A Holiday Favorite: Smuinâ€™s â€śThe Christmas Balletâ€ť
Published: November 1, 2012
By Darren Anderson
On November 23, Smuin Ballet begins performances of â€śThe Christmas Ballet,â€ť which makes its annual return with a perfect gift for audience members of all ages.
The two distinct acts, Classical Christmas and Cool Christmas, are filled to the brim with an eye-catching array of ballet, tap, and swing, celebrating holiday traditions from around the world. The 2012 Edition includes new choreography from acclaimed Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert and Smuin artists Jane Rehm and myself to accompany time-honored favorites. â€śThe Christmas Balletâ€ť will tour the Bay Area, beginning with shows in Livermore, followed by Mountain View, Carmel, and its annual holiday run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Single tickets ($25-$65*) are available by calling the individual venues or visiting www.smuinballet.org
* San Francisco venues only, other venues $49-$65
An ever-changing carousel of mischief and elegance,...
Costumes Take Center Stage at San Francisco Ballet
Published: October 18, 2012
By Philip Mayard
From downtown fabric stores and wig shops, to arts and crafts outlets in suburban strip malls, it seems that everyone is thinking about costumes these days, now that Halloween is quickly approaching. At San Francisco Ballet, however, costumes are a year-round endeavor.
Although Bay Area...
San Francisco Ballet LGBT Nite Out
By Kirsten Kruse Published: February 9, 2012
The first LGBT Nite Out at the SF Ballet this year was held January 27th with a breathtaking performance of Onegin, a sumptuous Russian ballet about love, honor, and betrayal.
The SF Ballet invites the LGBT community to three Nite Out events per season, providing a full eveningâ€™s...
Bill T. Jones, Tony Award-Winning Choreographer (1952 - )
Published: October 6, 2011
By Kathleen Archambeauâ€śYouâ€™ve got to, every day, face your aching body and your damaged ego and youâ€™ve got to get up there and do it again and againâ€¦â€ť
He was the most unlikely winner for Best Choreography in Tony Award history â€“ African-American, tenth child of twelve children born...
Speaking with Kurt Froman, Billy Elliotâ€™s Choreographer
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: July 28, 2011
Kurt Froman has lots to say about dancing and choreography. Below are excerpts from an interview with the man who did an astonishing job as resident choreographer for â€śBilly Elliotâ€ť now playing at the Orpheum Theatre.BayTimes: What do you love most about dancing/choreography?Kurt Froman: I love the "perfection" of a...
Fantastic Talent at Fresh Meat
By Rink Published: June 23, 2011
Diversity and fantastic talent were evident at the 2011 Fresh Meat Festival, which is in its 10th year. Robbie Tristen and William de Vries tore up the floor with close order dancing; Natasha Muse was hilarious with her rendition of mouth-breathing thugs who want to know all about her transgender...
Amy Siewert and Smuin Balletâ€™s 2011 Spring Program
The Secret History Of Love (Part I) â€” To Be Revealed In Dance
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: April 28, 2011
This weekend, secret love affairs, the history of outlawing love and the underground ways that transgender and queer people found each other in decades past are revealed in Sean Dorseyâ€™s latest dance piece, The Secret History of Love (Part I). From 1920s speakeasies to modern-day Craigslist personal ads, the â€ślove...
Final Adieu to Merce Cunninghamâ€™s Bay Area Performances
By Dr. Annette Lust Published: March 10, 2011
Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) - ballet dancer/choreographer and artistic director of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company - is no stranger to the Bay Area and to Cal Performances (the performing arts presenter and producer of the University of California, Berkeley). From 1962 to 2011 Cunninghamâ€™s pieces and his company appeared more...
Smuinâ€™s The Christmas Ballet: A Leap Above Extraordinary
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: December 23, 2010
The late choreographer Michael Smuin would be proud! His work still lives and thrives in the capable hands of SF Balletâ€™s Amy Seiwert (Choreographer in Residence) and Amy London (Ballet Master) as demonstrated in The Christmas Ballet, now playing at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Catch it if you...
Naughty Nautical Nutcracker Danced Along
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: December 16, 2010
This year for the 25th annual â€śDance-Along Nutcrackerâ€ť (the biggest fundraiser of all for the Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band), the theme was nautical with all things seaworthy. And slightly naughty with a touch of burlesque for the adults-only version on Dec. 11 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.Â â€śAs long...
SF Balletâ€™s Nutcracker : A Christmas Valentine
By Mike Ward Published: December 16, 2010
Nutcracker, SF Balletâ€™s Artistic Director Helgi Tomassonâ€™s 2004 reimagining of Tchaikovskyâ€™s holiday ballet classic The Nutcracker, is a terpsichorean confection, a Christmas Valentine to the City of San Francisco (currently running). It is set in 1915 Edwardian San Francisco, â€śThe Jeweled Cityâ€ť as one projected postcard says in the opening...
Dance-Along Nutcracker Goes Burlesque
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: December 9, 2010
The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB) is offering a tantalizing liaison with The Twilight Vixen Revue for a naughty nautical-themed â€śDance-Along Nutcracker: At Sea!â€ť at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.â€śThink Love Boat hits the Barbary Coast ... hard,â€ť remarks Artistic Director Jadine...
25 Years of Hula: Lavish, Fun Production
By Mike Ward Published: October 14, 2010
Come get your hula on in ways you never expected as Patrick MakuakĂ˘ne and NĂ˘ Lei Hulu I Ka WĂ§kiu present 25 Years of Hula - A special anniversary performance at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Oct. 16-24. From traditional to a contemporary number featuring drag star Matthew Martin,...
Smuin Ballet: Sloppy to Sublime
By Mike Ward Published: October 7, 2010
When selecting a program for presentation, a company owes it to its audiences and dancers to showcase the strengths of the company. Consistency, quality and vision need to be combined with a rigorous discipline and a clear directive. Smuin Balletâ€™s Fall Program is a perfect case-study in what happens when...
Trey McIntyre: Dynamic Dance
By Mike Ward Published: September 23, 2010
What strikes one first about choreographer Trey McIntyre is his height. Dance is not a world known for tall people. As someone pushing six-and-a-half feet myself, itâ€™s rare to look at someone eye-level or taller. McIntyre is the latter.
McIntyreâ€™s work lives in a world of opposing forces....
Comedy Ballet: Story Within a Story
Published: July 15, 2010
By Michael PlataniaHalfway through the first act of Comedy Ballet, now playing at The Garage in SOMA, I turned to my friend and whispered, â€śI have no idea whatâ€™s going on. I think the pirate is hysterical. And this audience is dead.â€ť By the end of the show, my impression...
Traveling Light: Goodeâ€™s Encore Show
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: July 1, 2010
Joe Goode Performance Groupâ€™s site-specific Traveling Light is a not-to-be-missed event when it returns to the Old Mint Building on July 7! In a recent interview with the SF Bay Times, Joe talks about his life as a dancer/ choreographer, some of the challenges of being an innovator, and creating...
Smuin Balletâ€™s Spring Program: Smorgasbord of Styles
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: May 13, 2010
Smuin Ballet concludes its 2009/2010 season with their Spring Program, consisting of three very differently paced ballets â€” Songs of Mahler, Petite Mort and the world premiere of French Twist.Â Beginning with Michael Smuinâ€™s Songs of Mahler, the ballet flows through a range of emotions from playful to dramatic and passionate....
CubaCaribe Dance Festival Celebrates Perseverance of Spirit
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: April 22, 2010
In the wake of the 2010 Haiti and 2005 Louisiana disasters, the people of Port-au-Prince and New Orleans, respectively, persevere as demonstrated by the work of several highly spirited dance companies in the Sixth Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music.Visiting from New York City, the excellent ASE Dance Theater...
A Decade of Delicious Divine Decadence - ZinZanni Style!
By Mike Ward Published: March 18, 2010
Teatro ZinZanniâ€™s Hearts on Fire, their 10th anniversary show featuring discoâ€™s soulfully-divine Thelma Houston as Madame ZinZanni, is another successful, celebratory-incarnation of â€śLove, Chaos & Dinner.â€ť Teatro ZinZanni consistently offers an abundant international smorgasbord of entertainment, a juicy pastiche of bawdy groan-a-rific puns, Euro-Cirque physical comedy, a dash of Vaud-lesque-Funhouse-meets-Beach...
The Cinderella Principle: Anne Galjour
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: February 25, 2010
Award-winning solo performer and playwright Anne Galjour recently spoke with the SF Bay Times about the upcoming interdisciplinary work, The Cinderella Principle: Try these on, see if they fit. Here, the 30-year SF resident has collaborated with boundary-breaking choreographer Robert Moses and his dance company Robert Mosesâ€™ Kin. The work...
SF Ballet Program 2: Of Dreams, Ghosts and Simpler Times
By Mike Ward Published: February 18, 2010
Fresh, contemporary and ambitious. These words describe SF Balletâ€™s shorter (2 hours) Program 2 for the 2010 SF Ballet season which features a rotating line-up of soloists during its run. Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson deftly curates this trilogy of works, eliciting reactions as widely divergent as each choreographersâ€™ strengths.Â Opus 19/The...
SF Balletâ€™s Program 3: Balanchine Extravaganza
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: February 18, 2010
In Program 3 of the San Francisco Balletâ€™s 2010 season (their 77th), three pieces by the innovative George Balanchine took flight at War Memorial Opera House. Under the music direction of David LaMarche, the first piece set to Tchaikovskyâ€™s Serenade opened in an exquisite panoply of ethereal shapes. So striking...
Robert Henry Johnson: Passionately Articulating Dance
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: February 11, 2010
Robert Henry Johnson spoke passionately during a recent interview about dance and his life in the arts. His choreography is currently featured in the sixth annual Black Choreographers Festival dedicated to â€śHonoring the Legacy â€” Celebrating the Next Generationâ€ť with performances in Oakland (February 12-14) and in SF (February 19-21).Â (Bay...
Love Everywhere: A Moving Valentine
By Mike Ward Published: February 11, 2010
Imagine a world where people freely commit to their beloved with hearts beating and bodies moving in synchronicity. A world where one will find love everywhere. Erika Chong Shuch, award-winning Bay Area choreographer and performance movement designer extraordinaire, brings this world to life in her new project Love Everywhere, which...
Yes Sweet Can: Spellbinding
By Eryka M. Fraczek Published: December 24, 2009
If you have neither the time nor the funds to see Cirque du Soleil this year, a delightfully satisfying experience at a much lower price is Yes Sweet Can, a production of Sweet Can Productions now playing at Dance Mission Theater. Directed by Wendy Parkman (performed with the Pickle Family...
The Christmas Ballet, 2009 Edition: Family Fare with Some Bumps and Grinds
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: December 24, 2009
After completing its Bay Area tour of Carmel, Walnut Creek and Mountain View, Smuin Ballet returns to San Franciscoâ€™s Yerba Buena Center with its enormously popular seasonal performance, The Christmas Ballet, 2009 Edition. This sassy holiday celebration returns with a wide selection of ballet, tap, swing, and a wealth of...
Reunion Gathers â€śDancing With The Drag Starsâ€ť Alumni
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: September 17, 2009
The good news was announced on Sept. 10 at the private bar and lounge of Diageo that the next season of â€śDancing with the Drag Starsâ€ť has been officially green-lighted; so we will once again get to witness talented drag queens and kings paired with professional dancers in another fierce,...
Zhukov Dance Theatre: A New Dimension
By Eryka M. Fraczek Published: August 13, 2009
One of the newer contemporary dance companies to assemble in San Francisco is the Zhukov Dance Theatre, founded by Artistic Director Yuri Zhukov in 2008. Zhukov Dance Theatre returned with its â€śProduct 02â€ť last weekend at the Yerba Buena Center for the Artsâ€™ Novellus Theater, performing two Friday and Saturday...
Drag Stars Danced Their Asses Off for Final Competition
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: August 13, 2009
After two breathtaking semi-finals, the wait was finally over to witness the Grand Finale of the world premiere of the most amazing live spin-off of the TV show Dancing with the Stars with a purely San Francisco twist, â€śDancing with the Drag Stars.â€ť Held at the fabulous Cheryl Burke Dance...
Bruce Vilanch Tells All For Dancing With The Drag Stars
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: June 4, 2009
Coming to The City in an only-in-San Francisco event is the craziest, most fabu spin-off of TVâ€™s â€śDancing with the Starsâ€ť known as â€śDancing with the Drag Queen Starsâ€ť! It will feature DWTSâ€™ own Cheryl Burke herself as celebrity judge alongside Hollywood comic legend Bruce Vilanch and local drag celebrity...
Deborah Slaterâ€™s Desire Line
By Albert Goodwyn Published: April 3, 2008
In their nineteenth season, Deborah Slater Dance Theaterâ€™s latest version of â€śThe Desire Lineâ€ť played for two weekends at Cowell Theater. It premiered last Spring to rave reviews at the much smaller Dance Mission Theater. This production made creative use of the Cowell, including performances in the lobby and the...
CariĂ±o: Economy of the Heart with Anne Bluethenthal
By Paul Sinasohn Published: March 27, 2008
This dance production conceived and created by lesbian choreographer Anne Bluethenthal is an amazing explosion of movement and rhythm that explores all aspects of nurturing. To Anne, cariĂ±o translates as â€ślove, affection, tenderness, and endearment.â€ť All of these nurturing emotions and actions are danced, sung and spoken during the performance....
Spinning a Fine Yarn
Published: March 8, 2007
By Adele Chavez You can hear and see all kinds of stories in the Mission District, but few will be as entertaining or as visually appealing as the ones from Spinning Yarns Dance Collective. Currently performing Ongoing Journeys in Still Places at the ODC Theater, the company spins their yarns...
Viscerally Perceived Takami and MoBu Dance Group
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: February 15, 2007
Breath exhalations, heard but not seen; the sound of hands slapping torsos. Light appears and the starkness of the white-faced dancers emerges in shadow. Was it a warm up or the beginning of the dance? As they find themselves in separate spaces discovering the light (Kathy Roulston) that illuminates them,...
Circus Sweets from Sweet Can
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: January 25, 2007
A newspaper on the sidewalk swirls in the wind. Suspended 20 feet above, a woman tumbles down lithely in a bed sheet. Her neighbor drinks a cup of tea while balancing on a clothesline. The bus doesnâ€™t come but the mail gets delivered.An ordinary day in our city? Or an...
Women On The Way Festival Arrives
By Dennis McMillan Published: January 11, 2007
The Seventh Annual Women on the Way Festival is three weeks of women in the arts with innovative circus, dance, music, and installation performances. The festival goes on Thursdays-Sundays, Jan. 11-28 at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. at Mission near the 24th Street BART in San Francisco. On...
Smuinâ€™s Christmas Ballet
By Albert Goodwyn Published: December 21, 2006
â€śHandsome young men spinning and leaping up a storm.â€ť Thatâ€™s what The New York Times had to say about Smuin Balletâ€™s productions, and Michael Smuinâ€™s new edition of The Christmas Ballet does not disappoint. The cast of sixteen includes pretty young women, too, all celebrating the season in a series...
Acclaimed Outsider Chronicles Returns To San Francisco
By Sister Dana Van Iquity Published: November 16, 2006
Sold-out houses. Standing ovations. Audiences moved to tears. After a wildly successful premiere last fall and touring engagements in New York and Washington, The Outsider Chronicles is back in San Francisco by popular demand. For one weekend only, Dorsey brings back his widely celebrated dance concert. If you were one...
Impermanence: The Undressed Project
By Tom W. Kelly Published: July 20, 2006
Everyone is beautiful in their own way. In full concordance with this lyrical sentiment, The Undressed Project uses nudity in a site-specific, dance/theater performance titled Anicca (a Pali word signifying impermanence). Presented by Dandelion Dancetheater and ODC Theater in association with West Wave Dance Festival and Project Artaud, they explore...
Duettos: A Life Lesson Found in Dancing
By Linda Ayres-Frederick Published: June 15, 2006
Duettos â€” Mark Foehringer Dance Projectâ€™s eleventh season and latest World Premiere at the ODC Theater â€” is more than an ode to the choreographerâ€™s teachers and students. It is inspired by lessons learned and passed on, and it contains brief glimpses into the relationship that could be those between...
Smuin Ballet, Spring Program
By Tom W. Kelly Published: May 18, 2006
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something Blue (as in Angel). Smuin Ballet Director Michael Smuin brings to Bay Area audiences three works in his Spring Program. Dancer Celia Fushille-Burke appears in her final stage performance of The Blue Angel. And also featured is the world premiere of Smuinâ€™s Symphony...