Dance

Flyaway Productions

An "apparatus-based" performance
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PREVIEW Imagine what it would be like to be working on the new span of the Bay Bridge — perilously dangling in the wind, high above freezing waters, would be just another day on the job. Inspired by the female ironworkers, laborers, crane operators, and other brave souls who've helped create and tend to local bridges since the 1970s, Jo Kreiter's Flyaway Productions presents The Ballad of Polly Ann (named for the badass wife name-checked in "The Legend of John Henry's Hammer"). Read more »

WestWave Dance Festival

A good, fresh lineup that showcases quality artists who represent the richness that is Bay Area dance
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PREVIEW The WestWave Dance Festival has been limping along for the last few years, but for most of its past, it has been a much-welcome venue for new and little-heard voices of Bay Area dance. For many artists, the opportunity to show that one new piece for which they have managed to scratch the money together, and to do so in a professional environment, has proved essential to keep going. WestWave now seems to be in a holding pattern, engaged in the process of rethinking itself — no mean endeavor considering the evaporation of funding sources. Read more »

"SCUBA Two"

Aware of the difficulties that not-yet-established artists face when trying to show their work beyond their immediate home base
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PREVIEW If you are a fan of the unknown, follow SCUBA, the six-year-old brainchild of small-budget presenters in Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and (since 2005) Philadelphia. This consortium of astute dance observers became acutely aware of the difficulties that not-yet-established artists face when trying to show their work beyond their immediate home base. So they made a deal: each could suggest local works they respect, and in turn program from the pool what they thought would be of interest to their audiences. Read more »

Planetary Dance

Marin County's annual solstice celebration: shaman, inviting, simple, powerful, and beautiful
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PREVIEW By now the Planetary Dance, Marin County's annual solstice celebration, has become a joyous, all-day event that starts at sunrise — for early trekkers — on top of Mount Tamalpais and ends, after the main event at Santos Meadow in Mount Tamalpais State Park, at a sunset fire at Muir Beach. The idea is to use communal dance as way of healing the earth, a concept and practice as old as humankind. Some hardy souls, event instigator Anna Halprin among them, have been participating since the beginning, 29 years ago. They are now bringing their children and grandchildren. Read more »

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 »