Monday, April 12, 2010

March 24 through today!

I've been really behind with posting links to the San Francisco Appeal. Eek and sorry! But if you want to read everything in real time, the best way to do that is to add the Appeal's RSS feed (or just mine, if you'd like) to your reader (or whatever you use to manage blogs, rss, etc.).

On March 24, I wrote about dance anywhere, an annual event where "people [dance] wherever they are at the same time: noon here in San Francisco, 3PM in New York, 8PM in Paris, etc."

On March 31, I spoke with Aline Wachsmuth, a dance/collaborate with LEVYdance who says that "[b]eing a dancer in this particular company has given me room for growth as a mover, a choreographer, a dance viewer, and a person. I'm really grateful to have such an amazing collaborative relationship with Ben [Levy]."

And on April 7, I previewed Stephen Pelton Dance Theater's The Dance Hour. Pelton said that, "I chose the framing device of a radio hour, as a way of prompting the audience to expect varying points of view. So it is a very eclectic program. But as many of the performers have been working together for some time, it feels as if the ensemble really shines as a whole."

Today, I reviewed SF Ballet's Program 7. About Jerome Robbins' The Concert, I wrote, "The 21 dancers, clad in powder blue leotards, tights, and shoes, funnel in to see a concert, and from there we zoom off with them into music-inspired daydreams."

Monday, March 22, 2010

SF Ballet's The Little Mermaid 2010

I reviewed SF Ballet's The Little Mermaid at the SF Appeal.

Van Patten moved naturally through Neumeier's organic and earthy choreography, displaying her heart on her sleeve as she wrestled with confinement and social expectations. By the end, she looked emotionally wrecked (which here is a good thing), and the audience gratefully acknowledged that with several standing ovations.

The entire review is here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: Q&A with chitresh das

This week, I Q&A-ed Chitresh Das at the SF Appeal:

How did you two [you and Jason Samuels Smith] meet and what prompted this collaboration?

We met several years ago while practicing backstage at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. I started to dance and Jason said. "How can you do that with your bare feet?"

Monday, March 08, 2010

dance flash and review @ the appeal: hope mohr and sf ballet

Two things from last week at the SF Appeal:

A Q&A with Hope Mohr:

"I made many detours away from the path of dancing, but I finally heard--and listened to--the voice inside that was still saying, "Dance!" I had to return to dance to be true to myself."

And a review of SF Ballet's Program 4 (which was held until this AM b/c of a backlog):

"It's almost like a battle: think Eminem in pointe shoes (oh gee, what an image), battling with his body instead of his mouth."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: sf ballet 2010, program 3

Here's a quick little excerpt from my review over at the SF Appeal of San Francisco Ballet's Program 3:

Last on the bill was Theme and Variations, a tutu ballet that, for all except the main duo, focuses way too much on aquamarine and periwinkle (it's like My Little Ponies exploded onstage). With teal drapings and chandeleirs hanging from above, Theme and Variations is lighter than most Balanchine works, embodied with a pureness of soul that swoops across the stage as the corps begins their procession. But this ballet isn't for pussies; feet move with warp-10-like speed, bodies fly through the air, and astounding abs are required.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Anthony Spaulding in Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto.
© Erik Tomasson

Friday, February 12, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: sf ballet 2010, program 2

Maria Kochetkova in Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer. © Erik Tomasson

Here's an excerpt from my review of SF Ballet's program 2.

Maria Kochetkova, a tiny angel of a dancer, entered with giant windmilling arms and scissor-kicking skips, and as the piece progressed, she continued to pull Karapetyan on a string through his deep and whimsical trance as Franklin D'Antonio's violin finely soared above the orchestra.

See the full review at the SF Appeal here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dance flash and other stuff @ the appeal: 2/2010!!!

yours truly is truly busy this week. i reviewed "beyond the pole," a mockumentary about two british dudes taking their environmental crusade to the north pole yesterday. it has nothing to do with dance; wait, scratch that. there are two scenes at a salsa dancing class! today i previewed "love everywhere," a multi-location dance and theater piece that kicks off at city hall on friday at noon. still to come: two, albeit brief, reviews of sf ballet!

beyond the pole excerpt:

The film opens up with one of the funniest parts: Mark and Brian explaining the why behind hiking, training, and ferrying (no planes here!) to the North Pole. They banter back and forth and finally show off what's under their shirts: more shirts. The tees say, "Don't be impotent. Be important." Ah, boys.

full review is here.

love everywhere excerpt:

Chong Shuch says, "I feel like [Love Everywhere] is just a really special thing. You know, this is the six-year anniversary of when they started issuing the same sex marriage licenses, so this piece is... really joyful and very much a celebration of those marriages, like a Valentine's Day celebration of love in this huge public space where so many people have been married. For Friday, I think it's going to be really fun..., and I hope that the performance will bring to the forefront this whole marriage equality issue without being political about it. I hope we can put some pictures and images out there in the world that bring life to that issue. "

full preview is here.

in addition, i got a chance to see sean dorsey's work at dance mission this week, and i was really blown away. so much so that i wrote to my undergrad's dance, gender studies, and glbt? heads and insisted they host him in some shape, form, or manner.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: sean dorsey dance

This week at the SF Appeal, I spoke with Sean Dorsey, who is recognized as the nation's first out transgender modern dance choreographer.


My whole identity was very much wrapped up in being a traditional activist and community organizer, and I really struggled for many years with the idea of giving myself over to being a working artist. It felt like it would be selfish, but it was through the process of being in dance school and starting to make work that I got that actually this was the way that I could, I think, affect the most change in my community: through my cultural activism as a choreographer and artistic director.

For the full interview, go here.

Photo by Lydia Daniller

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: 2010 swan lake

This week, I reviewed SF Ballet's Swan Lake for the SF Appeal.

The prologue, opening to the recognizable woodwinds of Tchaikovsky's score, gives us a taste of what's to come, introducing us to the lovely princess Odette as she's entrapped by Anthony Spaulding's Hulk-crossed-with-Golem (at least in character. In my head, I heard him grrring and grunting as he whispered sadly, "My precious!") Von Rothbart. Is that his full name? Do his friends call him Von? I haven't a clue. But no matter his moniker, he magics Odette into a swan by day and a swan princess by night, and the audience sees this transformation through a projection against a light-colored scrim...

The full article is here.
Photo © Erik Tomasson

Friday, January 22, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: sf ethnic dance festival auditions!

go check out awesome ethnic dance this weekend! bonus points if you try to conduct exit interviews...

This Saturday and Sunday mark the second weekend of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival auditions at the Palace of Fine Arts. Think of it like a local, multicultural version of "So You Think You Can Dance" auditions, minus the hot tamale train.

the full article is at the san francisco appeal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

dance flash @ the appeal: women on the way

This week at the San Francisco Appeal, I focused on the Women on the Way Festival.

It's an empowering celebration of boobs and hoo hahs at the Women on the Way (WOW) Festival, which starts this weekend and continues through the end of the month, and with 19 vastly different performing arts groups (theater, dance, spoken word, comedy, and aerial work), this festival covers a lot of ground. Artistic Director Mary Alice Fry says that Women on the Way tries "to help women break through to a place where they can recognize where their professional careers might be going and make a commitment to themselves."

For the entire advance, go here.
Photo of Sonya Smith & Dancers
by Lydia Daniller