Dance

The right track

All aboard for San Francisco Trolley Dances 2011

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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 »

From an epic, a classic

The return of Mark Morris' remarkable Dido and Aeneas

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arts@sfbg.com

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 »

Fighting to be free

Promising choreography and stellar dancing in works by FACT/SF and Lenora Lee

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arts@sfbg.com

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 Oriented v.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 on the floor

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: The season's standout local and touring dance programs

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arts@sfbg.com

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 »

Turning the tide

Invigorated by a new format, WestWave Dance marks its 20th anniversary

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arts@sfbg.com

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 »

Don't fence him in

Envelope-pusher Miguel Gutierrez returns to San Francisco

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arts@sfbg.com

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 »

Ready for takeoff

Garrett + Moulton Productions soar with The Experience of Flight in Dreams

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE Life partners running a dance company together is rare, and when it happens the couple usually keeps responsibilities distinct. In ballet, Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey did it for many years; Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary are making a go of it in Los Angeles. In modern dance, it is simply unheard of. Modern dance companies are one-man or one-woman affairs. But no longer: Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton have broken the mold.Read more »

Wanderlust

In his new studio, Joe Goode sculpts a new work, The Rambler

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Around the bay, around the world

The 33rd San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival embraces a variety of cultures — and new venues

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Dancing in the light

Ledoh offers a new interpretation of butoh with Suicide Barrier: secure in our illusion at ODC

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE The Ka-Ren people, who live on the border between Thailand and Burma and who have never recognized these political divisions, are known for their indigenous jewelry-design traditions. They didn't get a gemologist in Ledoh, though they did get a dealer in a different kind of jewel — dances — and not because of a well-developed plan. Rather, it was serendipitous.Read more »