Dance

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 »

Jacinta Vlach/Liberation Dance Theater

Dance is a way to explore personal values in the face of the overwhelming odds created by unequal power relationships
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PREVIEW Choreographer-dancer Jacinta Vlach grew up and trained in San Francisco, and her commitment to what she calls "my home" runs deep. What turned her into an arts activist, however, is that "the people I grew up with are not represented in Bay Area dance." Having gone through the city's public school system, she considers herself part of the hip-hop generation and has always been immersed in world music and culture. Although of mixed Latina-caucasian background, she has most identified with the country's African American heritage. Read more »

Storytelling

Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton's latest collaboration
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Last year choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton added a professional component to their 14-year personal relationship. They co-created StringWreck, a whimsical yet highly sophisticated collaboration between Janice Garrett and Dancers and the Del Sol String Quartet. Read more »

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange: "Small Dances About Big Ideas"

The primary function of dance is to heal and create communities
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PREVIEW Liz Lerman is one gutsy woman. Early in her career she decided that there is more to dance than working with highly trained performers for an audience that wants to be entertained. "There was a time when people danced and the crops grew," she told a conference of arts presenters 15 years ago. "They danced, and that's how they healed their children." For Lerman, the primary function of dance is to heal and create communities. Read more »

Dance cocktail

Eve's Elixir performers mix far-flung styles and genres with an open mind
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If you asked a member of the dozens of ethnic dance groups that make their home in the Bay Area (103 of them auditioned in January for the yearly San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival) why they are willing to rehearse many hours and perform for little or no money, they'll tell you that they like the dances. But of almost equal importance is the sense of community these ensembles create. No doubt nostalgia for a better and simpler world may be factors as well. Read more »

Move(men)t: A Men's Dance Festival

Ten choreographers in all will show their chops in the tiny but hopping Garage performance space
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PREVIEW In the history of dance, the male of the species occupies a curious position. In some cultures only men were allowed to dance in public. In Western aristocratic education, dancing was a requirement for a future courtier. But until fairly recently, ballet choreographers consistently undervalued male dancers, and it was women who pioneered modern dance. In the 1930s, however, Ted Shawn's all-male ensemble did much to break down the prejudice against men in dance. In the Bay Area, every decade or so brings about a refocusing on masculine performances. Read more »