Spring into arts - Page 3

Guardian writers select the season's most-anticipated performances, exhibits, film events, and more

CubaCaribe Festival's Danza del Caribe
DANZA DEL CARIBE PHOTO BY JAMAICA ITULE SIMMONS


DANCE: PREMIERES WITH MUSIC, PREMIERES WITH PLANTS

Mago (April 12-14, CounterPULSE) Dohee Lee is that rare creature steeped by inclination and training in a traditional culture — but who is also a completely contemporary artist. She is a singer, a dancer, and a Korean-style Taiko drummer. But she also knows how to weave these abilities into storytelling and ritualized theatrical creations. For Mago, her exploration of the Korean goddess associated with the creation and care of the earth, she adds animation and custom-made instruments to her skills box; it's a work that integrates her theatrical practice with ritual and Korean shamanism. www.counterpulse.org

Failure of the Sign is the Sign (May 3-5, ODC Theater) The sixth season of Hope Mohr Dance continues what Mohr does so very well: presenting her own very smart choreography but also, through her Bridge Project, bringing in colleagues whose work she admires. This year, it's Alpert Awards winner Susan Rethorst with the West Coast premiere of her intricate and much-praised Behold Bold Sam Dog. Mohr's own new work, Failure of the Sign is the Sign, is an installation around the connection between acquiring language and a sense of self. www.odcdance.org

"Ojai North 2013" (June 12-15, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley) The world premiere of Mark Morris' Rite of Spring just might be the season's hottest ticket. In many ways it's an outrageous idea to rework one of the most famous 20th century scores for piano, bass, drums. Bu that's exactly what the three jazz musicians of the Bad Plus did. Never mind that 100 years ago at its world premiere, Stravinsky had an orchestra of 110 musicians — not including strings — at his disposal. Morris, a musically sophisticated choreographer, apparently loved it, and is setting it on his Mark Morris Dance Group. He's been choreographing for over 30 years, and he still manages to surprise us. calperfs.berkeley.edu

Botany's Breath (July 10-13, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park) For Botany's Breath, Kim Epifano works with nine professional dancers as well as a dozen community performers. The piece honors the natural world in dance, music, song, and video and pays tribute to the historically significant Conservatory of Flowers. Collaborating with her are instrument builder Peter Whitehead, musician Norman Rutherford, and videographer Ellen Bromberg. You can expect the show to spill out of the quaint Victorian structure into the surrounding environment. www.epiphanydance.org (Rita Felciano)

FILM: FESTIVALS, REP HOUSES ... AND A GIANT-ROBOT FLICK

With Hollywood committed to an array of sequels, prequels, and do-overs (like, how many hangovers, Spocks, fast/furious drivers, Supermen, Iron Men, Wolverines, and Gatsbys do we need, really?), your best bet is to focus on film festivals and rep houses this summer. (Maybe take time out for Guillermo del Toro's aliens vs. giant robots epic Pacific Rim, due July 12 — now that seems worthy of massive popcorn consumption.)

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