Thursday, December 31, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: KUNST-STOFF's new space and NYE bash

This week at the sf appeal, I've highlighted KUNST-STOFF's new arts space, which kicks off with a NYE open house.

The location may be "amazing," but this is one local who thinks that Adoniou has his work cut out for him. Located just east of the basement-located, florescent light-filled Marshall's, this mid-Market span has gotten loads of attention over a planned revitalization, but currently foot traffic tends to fall off once you hit 5th. Should the area flourish, Adoniou could have a major success on his hands.

For the full article, go here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: Rhythm & Motion -- Legwarmers not required

This past week I took a class at Rhythm & Motion to get a feel for their unique "dance workout" class, in advance of their free day of dance classes next Wednesday.

Fusing dance styles and eclectic music? A dance workout? This is gibberish, sort of like if someone said that Mayor Newsom had turned in his hair gel for pomade. Make sense, dammit! Well, to find out, I did what any hardworking dance writer does. I went and took a class.

For the entire article at the SF Appeal, go here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: the christmas ballet

An excerpt from my preview of Smuin Ballet's "The Christmas Ballet" at the SF Appeal:

Don't get me wrong; I love a good "Nutcracker." But what does it really have to do with Christmas? Is the underlying theme, "X-mas is all just a dream!" Or, heavens no, that there really is a magical Sugar Plum Fairy who can whisk you away at a moment's notice to a land filled with high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40, and that Jesus nursed on candy and coffee during his first night in the manger?

Either way, I was skeptical about Smuin Ballet's "The Christmas Ballet." The name slightly scares me. It's not the holiday ballet; it's focused on Christmas. Yikes. But I checked out the first half Wednesday afternoon at the company's dress rehearsal and now feel semi-reassured.

For the entire article, go here.

Photo by Smuin Ballet

Also, last week was hectic, and I didn't get a chance to post a link to my interview with Catherine Galasso. Here's an excerpt and link.

"Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice" was selected to be presented at the 2006 Skena UP International Theater and Film Festival in Pristina, Kosovo, where it received the New Spirit award for most original outreach in theater. I'm a dance geek, so I have to admit, I don't know what "original outreach in theater" means. Would you help me out, in layman's terms?

I think the "original outreach" part was just a poor translation. It means, "Most Original," I guess. There were awards for "Best Director" and "Best Theater Show." I don't think they had ever seen anything quite as cross disciplinary as our "Lightning" piece, but they really liked it so they gave it this special award. Brandt Adams, who plays the lead in "Lightning," was awarded "Best Actor" which is hilarious because he doesn't utter a single word during the entire show! Brandt is definitely a great actor and an exceptional mover.

You're remounting "Lightning," which is based on the real-life story of Roy Sullivan, a man who was struck by lightning seven times during his lifetime. What drew you to his story?

Originally I wanted to make a piece about a character that goes on a quest or journey. Roy Sullivan's story seemed to fit perfectly. There is not a ton of biographical information available about Sullivan, but based on what I've read, it seems like he had a really hard time being close with the people around him. We made up new characters that are to exist in Sullivan's psyche. We use video sequences to tell the story of the real Sullivan, and to describe some of the medical consequences of a lightning encounter. The live sequences are an interpretation of Sullivan's hallucinations, and his love for an imaginary woman made of electrical cords.

OK, gotta ask, have you ever been struck by lightning?


For more, go here.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

dance flash @ the appeal: 2009 holiday dance schtuff, part deux

here's an excerpt from this week's dance flash at the sf appeal:

...lastly, this is early, but hey, it's like a wasabi nut blend: a crazy idea that after a few bites, doesn't seem so odd after all. The Dance-Along Nutcracker is back for two days, letting everyone who's young at heart twirl and flutter about to Tchaikovsky's familiar score. This nut is presented by The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. Founded by Jon Sims in the late 70s, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is the first openly gay music organization ever. But if you haven't gotten the picture yet, let me spell it out for you. This is no sit-in-a-seat-and-watch-two-hours-of-dance event. You're encouraged to dress up (this year's theme is the wild west--yeehaw!), dance about, and above all, have fun! Now throw on some chaps (and at least a matching thong, please), suit up the horse and buggy (er, Muni), and dance along, partner.

for more, go here.

Photo Credit: Jane Philomen-Cleland