GOLDIES In 2005, in deference to the shaky ground we walk on, choreographer Katie Faulkner dubbed her new ensemble little seismic dance company. For an upstart, it seemed an oddly modest name — considering the waves she'd been making, something grander might have been more appropriate. But then that's not Faulkner's style. Her choreography doesn't shout; it grabs you because her dances are full of surprises, finely crafted, and have a strong sense of identity.Read more »
GOLDIES "Five, six, seven, eight!" Micaya — teacher, choreographer, and unstoppable producer of the San Francisco Hip Hop DanceFest (the 2011 edition is coming up Nov. 18-20 at the Palace of Fine Arts) — is counting off for her beginners' class at ODC. Some of these Saturday-morning devotees are skinny; others are not. One has gray hair, most do not; some are dancers, while some ... "They are all dancers. We are all dancers," Micaya (who often calls herself "Mama") insists after class.Read more »
DANCE Watched over by two pink carousel horses, a rainbow. and a big lotus flower, they sway, stomp, and slide even as they chant, clap, and body slap in increasingly complex rhythms. They are SlamDance, Keith Terry's sextet of musician-dancers, and they are rehearsing their upcoming performance at the fourth International Body Music Festival, held this year at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.Read more »
DANCE Deborah Slater Dance Theater celebrated its 20th anniversary last year; for the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, 2011 is its 38th season. The two choreographers have had enviable careers both locally and nationally. By now they know what they are doing. Or do they? Are there roads not yet taken?Read more »
DANCE Have you noticed that San Francisco is changing for the better? No, I'm not talking poor and homeless people being given services they need (I wish that were the case) — I'm talking public art.Read more »
DANCE What makes watching the Mark Morris Dance Group's Dido and Aeneas such a satisfying — and ultimately profound — experience? It's really simple: give a story of love and war to a poet, who creates a rhythmically and imagistically suggestive libretto, which then gets into the hands of a genius composer, and finally ends up with Mark Morris, who just happens to be a great choreographer and company director. That's it.Read more »
DANCE This past weekend, an unlikely double bill once again proved how fertile the Bay Area soil is for dancers' imaginations. FACT/SF's Pretonically Orientedv.3 was steeped in critical theory yet physically grounded. Drawing on local history, Lenora Lee Dance's Reflections offered a window into self-assertion. While employing Asian American images — martial arts and lion dancing — the work resonated beyond its specific cultural context. Both works were developed during summer residencies at CounterPULSE.Read more »
FALL ARTS While by no means complete, these selections have enough variety to hopefully entice the experienced as well as the novice dancegoer.
Zhukov Dance Theatre Product 04, Yuri Zhukov's latest evening of dance, says a lot about the man. His work is solid, non-showy but sturdy, and, above all, beautifully performed. Zhukov's company is small, with four excellent dancers. (Sept. 1-3, ZSpace; Facebook: Zhukov Dance Theatre.)Read more »
DANCE Joan Lazarus is one determined woman. This month, WestWave Dance celebrates its 20th anniversary. WestWave originated in 1991 as SummerFest by choreographer Cathleen Murphy; Lazarus joined her three years later, and the two women ran it together until Murphy moved on.
A few months ago Lazarus made noises about perhaps calling it quits. She was frustrated because in all the years of curating these annual menus of contemporary, often brand-new, choreography, "I could not make it work," she says. Audiences remained small, budgets smaller.Read more »
DANCE One of the most fascinating aspects of the world of dance studies has been the split that has taken place in the last few decades between dance history and dance theory. To oversimplify, the first concerns itself with discussing works in terms of their formal values of aesthetics; the second, influenced by cultural studies, prefers to look at pieces as social constructs.Read more »