DANCE For an event with a reputation for wall-shaking energy, the first program of the 15th Annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest turned out to be an oddly muted experience. The mix of acts — which in the past has always opened new perspectives on an art that has moved from the street onto the stage (and even reality TV) — simply wasn't potent enough. Also, with only one company from abroad, the evening just barely warranted its claim of being "international."Read more »
Was Kunst-Stoff's 15th anniversary concert this past weekend its last show in town? Perhaps, perhaps not. Yannis Adoniou, who founded the company with Tomi Paasonen, chooses his words carefully a couple of days before the shows. He acknowledges talking with local presenters about maybe "having an annual season here" and about "stabilizing our presence here."Read more »
DANCE This past weekend, two dance companies showed premieres inspired by fiction writers. Alonzo King's imagination was stirred by Irish author Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin) for Writing Ground, commissioned in 2010 by the Monte Carlo Ballet. For Jenny McAllister, it was mystery novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler, whom she has read and loved since she was a little girl.Read more »
DANCE Israeli-born choreographer Idan Sharabi pays meticulous attention to detail, but serendipity still has a place in his creative process. His Spider on a Mirror receives its world premiere as part of Zhukov Dance Theatre's sixth season at the SFJAZZ Center this weekend. The work will be paired with Enlight, the latest piece by company artistic director Yuri Zhukov.Read more »
DANCE Has there ever been a celebration at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts quite as exuberant, layered, and embracing of a people, a period, and a place as Dimensions Dance Theater's 40th anniversary show? Not as far as I know. Despite a timing hitch at the end, probably due to the exigencies of costume changes, Dimensions offered a one of a kind evening of glorious dancing. It was a long program — but then, why can't some events keep going so that they spill deep into the night and the dreams beyond?Read more »
DANCE Considering its name — Hush — it should have come as no surprise that Joe Goode's latest look at the ultimate loneliness that infects us all, whether imposed or self-inflicted, is a very quiet piece. Being hushed is something we learn as babies, at the family table, in school, and at the movies. But more seriously, it becomes an essential tool for survival for those who may be perceived as "different."Read more »
DANCE It's still early in the new season, yet two programs this past weekend offered worthwhile perspectives on new dance. "New" in this case doesn't necessarily indicate right out of the oven, but the pieces were novel to these eyes, and more importantly, they looked fresh and left behind a pleasant aftertaste.Read more »
FALL ARTS Fall may no long bring with it the nervous anticipation of entering a new classroom, clutching a shiny lunch box to your chest. But for those of us hooked on live performance, September brings its own thrills, as theaters, studios, and lofts reopen their doors. If dance happens to be your particular bag, you can't do much better than the here and now. Few other places in the country can beat the Bay Area for the sheer variety with which nude, slippered, and high-heeled feet take the stage.