Ballet. Tap. Jazz. Modern. Hip hop. Rhythm and Motion. All forms of dance you're familiar with. Wheelchairs moving effortlessly in a seamlessly choreographed work of art—now, this is a dance concept you may never have heard of. This weekend, inkBoat and AXIS Dance Company come together to present ODD at ODC Theater, a collaboration inspired by the Scandinavian painter Odd Nerdrum whose work plunges to the depths of human condition, exposing loneliness, fear, hatred, birth, and death with uncanny precision.
Laudatory quotes flow around Hubbard Street Dance like fog down the Richmond - and deservedly so. One of the first dance companies I ever saw perform, Hubbard Street set me up as a dance lover for life - it's the type of performance you recommend to friends and then invite yourself along. And they’re moving more brilliantly than ever. The seventeen-dancer ensemble hits Berkeley this weekend, where they’ll perform West Coast premieres of Nacho Duato’s Arcangelo, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Deep Down Dos and Blanco, and 27’52” by the incomparable Jiri Kylian.
How's this for a cool gig? ODC is throwing a housewarming party to celebrate its brand-spanking-new community performance space in the Mission. But unlike most housewarmings, you'll be the one getting the gift.
Haven't yet had the chance to witness Joe Goode's masterful choreography? Always been dying to see a skit by Killing My Lobster? Secretly want to get in on the madness of a Youth Speaks poetry slam? Curious about playwright/director Mark Jackson's work and Lily Kharrazi's world music? This Saturday is your chance to tap into the arts for free.
Starting today, you may notice some unusual activity occurring on Market Street. Don't mistake it for the usual cast of crazies known for loitering and creating ruckus of all sorts on the sidewalk. These people aren't homeless and begging for money, but rather make up a troupe of characters telling the story of eight prominent African Americans who lived and worked near Market Street during the mid-19th century.
Known for captivating choreography in unconventional spaces, Lizz Roman hits Danzhaus this weekend, sending her dancers on another athletic trawl through the halls and stairways of the sometimes nightclub in Potrero.
If you’re feeling the overwhelming urge to feast your eyes on modern dance and your teeth on bites of salmon (um, no promises on the salmon, the press release didn’t include a menu), head to the Mission for tapas, ODC-style.
High above our heads, a society matron in a cascading purple dress trills about her life of privilege. Across the hall, a woman in a tightly cinched mechanical bustle glides through a ballroom reminiscing about her halcyon summer affair. In the foggy courtyard, a poverty-stricken man limps toward wealth while dancers cling to window frames behind him (and the audience clings to rough blankets draped over the seats).
Known for snaps of personality and unexpected twists one doesn't often find at Swan Lake, Smuin Ballet has outdone itself this season. Scoring a much-coveted Jiri Kylian piece - arguably the best choreographer in the world, receiving permission to use one of his works is a Herculean feat - Smuin's dancers perform an elegantly articulated seduction with sharp props and lots of bare skin. (The dancers handily avoid skewering any toes, if you're worried.) Erotically charged and expertly composed, Kylian's Petite Mort (why, yes, that IS French for orgasm) is not to be missed - whether you're a ballet fan or not.
Dancers soaring across stage in their underwear are never to be missed. Especially when the women strip the men down to the barest of skivvies and redress them in haute couture created on the spot with masking tape, butcher paper, and tissue. Inspired by a manual on correct female conduct written in 1963, the world premiere of A Guide To Elegance features dancers moving to the sounds of Pamela Z's original score and a voiceover intoning the themes of the manual.
The problem with seeing an amazing show is having to turn around and describe said amazing show. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is apparently indescribable, as I've been sitting here for an hour trying to think of ways to adequately convey the sharp mastery of Revelations or the Dr. Seuss-like appeal of a dude in blue spandex with a tall blue feather on his head. Company auditions must screen for men with coiled springs instead of muscles and women who swing through combinations with a dynamic grace, because that's precisely what you get. Toss them onstage with choreography by artistic director Judith Jamison and Ailey himself, and you get dance that moves toward the sublime.