DANCE The Bebe Miller Company's A History at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts last weekend proved to be both exhilarating and frustrating. First, the good: watching two gorgeous dancers engage each other in one encounter after another both huge and tiny for over an hour. Gradually, they emerged as two completely different and yet ever-so-compatible characters.
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THEATER/DANCE Choreographer Mary Armentrout's itinerant, site-specific performance installation, reveries and elegies, passed through CounterPULSE last weekend. A post-solstice meditation on dislocation and flux, it was also the harbinger of a striking new season at the SOMA performance incubator. In fact, reveries and elegies, true to its theme of displacement, can be considered the odd one out among programming whose defining structure is the duet.Read more »
YEAR IN DANCE Looking back on 2012's over 500 performances — as calculated by Dancers' Group — the game of "best" and "worst" makes less sense than ever. What makes the Bay Area a place worth living in is the vitality of its arts, and dance in particular. We only have one superstar company, San Francisco Ballet, but we've got a number of excellent mid-size ensembles and just enough of a competitive environment to discourage rank amateurism.Read more »
DANCE Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' new Director of Performing Arts, received thunderous applause even before he had said a welcoming word to the capacity crowd in the venue's lobby. Such is this exceptional artist's charisma. When he told them that he wanted YBCA to become accessible to people who in the past may not have felt welcome there, they roared. It was to be that kind of evening.Read more »
DANCE This weekend the parade of holiday entertainments started off on a festive note, and it wasn't thanks to another interpretation of The Nutcracker or good old Scrooge. It was a brand new charmer from two experienced choreographers who pooled their artistic resources in 2008 to form Garrett + Moulton Productions. Given Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton's different artistic temperaments, this union sounded like an iffy proposition. But with three hits to their credit, the duo has proved that opposites do indeed attract.Read more »
DANCE The tenth anniversary concert for Benjamin Levy's LEVYdance Company should have been an occasion for looking back a little and glancing into the future a lot. The fact that this was a subdued, at-time depressing event was certainly not the dancers' fault. They were fabulous, crackerjack performers: fierce, fast, and committed, whether in solo passages or in ensemble work. If you watch dance primarily because of its performers, this was your night.Read more »
GOLDIES John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and Fayard and Harold Nicholas are among the dance world's most famous couples. In the Bay Area, nobody comes close to the relationship between Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson, of Berkeley's Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.
Over the years the two men have a created a heaven for dance unlike anything that exists here, and probably could not be replicated anywhere else. Shawl and Anderson are the local dance community's patriarchs.Read more »
GOLDIES Choreographer, impresario, and arts advocate Joe Landini likes to say yes. "It's my philosophy to start that way," the founder and artistic director of the Garage — San Francisco's most hoppin' performance venue — explains. "If you say no to something, the conversation is closed. There is nowhere to go."Read more »