dance

6:05pm

Tue August 19, 2014
Arts & Culture

Get your lotus hands ready for some Hindu Swing

Photograph by www.kvandco.com

Choreographer Namita Kapoor grew up in the East Bay town of Moraga, dancing jazz, tap, and ballet. She says, at the time, there were no dance classes in her surroundings that reflected her Indian heritage. It was when she went to college that she discovered Indian dance, and as she did her research, she discovered a fascinating link between classical Indian dance and American Jazz dance. In the 1940s and 1950s, theatrical jazz dance legend Jack Cole invented a dance form called Hindu Swing: jazz dance that draws on ancient Hindu tradition and form. You may remember this from dance numbers he choreographed in films like the 1955 film Kismet

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5:00pm

Wed July 23, 2014
Arts & Culture

Tough: A “punchy” one woman show

Chris Black from "Tough"
Lydia Daniller

Chris Black is a small woman. She’s five-foot-one and weighs just over a hundred pounds. But don’t let her size fool you. In a tank top that reveals well-muscled arms, and executing a punishing series of push-up-like movements, Black is looking pretty tough. In fact, “Tough” is the name of the dancer and choreographer’s newest piece. It’s a one-woman-show inspired by turn-of-the-century bare knuckle boxing champ John L. Sullivan, whose famous catchphrase went: “My name is John L. Sullivan, and I can lick any sonofabitch in the house.”

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2:51pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Arts & Culture

Keeping memories of Chinatown alive -- and kicking!

Courtesy of Grant Avenue Follies

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.

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5:24pm

Mon June 9, 2014
Arts & Culture

StoryCorps: Patricia Chin, from Chinatown to a chorus line

Patricia Chin
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.

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7:00pm

Wed May 7, 2014
Arts & Culture

A class for dancers with big dreams, and leg warmers

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. 

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