Open Air with host David Latulippe, Thursday October 10, 2013.
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.
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.
From the 1940s until the 1960s, San Francisco’s Chinatown was home to a thriving Chinese American nightclub scene. The clubs had names like Forbidden City, the Chinese Skyroom, and the Shanghai Low. They had showgirls, ballroom duos, comedians, jazz singers, and magic acts -- all featuring Asian-American entertainers. These clubs had wide appeal: celebrities like Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, and Lauren Bacall were all spotted over the years, along with tourists, businessmen and locals. The Forbidden City even inspired a novel, by C.Y. Lee, which was later turned into the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Flower Drum Song”.
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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.
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.