The Buzz, 5-4: Tell Tchaikovsky
Conservative Presenting, in Berkeley?; Isadora's Winners; Flamenco
in Philly & NYC; Contain Yourself, Darling!
Copyright 2005 The Dance Insider
You'd think that Berkeley's
Cal Performances, the lead presenter in the San Francisco Bay Area
(not counting the SF Opera), my hometown, would have a tendency
to adventurous programming and nurturing local artists, especially
in planning its 100th anniversary season, announced today. After
all, this was the town (Berkeley) that gave birth to the Free Speech
movement in the 1960s. Don't-call-it-Frisco spawned the rock 'n'
roll revolution of the 1960s, as home of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson
Airplaine, and Santana. And let's not forget the avant-garde of
another generation, Oakland's own, Isadora Duncan. And yet neither
adventure nor homegrown talent can be seen in Cal's 2005-06 dance
season, which offers up the Maryinsky Ballet, Tchaikovsky Perm Ballet,
National Ballet of China, Alvin Ailey, Mark Morris, and Bill T.
Jones/Arnie Zane. (And for those looking for the cutting edge, there's
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago!)
Without taking anything
away from the grandeur of the international companies or the importance
of Morris and Jones, it's nothing less than startling that the biggest
presenter in the radical town of Berkeley would offer dance programming
so conservative. More than that, it deprives both the audience and
a thriving local dance scene of needed nourishment.
Think Globally, Dance Locally
One need look no further
than this year's Isadora Duncan Awards, announced last week, to
realize that there is adventurous dance to be found in the Bay Area
(both from local companies and some imported).
The award for choreography
went to Scott Wells, for "@848," performed by Scott Wells & Dancers;
Leslie Seiters and Rachel Shaw, for "Such Tiny Danger," which they
enacted; and N'Deye N'D'aya Gueye for "Kaolack" and "Thie Bou Dienne,"
performed by Thiosanne Africa Senegalese Dance Company.
Shinichi Momo Koga and
Yuko Kaseki won for ensemble performance, in "Ame to Ame," choreographed
by Koga, Kaseki and Marc Ates for inkBoat; Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos
company performance for their work in Yaelisa's "Mujeres"; and Gina
Dawson (Rhodessa Jones's "California Stories: A time - A Place,"
performed by The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women)
and Gonzalo Garcia (Balanchine's "Apollo" with San Francisco Ballet)
for individual performance.
Other awards went to
Nanos Operetta for music/sound/text; Leslie Seiters for visual design;
and Wendy Ellis Somes for reconstruction/revival/restaging, for
her work on Frederick Ashton's "Symphonic Variations" for SF Ballet.
awards went to Terry Sendgraff, Hiroko and Koichi Tamano, Mary Ann
Kinkead, and Svetlana Afanasieva, the late and legendary ballet
teacher. A special award was given to Luna Kids Dance.
Speaking of flamenco,
if you happen to be flying high in the City of Brotherly Love this
week-end and craving a taste of Spain, check the "Feria de Sevilla,"
Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach
Theater (with a pre-show from 6 to 7 p.m.), and Sunday from 3 to
8 p.m. at the International House. Saturday's program includes Pasion
y Arte and Flamenco del Encuentro. Lead by Tito Rubio and Anna Arias
Rubio (disclosure: the DI's flamenco editor), this latter presents
the Herencia Arab Project, combining traditional flamenco, Middle
Eastern rhythms, and modern music and choreography to celebrate
Southern Spain's ties to the Middle East and Mediterranean.
Tell Tchaikovsky the News
It's his birthday as
well as mine Saturday, and if I were in New York it's-still-a-helluva
town, I'd be celebrating with Noche Flamenca, which is offering
dance insiders 50% off on tickets for this its opening week at Theater
80, through Sunday. Star dancer Soledad Barrio is mad in the best
flamenco manner -- possessed I mean -- so snooze on this offer and
you lose. To get the discount, our friends at Noche tell us, just
call Theatermania at 212-352-3101 or visit its Web site and give the magic promotion
code "paul." This discount is only available for all performances
from May 4 through May 8.
For you modern mavens,
I propose Tami Stronach Dance, in Danspace Project at St. Mark's
Church from tomorrow through Sunday with the new "The Maid and the
Marmalade," plus "Contain yourself, darling." Dancers include Monica
Bill Barnes, Adrian Clark, Richard Crawford, Jessica Green, Adrienne
Kapstein, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Kate Weare, Isadora Wolfe, and
Stronach. I pick it not because Tami and I worked together moons
ago, but because of the choreographer's musicality and her unique
language, particularly in wending and winding duets. But don't take
my word for it. Here's what the Village Voice's Deborah Jowitt said
of a previous Stronach concert: "Stronach constructs her kookily
elegant and imaginative piece with care -- in weighted, slightly
gawky, never ordinary movement." Visit the Danspace Project Web site for more info.
Have a great week-end,
dance insider -- however kookily you construct it.