Thursday, October 29, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: not-so-spooky dance

this week at the appeal, i focused on some smaller offerings.

"The word zambaleta means "a spontaneous chaotic street party'" and happens when everyone is actively participating, whether by playing music, singing, or dancing. San Francisco's new community world music and dance school embodies that spirit in both mission and name. Based at 19th Street and Florida in the Mission, Zambaleta, a non-profit, has just opened its doors. Offering a comprehensive program of world music and dance classes, Zambaleta aims to provide a new home for San Francisco's vibrant world music community.

To celebrate the launch of this new space, Zambaleta will be hosting some of the Bay Area's best world music acts, including the Brass Menazeri and the Japonize Elephants, this Saturday night with a giant Halloween Hullabaloo Benefit in Zambaleta's staggeringly massive dance hall. It'll be an exciting night complete with aerial dancers and clowns."

see the entire article here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

docfest @ the appeal: only when i dance

This past weekend, I covered two documentaries at the SF Independent Film Festival's DocFest for the Appeal. Here's a link to my review of "Only When I Dance."

"'Only When I Dance' is a documentary that focuses on two teenagers in Brazil. Living in the favelas of Rio de Janiero, advanced ballet students Irlan and Isabela both train on scholarships at Centro de Dance Rio, located in an affluent part of the city. 'Only When I Dance' follows these two young dancers as they vie for the "next step"--scholarships to world-renowned training grounds--through international competitions.

Irlan is the dancer with the most promise. Naturally gifted, Irlan shows immense dedication, committing to school and ballet classes with the goal of becoming a professional dancer. These days, more boys are enrolling in ballet than 20 years ago, but still, it's not everyday that you see one with bendy feet, long and lean legs, incredible flexibility, and talent with a capital T..."

The entire review can be found here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: an interview with alonzo king

this week for the appeal, i interviewed alonzo king.

"I was wondering what kind of traits you look for when you hire dancers or look for dancers?

Well, I think that's really apt what you're saying because if you look at this physical universe, everything is based on the sphere, everything. Nucleus, radius, electrons, protons, the planets, the galaxies, they're all spherical, and so that same thing is inherent in the body, and you manipulate it by going from circle to straight line. And all those things you illustrated are part of developing movement structure.

In terms of looking for dancers, what I mentioned earlier is that the character is the bottom line because what you're looking at onstage is who people are. People dance their consciousness, and so who's brave, who's generous, who's loving, who's consciences, who's risk-taking. All the things we like in heroic people are the things I look for in a dancer because these are human beings, after all. So we're looking for the noblest kind of character.

You know it's inextricable that who people are is what you're watching move, and so if they're givers, if they're brilliant, it's going to be obvious. And the opposite as well. If they are selfish, if they're vain, if they're scared--all of that is apparent. I like people who are heroic, who have the ability to get lost in movement and not be self-conscious. Humility is a beautiful thing to see in dancing. Sincerity is something very rare to see, but beautiful when you see it in dancing. And we take it for granted that they've got a technique that is second nature. Yeah, so who people are."

you can find the entire interview here.

Photo by RJ Muna

Thursday, October 15, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: trolley dances

this week's dance flash: trolley dances

"Picture this: you and your buds, post-40 minute wait at Tartine for the most delicious ├ęclair ever, meet up at Dolores Park, check in with your "tour guide" at the statue of Miguel Hidalgo, and, along with the rest of your group, make your way, via foot and the J, through the Mission, Noe Valley, and Balboa Park, all while stopping along the way to see a wide variety of local dance companies and performers in site-specific works. The cost to you: $2 (your Muni fare)...

But what kind of dance will you see? SF-based Deborah Slater Dance Theater is a sure crowd pleaser, and you've got to feel giddy when watching the SF Merionettes Synchronized Swim Club whirl about in the pool. Former Urban Bush woman Amara Tabor-Smith's Deep Waters Dance Theater doesn't perform in water, but her movement and incorporated text tend to have a liquid feel to them. Knowing Kathleen Hermesdorf, a popular instructor, performer, and choreographer, expect the unexpected (and how can you not? In this video, she gives an interview sitting atop a stove). Also on the bill are Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos, performance artist and dancer, and Rosamaria Garcia, and Trolley Dances' director Kim Epifano's Sonic Dance Theater.

read more at the appeal.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: burning dance questions 101

this week's dance flash is up at the appeal, and it's the beginning of a bi-monthly Q&A.

"Q: What's a tutu? And I wear an XXL, so where can I buy a fourfour?

A: Female ballet dancers may wear a tutu, aka a poofy skirt, in ballet performances. There are many different styles and lengths of tutus, but the one that you're probably thinking of is the really, and almost indecently, short one that's designed to show off a female dancer's intricate foot and leg work. Professional tutus (of all sizes) are custom-made, but cheaper ones can be purchased at dancewear stores."

for more, go here.