCE Conceptual art and minimalism are not usually associated with dance. Yet the terms frequently swam into consciousness at last weekend's three choreographers program at Theater Artaud. Spare, rigorously crafted works by Hope Mohr, Molissa Fenley, and Yvonne Rainer made for an unusually satisfying evening of mostly pure dance. Mohr presented the program in the context of her company's "third home season: three generations."
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DANCE The buzz surrounding the Akram Khan Company's second Bay Area visit — they first appeared in 2003 as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival — proved that sometimes pre-performance excitement is not the result of marketing hype. A copresentation by San Francisco Performances and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Khan's bahok (2008), a 75-minute evocation of displacement in a world constantly on the move, proved witty, humane, and haunting, despite its sentimental ending.Read more »
DANCE In 1960, San Francisco City Hall's glorious staircase became infamous when police turned fire hoses on protesters at a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Fifty years later, these same stairs will become the stage for a very different event: Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project's Love Everywhere, a celebration of love and marriage equality.Read more »
DANCE In the middle of Keith Hennessy's "A Queer 20th Anniversary" performances — which end this weekend with the Bay Area premiere of his 2008 Crotch (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world cannot heal the pain, confusion, regret, cruelty, betrayal, or trauma ...) — the reprise of his two-part How to Die (2006) nearly filled Dance Mission Theatre. At the end of the evening, he asked for donations to help him defray a looming $5,000 deficit. Just about everyone gave.Read more »
DANCE Looking back over a year's dance performances feels like reading a horoscope backward. Were there surprises, disappointments, new loves, emerging trends, familiar encounters, and reasons for hope and despair? Of course. Perhaps the best part of this yearly exercise is that it allows works to bubble up that for one reason or another — quality, daring, perspective, innovation — stuck in the mind. You want to see them again. Some, you actually will. Read more »
DANCE Next year it will be 30 years since choreographer and dance maven Krissy Keefer cofounded the radical feminist Wallflower Collective in Oregon, and 25 years since she relocated her social activist Dance Brigade Company to San Francisco. Perhaps those upcoming anniversaries naturally suggested a time for taking stock. Read more »
Nol Simonse has no preconceptions about what he wants in a boyfriend, except one. "He has to be able to cut and color a mohawk," the 36-year-old dancer explains before a rehearsal at Dance Mission Theater. His own have ranged from huge to skull-hugging and have tapped into all the colors of the rainbow.
His hair might be the first thing you notice about the tall, reed-thin, and (currently) blond Simonse. But it's not what you remember once you've seen him on stage, with or without an adorned head. Read more »
DANCE For too many years ethnic dance, traditional dance, folk dance, culturally-specific dance whatever label you stick on it has been a stepchild on American stages. Considered of little interest to observers beyond the cultural groups in which its practitioners were based, general audiences admired its colorfulness and derided its lack of innovation. Read more »