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
Watching Signal Theater Company's presentation of Ellen McLaughlin's production (directed by Cliff Mayotte) is like watching a bird learning to fly: The first unsteady steps take on surprising purpose as you watch it suddenly take flight. Twelve-year-old Charlotte (Sara Maria Hasbun) has been kidnapped and taken into the snowy woods. Her desperate mother, Dessa (Carolyn Doyle), hires a pilot, Maxine (Éowyn Mader), to find her. Maxine's search for Charlotte becomes a personal journey as she comes to terms with the death of her own mother (Dawn-Elin Fraser) and the story of her grandmother (a marvelous Patricia Silver), who immigrated from Poland to the U.S. Themes of loss, recovery, and the "perpetual presence" of a loved one's absence flit in and out of the play, which is set almost entirely on the wing of a plane with a background of distant, bare trees. This sparse, pale blue and white design (by Greg Dunham), which suggests vast space, takes on poignant meaning in the Phoenix Theater's cramped upstairs: Though Maxine has the freedom of flight, she is emotionally earthbound, unable to escape the haunting image of her mother, who appears, ghostlike, behind a scrim above the stage. Mader settles gracefully and effortlessly into the role of Maxine, easily carrying both the comic and the intense moments. Doyle takes a risk in playing Dessa with calm resignation: It's counter to the text, which suggests she should be more hysterical. It could also make audiences think she lacks energy -- that is, until she reaches a breaking point and unleashes an impassioned monologue. Fortunately, McLaughlin doesn't tell the whole story from the start; instead, she parses out bits of information about the characters until they have enough dimension (and coordination) to really take off.
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.'"