PREVIEW The Bellydance Superstars are back. The troupe came to prominence during the 2003 Lollapalooza tour and are an intriguing mix of Hollywood glitz and highly accomplished dancing patrons of the DNA Lounge and Herbst Theatre may remember the ensemble's shows in 2004 and 2005. While you may not see much of the covered-up tribal dancing that lies at the core of so much traditional belly dancing, these women are fabulous exponents of an art that embraces female sensuality perhaps like no other dance form. Read more »
PREVIEW When Nacho Duato, crowned with laurels from his years in England and Holland, returned to his native Spain in the 1980s, the country's national ballet company offered him its directorship. He took one look at the ensemble's anemic repertoire and decided he could breathe some life into it. Consequently, today Compañía Nacional de Danza is a repository of Duato's choreography. Spain could have done worse: Duato has put contemporary Spanish ballet on the world map like no one else. Read more »
PREVIEW In February, as the days start getting longer again, two things come to mind: Black History Month summons deep reflections, and all of that extra light brings the advent of fresh views. In the Bay Area no better example of clear-sighted perspectives can be found than in the work of the Robert Moses' Kin company and from the codirectors of the fourth Black Choreographers Festival: Here and Now, Kendra Kimbrough Barnes and Laura Elaine Ellis. Moses starts his two-week season at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on Feb. Read more »
Ask a dancer under 30 in Europe about Pina Bausch, and most likely you'll get a blank stare or a shrug. You might as well mention Isadora Duncan or Martha Graham. Important, yes; relevant, no. For them, Bausch, the most radical innovator of European dance in the past three decades, is passé. Read more »
Shinichi Iova-Koga's work is grotesque, beautiful, and funny. As a dancer he is never less than mesmerizing ephemeral like smoke, limpid like a vernal pool. And yet he is an accidental dancer. The son of two painters, he was initially drawn to photography; at age 12 his bathroom doubled as a darkroom. Then, at San Francisco State University, he became a film major. Read more »
"Citizens. Wake Up. A new day is dawning in San Francisco and all over the world."
Keith Hennessy, "A Speech to the Poor Artists," San Francisco City Hall, Oct. 4, 2000
Keith Hennessy has made work in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, yet he has stayed at the margins all this time. Yes, his audiences are good, and they show up time after time to watch his latest work, but he hasn't gotten the grants that would allow him to do big tours or reach a more mainstream audience. Maybe he prefers it that way. Read more »
Alonzo King's Lines Ballet celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend, but King's influence on Bay Area dance goes back further than that. Veteran dancers remember his ballet classes for the musical combinations that he gave his students in the '70s. Read more »
REVIEW Moving from the small ODC Theater to the much larger Kanbar Hall of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco seems to have been a good idea for Benjamin Levy's LEVYdance. At the opening of its home season Oct. 12, a large crowd seemed curious to see what else the young choreographer has in his palette. The good news is that Levy has no intention of repeating himself. The two world premieres, Nu Nu and Bone Lines, showed him stepping outside his previously hyperkinetic fierceness and embracing a more imagistic approach to dance making. Read more »
You don't necessarily expect a choreographer to be interested in playing with conceits. After all, dancers work in an art form that is primarily nonverbal and movement driven. Yet Donna Uchizono's imagination embraces ideas in conjunction with physicality. "All of my work is concept based," she explained over the phone from her home in New York. "The idea always comes first, and then I develop a movement vocabulary to support the concept. So the pieces are very different from each other."
Sometimes she takes off from a single word. Read more »