SF – SEAN DORSEY DANCE Launches 15th Anniversary Season

SeanDorsey_15thAnniversary_photo1LydiaDanillerSEAN DORSEY DANCE celebrates 15 years of award-winning dance performances, cultural activism and history-making achievements with a return engagement of, “Boys in Trouble” at Z Space (March 14-16) – along with a 20-city U.S. tour, a full-length documentary, the 18th annual “Fresh Meat Festival” of transgender and queer performance (June 20-22, San Francisco), and other celebratory achievements.

“Fifteen years ago, I never could have imagined that I would become the first U.S. transgender artist to be presented by The Joyce Theater, or that Sean Dorsey Dance would tour with such warm reception to 30 other leading venues across the country” said Sean Dorsey. “Our home season in San Francisco launches not only a celebration of our artistic legacy, but it is a look forward to the radical expansion of our national trans-supportive education, engagement and advocacy work that Bay Area audiences have embraced since day one.” Dorsey continued, “Our mission for the next 15 years begins in 2019 – a critical time when trans communities are facing escalating attacks across the nation.”

SEAN DORSEY (founder and artistic director, Sean Dorsey Dance) is an award-winning San Francisco-based choreographer, dancer, writer and trans activist. Recognized as the nation’s first critically-acclaimed transgender choreographer in modern dance, Dorsey has toured his work to 30 U.S. cities and abroad.

You don’t want to miss your chance to catch these exciting events!

“BOYS IN TROUBLE”

SeanDorseyDance_BOYS_IN_TROUBLE_2_photobyLydiaDaniller“Boys in Trouble” is a timely and urgent commentary on contemporary masculinity. The work places a trans and queer lens onto intersectional questions of embodiment, violence, Black queer love, whiteness, shame and posturing. The award-winning, multi-generational SEAN DORSEY DANCE ensemble (Sean Dorsey, Brian Fisher, ArVejon Jones, Nol Simonse, Will Woodward) performs this intensely athletic work with gusto – moving seamlessly between full-throttle dancing, live speaking and intimate storytelling.

Performances: March 14-16, Z Space (450 Florida Street, SF), four performances only.

(Thursday evening 8 PM; Friday evening 8 PM; Saturday 4 PM matinee with ASL interpretation; Saturday evening 8 PM – gala performance followed by champagne toast and reception with SEAN DORSEY DANCE.)

Tickets: $15-$30. 

More Info:  http://SeanDorseyDance.com/Boys-in-Trouble/ 

“Boys in Trouble” was recently nominated for two regional 2019 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Best Company Performance; Best Music/Sound/Text).

18th ANNUAL “FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL” (June 20-22)

Sean Dorsey curates the highly-anticipated “Fresh Meat Festival” of transgender and queer performance in San Francisco, performing June 20-22. Now in its 18th year with an international following, the annual three-day festival of live dance, theater, spoken word and music will present 12 gender-nonconforming, transgender and queer artists and ensembles from across the U.S. (SEAN DORSEY DANCE performs at the festival each night.)

Performances: June 20-22, Z Space (450 Florida Street, SF).
*ASL interpretation provided on 6/21 & 6/22 *
* Gala Performance & Reception Sat June 22*

Tickets: $15+ sliding scale. 

More Info: http://freshmeatproductions.org/

Upcoming – Documentary

Sean Dorsey himself is the subject of an upcoming  documentary directed by Annalise Ophelian and StormMiguel Florez. Annalise is also the director of the documentary “MAJOR!” about Miss Major, the pioneering elder black transwoman and activist. It was an official selection at 60 film festivals worldwide and garnered more than 20 awards for best documentary. We’re looking forward to seeing the result of this collaboration.

 

SeanDorseyDance_BoysInTrouble_2_PhotoByKeganMarling

Cirque Du Soleil Brings Its First Ice Show, CRYSTAL, to San Jose’s SAP Center

CRYSTAL—Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd production and first-ever experience on ice—has arrived in San Jose’s SAP Center until April 1, 2018.

COURTSHIPIn typical Cirque fashion, the show is innovative, visually stunning, funny, and full of imaginative scenarios that only a Cirque show can take you through. Artists and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, seamlessly combining multiple disciplines to take the audience into the dream world conjured up by the show’s main character, Crystal (Nobahar Dadui).

Crystal finds herself feeling the weight of the mundane life and dreaming of breaking away, “I don’t belong here, I want to live in a book…”. She tells herself, “skate away from them all, find the one inside”, and then begins a magical world of synchronized skating, freestyle, figure, and extreme skating combined with swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand acts. She goes through a self-reflection that leads her to a feeling of freedom and empowerment. The acrobats push their limits and fly through the air demonstrating a weightlessness one can only feel when open to taking risks.

01_TEMPETE-0265The show has something for everyone. There are little amusements like fake falls to make people laugh, incredible stunts for the thrill seekers, and the colorful and musical representations for the artists and dreamers. In the end Crystal breaks through the ice and resurfaces, “everythng feels real until you realize you’re dreaming.”

Another key feature of Cirque shows is their dedication to warming up the audience. Prior to show time they take a more creative approach to getting your attention than just blinking the house lights on and off. For Crystal, this warm up included snow ball fights on stage and within the audience. This is what makes Cirque enjoyable by many. Their creative approach caters to their specific audience, in this production it’s inclusive to all ages and tastes.

13_BALLROOM-3587Want to get your first choice at seats at future shows? Sign Up for a complimentary membership. Cirque Club members receive advance access to the best seats, deals and discounts for tickets, promotions with their partners and a chance to experience never before seen exclusive Cirque du Soleil content.

For more information, visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal
 

Update: Cirque has done it again, all shows at the San Jose location are sold out. 

 

CRYSTAL – A Breakthrough Ice Experience | Cirque du Soleil


 

Ragtime – The Berkeley Playhouse

The Berkeley Playhouse has brought one of the most acclaimed American musicals of the last twenty years to their stage, Ragtime, based on the celebrated novel by E. L. Doctorow. The story includes a multitude of perspectives all looking for the same thing, the American dream. America is changing at the turn of the 20th century and many are fearful of their privilege being diminished. Unwelcoming to Immigrants and/or trying to take advantage of them and continued racism and violence towards African-Americans. You’d think the story was based on today.

BP's_Ragtime_2We’re presented with three evolving stories on the East Coast that interconnect in time, although it ends in song and dance one story still ends somberly.  We meet an affluent white family led by “Mother” (Mindy Lym)  from suburban New Rochelle, New York; an African American musician, Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Dave J. Abrams) part of the Renaissance in Harlem; and Jewish immigrants, Tateh (Mischa Stephens) and his daughter (Molly Graham) who initially start out in the tenements of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

BP's_Ragtime_3Mother (her character has no name) in New Rochelle begins to understand a little bit of her privilege after finding an abandoned baby. She finds the mom, Sarah (Marissa Rudd), who’s about to be imprisoned and promises to take responsibility for her and her child. Sarah ends up being the love of Coalhouse Walker Jr. and he desperately tries to convince her to come back to him each week. We never find out what happened between them prior. Tateh finds a new way to tell stories and ends up becoming successful. He eventually ends up meeting Mother after her family ends up in Atlantic City, New Jersey due to racist tensions at her New Rochelle home. They end up being the only two who move towards the American dream of infinite possibilities. 

BP's_Ragtime_4Interwoven into the story is the innocence of the children. We see the young boy (Elijah Cooper) observing the adults but not understanding their issues, he’s still open and honest with his observations. It’s interesting to think about where adults lose that innocence. Adults often admire it in young people as if they had not been that young once. When and where is that acceptance lost?

The Berkeley Playhouse does a great job bringing this to the small stage. We continue to be impressed by their casting, lighting, sound and show choices. They are inclusive, timely, and well executed. 

Ragtime boasts Tony Award-winning music and lyrics by the Broadway powerhouse duo, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens(Once on This Island, Anastasia, Seussical), book by four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class).

Details: 

February 16 – March 18
Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Director William Hodgson
Music Director Daniel Feyer
Choreographer Alex Rodriguez

Get Tickets


 

Cirque du Soleil’s – LUZIA – U.S. Premiere

If you’re looking for a magical night out, go no further than Cirque du Soleil’s 17th show presented under the Big Top, LUZIA. It’s its 38th original production since 1984, they have performed in more than 400 cities on six continents. The massive white-and-gold Big Top can be seen from the highway at San Francisco’s AT&T park. You’ll not only be taken to another world but you’ll be experiencing it first, the Bay Area is its U.S. premiere.

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The dreamlike experience takes you through the beauty and culture of Mexico. Follow the annual migration of the monarch butterfly and enter the Mayan gateway to the afterlife. You’ll encounter a jaguar, hummingbirds and a call to Cháak, the Mayan god of rain. That call brings about a beautiful rainfall on stage in which images are projected on. The audience was in awe as the pools of water appeared and disappeared in the blink of an eye. The effects summoning the meeting of the sun and moon mingled with the exceptional acrobatic skill that is expected of Cirque Du Soleil, created a transformational experience.    

IMG_7206   A team of more than 60 men and women worked on raising the massive tent space utilizing more than 100 supporting poles with seating for up to 2,600 people over the course of 8 days. The 2,000 tons of equipment is transported via 65 trailer trucks. The performances are not the only thing you’ll be admiring on your night out. The production ends in San Francisco on January 29, 2017. It’s next stop will be in San Jose, CA from February 9 to March 19, 2017.

See it while it’s in the neighborhood!

For tickets, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia  

Do you really want to miss this!?


CARNAVAL San Francisco

 

Carnaval San FranciscoCarnaval San Francisco has been occurring on Memorial Day Weekend for 38 years. It celebrates the diverse Latin American and Caribbean roots that use to make up the Mission District. The diminishing population of Latinos lost to luxury condominiums, “hipster” stores and rising rent prices didn’t limit the representation of what once was. The parade included music, dance, and artistic expression that had attendees dancing, smiling, and taking photos to memorialize their experience. A pride could be felt in the air that told you, a part of us will always be here.

Carnaval San FranciscoUnited Farm Workers co-founder and Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta lead the way as this year’s Grand Marshal. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2012 by President Barack Obama. She’s been fighting for what’s right since the 1960’s and continues to speak out for those who haven’t found their voice. Carnaval San Francisco’s Executive Producer Roberto Hernandez thought she was the perfect choice to lead the way, her advocacy for farm workers and the environment fit perfectly with this year’s theme Viva La Madre Tierra – Long Live Mother Earth. 

Carnaval San FranciscoThere’s also a 2-day festival with food, live music, vendors and an auto showcase. This years feature musician was Venezuela-born Oscar D’León. CARNAVAL San Francisco is one of the largest multi–cultural celebrations on the West Coast. It’s a reminder of how important it is to know your roots and how diverse cultures make life more beautiful. It’s also free, making it a great way to spend your weekend with family and friends. You can find out more about the organization at: http://www.carnavalsanfrancisco.org

 

Slide Show by: Ana Pines

CubaCaribe Festival 2016

The 12th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music ends on Saturday April 30th. This year’s festival CUBA ON MY MIND pays tribute to Cuba’s rich artistic and cultural traditions and their influence around the globe. It’s the only festival in the Bay Area devoted to folkloric and contemporary dance and music of the Afro-Caribbean and its Diaspora. It’s founder, Ramón Ramos Alayo is a Cuban-born dancer, teacher, and choreographer who was selected by the Cuban government to study dance in Santiago de Cuba at age eleven. Each year, the festival presents more than 100 artists in 12 performances plus exhibitions, master classes and lectures on the religion, history and politics of the Caribbean.

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The festival occurs over three weekends. The second weekend took place at Laney College Theater in Oakland. Performances included the Afro-Cuban modern style of Alayo Dance Company and street dance theater style of Nicole Klaymoon’s Embodiment Project. Once the lights went down the beauty of the music and movement permeated the theater instantly. The dancers glided across the stage with focus and precision. In some performances there was a live band and singer. Songs included Nina Simone’s Mississippi Goddam and Shakira’s Pienso En Ti. One performance displaying the struggles of injustice and another lost love. 

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The dancing, singing, music and stories weren’t the only beautiful thing about the show. This is one of the most diverse shows I’ve seen in Oakland! The dancers were from all backgrounds, which in itself has its own interpretation. Life and art is about working together, we often have the same stories when it comes to the emotions related to the pressures of the everyday and love and loss. If only this commonality could open the eyes of the greedy and power hungry then the struggles forced upon people of color could be eradicated. Unfortunately, the reality of life is not a beautiful dance like CubaCaribe but it lets you know that in another lifetime it could be.

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CubaCaribe is a non-profit that also provides dance classes and workshops. For more information go to: http://www.cubacaribe.org

Riverdance 20th Anniversary Tour

Photographer: Rob McDougal

Photographer: Rob McDougal

You have until November 8th to check out the 20th anniversary show of Riverdance at SHN Golden Gate Theatre. The popular show comes from a sold out run across Europe and Asia. Over 20 dancers bring this show to life including an Irish troupe, Flamenco and Urban dancers. Not many people seem to know this as its not emphasized in its advertising.

The show began on February 9,1995 at the Point Theatre in Dublin and has kept audiences dancing and clapping ever since. Riverdance also has segments showcasing the musicians instead of hiding them in an orchestra pit. They interact with the audience and dancers adding another magical element to it.

Photographer: Rob McDougal

Photographer: Rob McDougal

The repetitiveness of the Irish troupe can start to feel monotonous to some but the flamenco and urban dancers help break it up. In the urban scene there are also comical moments and a little friendly competition among the characters. The audience ate it up and laughed the whole way through. The immigrant story is woven in, as Art is the best way to express the ups and downs of moving from one place to the next. It’s a show you should definitely experience at least once, especially if you love dance.

Photographer: Jack Hartin

Photographer: Jack Hartin

RIVERDANCE – THE 20th ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR is composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan.

Tickets: https://www.shnsf.com/

Don’t live in the Bay Area? Check out the full U.S. tour schedule: http://riverdance.com/tours/usa/

International Dance Day

Some inspiration to get you up on your feet. Express yourself through dance!

This 3-year will move you in more ways than one. His dream is to make people happy because he’s happy.

You’re never too old to hit the beat.

When your team scores and you can’t contain yourself.

Sometimes you just need to show off your dancing skills at work.

Do you hear that bass mom?

No dance partner, no problem! Dance and they will come.

Baltimore Protester turns to music. Just Beat it!

Wedding speech breaks out into Britney, Better Work Bitch

When you get challenged and bust out your best moves.

Learn a thing or two from this adorable Chihuahua