"San Francisco" tag
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Robert Battle's Awakening.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Open Door, Awakening, A Case of You, Revelations – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave two new works their West Coast premieres on Tuesday at Zellerbach Hall, the opening night of its annual residency at Cal Performances in Berkeley.

Frances Chung and Vitor Luiz in Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Coppélia – San Francisco

★★★★✰ It’s a treat to be in the theater when a dancer achieves a triumphant performance…

Chitresh Das Dance Company in Shiva.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

Chitresh Das Dance Company – Shiva – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ Death was long on Pandit Chitresh Das’ mind. Over the past decade, the world-renowned kathak master prompted his San Francisco–based dance company to consider “What will you do when I am no longer here?”

Sofiane Sylve in Scarlett's Fearful Symmetries.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fearful Symmetries (premiere), Rubies, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ “But despite his high concept, Scarlett seemed to lose the thread halfway through, resorting to lascivious theatrics to complete the work…”

Maria Kochetkova and Francisco Mungamba in Forsythe's Pas/Parts.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 7 for Eight, Magrittomania, Pas/Parts – San Francisco

★★★★✰ “….that is what is marvelous about Forsythe’s Pas/Parts. Would that more choreographers would offer that kind of brisk and bracing slap in the face.”

San Francisco Ballet School students in the Waltz of the Hours from Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ By way of a défilé, the evening opened with the “Waltz of the Hours” from Balanchine and Danilova’s Coppélia …Soloist Jennifer Stahl led two dozen girls from the SFB School, adorable in cotton-candy tutus.

GERALDCASELDANCE in Splinters in Our Ankles.© Robbie Sweeny. (Click image for larger version)

GERALDCASELDANCE – Splinters in Our Ankles – San Francisco

Choreographer Gerald Casel describes his new work, Splinters in Our Ankles, as an exploration of the tinikling, a lively folk dance of the Philippines.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

The first time I saw San Francisco Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker, a little boy sitting in front of us turned to his mother and whispered, “It’s magic!” Eleven years later, to the very day, it’s still a magical experience.

Megan Wright in Mainframe.© Benjamin Hersh. (Click image for larger version)

Katharine Hawthorne – Mainframe – San Francisco

Vintage Macintosh computers play a central role in Mainframe, a new evening-length dance-theater work by San Francisco choreographer Katherine Hawthorne.

Akram Khan – Kaash – San Francisco

In Khan’s choreography, kathak’s warp-speed spins and fierce gestures are immediately recognizable yet subverted and sculpted by contemporary weightedness and extended lines.

Fog Beast in CHANGE.© Jessica Swanson. (Click image for larger version)

Fog Beast – CHANGE – San Francisco

If you’re ever within earshot when a member of Fog Beast yells out, “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!” – fasten your seatbelt. Because a performance by this underground San Francisco dance-theater duo is guaranteed to be a wild night.

Jeffrey Van Sciver and Courtney Henry perform with singer Lisa Fischer in The Propelled Heart.© Quinn B. Wharton. (Click image for larger version)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet – The Propelled Heart – San Francisco

The Propelled Heart is a full-immersion experience, a wading into the waters of dance as a spiritual practice.

Sankai Juku in Umusuna.© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Sankai Juku – Umusuna – San Francisco

There was much talk of spiritual awakening as the audience filed out of the YBCA Theater on Friday evening, after the opening performance of Sankai Juku’s Umusuna.

Diana Vishneva in Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinksy Ballet – Cinderella – San Francisco

It’s not your granddaughter’s Cinderella. Alexei Ratmansky’s version dispenses with tutus and glass carriages in favor of a deco-cum?post-Soviet point of view.

James Gilmer and Sarah Cecilia Griffin in Seiwert's Traveling Alone.© David DeSilva. (Click image for larger version)

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery – SKETCH 5: Stirred Program – San Francisco

In the end, SKETCH is about the artists and their learning process, and it’s our good fortune that they share it with us in performance.

Vivian Aragon, Michael Galloway and Tegan Schwab in promotional shot for The Luminous Edge.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Garrett + Moulton Dance – The Luminous Edge – San Francisco

I’ve seen Garrett + Moulton’s The Luminous Edge three times now, and I’ve yet to plumb its deepest currents…

Carly Johnson in Robert Moses' SILT.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Robert Moses’ KIN – SILT – San Francisco

The issue Moses explored most successfully in SILT was how to engage audiences more deeply, a topical subject at a time when many people have lost interest in the traditional theatre environment.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Romeo & Juliet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Romeo & Juliet – San Francisco

Choreographed by artistic director Helgi Tomasson in 1994, the ballet is popular with audiences here and makes a satisfying coda to his thirtieth-anniversary season…

Taras Domitro in Possokhov’s Swimmer.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Caprice, The Four Temperaments, Swimmer – San Francisco

Swimmer is one man’s journey from being the stereotypical breadwinner… to his own self-realisation in a kind of isolated freedom.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Revelations.© Christopher Duggan. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Odetta, Bad Blood, Caught, Revelations – San Francisco

The company has performed here annually since 1968 and considers Berkeley its home away from home, both for the synergy it feels with the Cal Performances staff and the receptive local audience.

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