dance

Photo courtesy StoryCorps

 

Patricia Chin was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  She had never left the neighborhood when she auditioned to be a chorus girl. It was quite a leap for a young Asian-American girl, born in 1935, but Chin loved the adventure, and saw it as a way to bring home extra money. Her group, the Chinese Vanities, performed in nightclubs up and down the West Coast.

David Boyer

On Sunday mornings in the Castro neighborhood, there’s a place where rhythm reigns. Dancers pull out their leg warmers, spandex and fluorescent headbands for Sunday Skool—and with the right accessories and a lot of attitude, dreams of being a backup dancer for a day come true. 

Youth Radio: Ballet is a sport too

Apr 30, 2014

From our partners at Youth Radio.

David DeSilva

Three dancers are sweating under their choreographer’s demanding eye. They turn, jump, and lean into each other, flowing across the room. The sound of bare feet mixes with the squeaking of rubber against the floor.

That’s the sound of dancer Joel Brown’s wheelchair. As he propels into a turn, the other dancers, Sonsheree Giles and Sebastian Grubb, match his movements, but on their feet. Then choreographer Marc Brew, who’s been watching from the front of the studio, glides over to the trio. He’s also in a wheelchair.

This is a rehearsal for AXIS Dance Company, a pioneer in a dance form it calls “physically integrated dance,” which uses both disabled and non-disabled dancers. Though AXIS has been around for more than 20 years, it’s still rare to see this kind of work.

  

Angered by evictions, Google buses, NSA spying and "climate change"? Eric Jansen's guest on Out in the Bay, 7pm Thursday on KALW, is Krissy Keefer, artistic director of San Francisco's all-women performance troupe Dance Brigade. The company's current production, Hemorrhage: An Ablution of Hope & Despair, uses the Mission District and its eviction epidemic as a backdrop to explore local, regional and world crises – global warming, war, genocide, attacks on women and on San Francisco’s cultural core. Hemorrhage: An Ablution of Hope & Despair, plays at Dance Mission Theater through February 8.

Elias Perez

Click the "play" button above to listen to the entire show.

40 years ago, in small town bars across the U.K., you could find party goers spinning, twirling and pumping their legs to the fast sounds of American soul music. But, it wasn’t the top 40 Motown sound you’d usually hear, in fact, by that time in the 1970’s, Funk and Disco had already taken over the charts. These kids craved Soul they hadn’t heard yet--rare B sides, and small label releases that were overlooked in the surplus of American-produced Soul music in the 1960’s. DJs in the U.K. began collecting Soul records that were off the beaten track, and often impossible to find again. That specific sound of Soul, and the night-life culture that erupted around it, was branded "Northern Soul."

This week, choreographer Bill T. Jones discusses highlights from his long career in dance, and details about the exhibition of his works and other events that are part of the month-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Also, members of the local early music group Ostraka share part of their program for the opening of the San Francisco Early Music Society's 2013-14 season, and critic Peter Robinson offers a sneak preview of the major David Hockney exhibit that opens on October 26 at the de Young Museum Open Air with David Latulippe, originally broadcast on Thursday, October 10 at 1pm.

Jen Chien

 

The pulse of drums spills out onto the street from an upper window of the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, a big Art Deco building in the Lakeside district of Oakland. Up on the third floor, a battery of eight drummers is lined up against one wall of a large dance studio, vibrating the air with their music.

http://berkeley-morris.org/images/10050156.jpg

Have you heard the expression “I’ll be there with bells on”?  It indicates that you’re very enthusiastic about the activity. Practitioners of the ancient art of Morris dancing are enthusiastic about their dance form. They not only wear sleeves of bells on their legs during performances; they also practice with them.

Flickr Creative Commons/Nerfski

Art movements come and go, but one particular dance style seems to be here to stay. "Bboying," or "breakdancing" (as most people would call it), began in the Bronx in the late '60s and has since expanded internationally. As it’s grown, it’s changed – and that change has led to some major cultural conflicts between the younger dancers and the older ones. 

http://www.oakarts.org/

In 2002, Oakland Mayor, now governor, Jerry Brown started Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) with the hope that students would have an outlet to express themselves through art forms like dance, theater, and visual illustrations.

Zach Pine

When it comes to “going out dancing,” most people think of it as a Saturday night type of affair—a chance to get dressed up and show off some sweet moves, staying up until the wee hours. Well, it’s 11am on Sunday morning now, and for the dancers gathered at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, this is the perfect time to get their groove on.

photo by John Kokoska

It’s early evening, and Anna Halprin is leading one of her weekly dance and improvisation classes at her Marin County studio. She guides the dancers across the wood floor, gracefully demonstrating movement after movement. Her voice fills the room as she encourages students to dig deeper. She is calm, but energetic. She is 91 years old.

photo by Pak Han

The Bay Area has one of the largest and most active dance communities in the country, with many movement styles represented, from ballet, to hip hop, to tango, to contact improvisation. These different kinds of dance all find a home at the dance service and advocacy organization called Dancers’ Group, which turns 30 this year.

Heike Liss

One hundred years ago, on a late May evening in Paris, an 11-minute ballet so scandalized audiences that it’s still making waves today.

“Afternoon of a Faun” was choreographed by then-23-year-old Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballet Russes. The dancers were barefoot and the angular movements of the dance rejected the formal constraints of classical ballet. Then there was the issue of the subject matter, which was overtly sexual in a way that audiences of the time had never seen. 

Lenora Lee, a native San Franciscan dancer and choreographer, makes large-scale interdisciplinary work that tells the stories of Asians in America – stories that she says aren’t represented in the mainstream media or in art. And her latest piece, "Reflections," is a response to what Lee says she witnessed as a Chinese American growing up in San Francisco.

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