Friday, October 30, 2009

Performing Diaspora

Diaspora: A body of people dispersed from their homelands. That pretty much describes the Bay Area population in a nutshell. Beginning on November 5, CounterPULSE, the SOMA artists’ collective, presents Performing Diaspora, a series of works-in-progress culminating in three weekends of dance, music and drama featuring a baker's dozen of artists whose fresh and experimental work is rooted in cultural traditions from such diverse parts of the world as Indonesia, Serbia, the Carribean Japan and Africa.

CounterPULSE director Jessica Robinson Love says “The Bay Area has had support for artists who practice traditional forms of dance and that’s very important, especially for recent immigrants. On the other hand we have a vibrant contemporary performance community. What we were lacking was a middle ground - artists based in traditional forms who want to divert from that.”

Friday, October 2, 2009

Avant garde dance comes to San Francisco this weekend:

Taking it to the Edge
An Evening of Avant Garde Dance at ODC
By Andrea Pflaumer

To someone of lesser mettle than dancer Sara Shelton Mann, broken bones and ripped tendons might have sent them into retirement long ago. But for Mann they only served to drive her deeper into her creative well, garnering an impressive number of accolades along the way, including four Isadora Duncan awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Mann, one of the world’s foremost figures in avant garde dance, presents her newest production, Shapeshifter, in a concert entitled Shared Legacies on October 3 and 4 at ODC. Joining her on the bill is her former principal dancer and protégé Kathleen Hermesdorf, whose company La Alternativa (formerly MOTIONLAB) performs their piece entitled the other edge of there is here. “I’m very honored to share a show with Sara,” Hermesdorf says. “She always attracts great collaborators and has fabulous dancers.” [Mann’s lead dancer, Maria Scaroni, created quite a stir this year with an NEA-sponsored performance of a piece by Jess Curtis that had her appearing in the nude.]

(See page 16)