When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
When it comes to the circus, I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. I love to "ooh" and "ahh" over fine acrobatics and shimmery costumes as much as the next person, but I've seen more than my share of Cirque du Soleil shows, replete with lissome aerial dancers, acrobats with all the expected choreographic flourishes, and New Agey trance music in unidentifiable languages. Fancy wardrobes aside (I do love me some plumage), I usually find myself longing for the sort of quixotic, unpredictable larking about that made me love circuses in the first place. Maybe I've outgrown the primeval playground of the mind, but these days I prefer troupes like the Montreal-based 7 Fingers, who fuse classical and modern dance with vertiginous aerial tricks and a distinctly urban flavor. In the group"s new show, "Traces" directed by founding members and former Pickle Circus luminaries Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll five young thespians with all the right moves deliver a multimedia banquet for the senses. Whether they're breakdancing to Indian kathak rhythms, kick-flipping skateboards, or shooting hoops (and jumping through them), these performers give good show. Abstract video installations replace storybook backdrops, and high-grade athleticism complements hippodrome silliness. Amid all the commotion, 7 Fingers also focuses on the gritty realities of urban survival yet the show still delivers enough absurdity and magic to maintain wonder as part of the formula.
Dec. 13-Jan. 1, 8 p.m.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"