Always looking for new ways to help save the ocean, here's one I hadn't heard of. Capacitor is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary dance company known for mind blowing, visually stunning performances. Think Cirque du Soleil, on a smaller scale. Aerial dancers and contortionists are regular performers, but it's their involvement with members of the scientific community that makes non-profit Capacitor something to watch and listen to.
InkBoat’s Line Between
InkBoat tends to shift between the stages and streets of New York, Berlin, and Tokyo, but San Francisco gets this world premiere. Line Between is a physical exploration of the space between waking and sleeping from this inventive dance theater cadre. Influences include Korean shamanism, conversations with neuroscientists, and detailed pondering about why celebrities get so much air time in our dream worlds.
December 2-4. ODC Theater, 3153 17th Street. Tickets are $17-30 at odctheater.org.
Hover Space by Stacey Printz Dance
Two bicycles, ten ODC performers, and multiple MUNI trains meet in Trolley Dances, a yearly event that sends local dancers into the wilds of the San Francisco transportation system.
Different sections of Transit, KT Nelson’s new full-company piece for ODC, will be staged on specially-made bicycles that are slow to the point of immobility. (Insert inevitable MUNI joke here.) Set to music by Nico Muhly, Transit explores common spaces and common good and how we get around in both.
Intrinsic internal questions tend to stay internal. But no more. Choreographer Katie Faulkner and multimedia artist Michael Trigilio lead little seismic dance company in We Don't Belong Here, a new public performance project that plays very physically with ideas of belonging and finding your place in the world.
In twenty years, Project Bandaloop has flown from mountain tops, down skyscrapers, and through the air as if they had made the evolutionary leap from shoulder blades to wings. They aren’t precisely weightless, more strapped in with super-strength harnesses, but they do defy gravity.
Known around the world for innovative aerial work in unconventional spaces - like the cliffs of Yosemite and the Chattanooga Bridge - Project Bandaloop kicks off its 2011 season with something new. A large-scale vertical work, Bound(less) is accompanied by live music from Dana Leong and his band. A physical - and death-defying - look at how we forge our identity through interactions with our community and our environment, Project Bandaloop hits the wall again.
We don’t really know how a Tyrannosaurus Rex moved. Sure, there are skeletal indications and paleontologists who’ve made careers of knowing their dinosaurs. But unless a Tyrannosaurus Rex comes back to life and gives us a seven ton demonstration, there's still some mystery. I mean, maybe dinosaurs had roller skates. Maybe they rode massive winged unicorns. We just can't be sure.
Acclaimed choreographer Chris Black investigates this very phenomenon (minus the unicorns) in a site-specific work at California Academy of Sciences. Sending five contemporary dancers hurtling through the museum in the foot steps of long-departed species, Black evokes a very physical brand of nostalgia for that which will never walk the earth again.
Duets bring an intimacy and physical chemistry to the stage that's unmatched by any other format - especially when the duet is danced by a real-time fairytale romance. Husband-and-wife duo Nicole Trerise White and Ethan White are former Smuin Ballet dancers and, according to Kimberley Wyatt of CBS's Live to Dance, they're magic together. Following Michael Smuin’s credo of making ballet more accessible, the Whites put a contemporary spin on all that deft footwork and impressively bendy extension.
Originally a soloist for Kirov Ballet, Yuri Zhukov officially emigrated to the U.S. in 1989 to join the San Francisco Ballet, the first Russian dancer to do so. Now he choreographs based on a European aesthetic of risk-taking, and goes all creative on everything from pirouettes to photography to art.
Experimental and eager to explore new dance terrain, Zhukov attracts compelling performers with strong balletic training. This season's band of seven dancers features San Francisco Ballet alum Martyn Garside, and Katja Björner, formerly of the Royal Swedish Ballet. Björner, called "one of those dancers you're eager to see in almost anything" by The San Francisco Chronicle was also a lead in The Dancer, a documentary must for any ballet fan.
Drawing parallels between ancient nomadic civilizations (requirement: horses) and the growing trend of modern nomads (requirement: internet access), Counterpulse’s latest is an evening of structured multimedia improv, with dance, live painting and music, and video.
Improvisation can go one of several ways - it can be inspired and twice as impressive for having been born of the moment or it can be a bit of a mess. But with so many pieces being invented on the spot, the law of averages means there will be some interesting or insightful take-aways - possibly an evening full of them. Rustling Silk, part of CounterPULSE’s Summer Special, is a deep dive into people's need for freedom, no matter what century they live in.