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    Culture, Dance Behind The Nutcracker

    Behind The Nutcracker

    In 1944, the San Francisco Ballet debuted the first-ever American production of The Nutcracker, which has enchanted children and dazzled audiences every year since. While we focus on the spritely spirits waltzing across the stage, there is more to the…
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    Culture, Dance Company Woman: Twyla Tharp

    Company Woman: Twyla Tharp

    A Twyla Tharp encounter is like an assault you'd pay your last dollar to repeat. Whatever your access point to the acclaimed choreographer — as a dancer, a regisseur staging her ballets, a writer shotgunned through an interview, or as…
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    Culture, Dance Collaborator

    Collaborator

    When I arrived in San Francisco light-years ago, Market Street was a sleepy boulevard dazed by bright light, occasional bursts of traffic, and packs of winos slumped in front of shuttered storefronts. People boasted about the two skyscrapers in town…
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    Culture, Dance Flamenco Fever

    Flamenco Fever

    Last fall I went to see flamenco and Spanish dance at the tiny Eureka Theatre on Jackson, where a hint of stale popcorn still haunts the air from its days as a movie house. As the concert began, melancholy guitar…
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    Culture, Dance The Tired Nut

    The Tired Nut

    It costs $1.5 million for 2 1/2 weeks of work for about 170 people, and it depends on fat bags, hats that look like wet dogs, weird harnesses, and 100 pounds of scrap paper in pieces slightly bigger than confetti.…
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    Culture, Dance Outside  the Box

    Outside the Box

    Try to sneak choreographer Alonzo King into a categorical box, even in the role of iconoclast, and he turns impatient, almost testy. The tall, soft-spoken artistic director of Lines Ballet is the founder of the leading experimental ballet company in…
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    Culture, Dance The Odd Couple

    The Odd Couple

    They are the local dance world's odd couple -- two choreographers, about 10 years apart in age, staging concerts together for the last nine years, who are neither roommates nor romantic partners. They don't collaborate artistically. They're not even best…
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    Culture, Dance Breath of Understanding

    Breath of Understanding

    Is dance a universal language that can be understood by anyone? Or is dance many languages with rules one has to first learn in order to understand and appreciate the various dialects? For the past 24 years, the San Francisco…
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    Culture, Dance Life's a Beach

    Life's a Beach

    Out of the blue, choreographer Cheryl Chaddick's rabbit died last week. Buster had gone into the vet's for a routine something or other -- nothing he hadn't undergone before -- so Chaddick was aghast when the doctor called to tell…
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    Culture, Dance Into Thin Air

    Into Thin Air

    In Jess Curtis' upcoming Fallen, you won't find an ankle-deep sea of office paper and fake body parts onstage. You also won't see any imploding buildings projected onto the backdrop, nor does the choreographer use film clips of people running…
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    Culture, Dance Wise Bird

    Wise Bird

    In the grim arts climate of the last three decades, the politically committed and the lifelong rebels have best withstood the onslaught of tough times. For artists on the margins, fervent political belief has kept many of them going, even…
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    Culture, Dance Amazon Queen

    Amazon Queen

    Ever since Contraband stormed the Bay Area dance scene in the mid-'80s, the grass-roots community has been throwing over traditional arts-organization hierarchies for collectives, partnerships, group rituals, and dance jams. At times, it has seemed that anyone could contribute to…
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    Culture, Dance All's Fair in Love and War

    All's Fair in Love and War

    German choreographer Joachim Schlömer settles into the corner of the Olympia Hotel cafe near the Tenderloin with the sinuous acuity of a cat. His is the gracious, coolly accommodating manner of a busy man neither eager nor afraid to talk…
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    Culture, Dance Mind Games

    Mind Games

    The setting makes me laugh: Curving walls of unseemly brown, plastered with blobs that resemble spitballs, breasts, or bundles of male organs, sprout short ribbons, like those given to 10-year-olds in gym class. But here the ribbons are multicolored, green…
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    Culture, Dance In the Dance House

    In the Dance House

    When people talk about dance, they often conjure up an image of a large open field with lots of different things growing, all exposed to the same elements. But the dance world is more like a house with thousands of…
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    Culture, Dance AXIS Powers

    AXIS Powers

    A month ago, Rhodessa Jones, the wisely sassy performance artist, stood in front of a microphone in the Green Room of the Herbst Theater. She was accepting the dance community's Isadora Duncan Award for best choreography on behalf of her…
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    Culture, Dance Dance to  the Music

    Dance to the Music

    May is the month of exuberantly blooming flowers, a seeming profusion of women overripe with babies, and boisterous assemblies of birds and bees. It's also the lush, green bridge to summer, so it seems fitting that two romantics, Michael Smuin…
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    Culture, Dance Flying High

    Flying High

    You have to laugh when soft-spoken Jo Kreiter calls herself the Shape Nazi. She doesn't mean that she leads Weight Watchers groups sporting black boots and a bullwhip, nor that she recklessly sculpts her body through liposuction and plastic surgery…
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    Culture, Dance Next of KIN

    Next of KIN

    He began working in the family store in Philadelphia at the age of 6, when most kids are still struggling to tie their shoes. He was educated first as a Catholic -- his mom's religion -- then as a Black…
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    Culture, Dance Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    Ballet and intellectuality often seem to fit together about as well as George W. Bush and a good book. On the one hand, you've got ballet's anachronistic courtly pretension, with women in hooped gowns bowing beautifully, and men like so…
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    Culture, Dance Youth and Beauty

    Youth and Beauty

    Twyla Tharp started it 28 years ago when she blasted the Beach Boys' "Little Deuce Coupe" through New York's City Center. Onstage, while Brian Wilson's voice whined sweetly, Tharp's pop spectacle by the Joffrey Ballet got under way. A tall…
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    Culture, Dance Living With Misha

    Living With Misha

    Raquel Aedo fears few things in the dance world. Her sinewy frame doesn't tremble, for instance, at her boss' every criticism. "I still look at him when I'm watching him perform and see he's accomplished so much, but intimidation is…
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    Culture, Dance <i>Space</i> Craft

    Space Craft

    The 11 members of Capacitor are classifiably nocturnal creatures, meeting at night and rehearsing in the dark. At the moment they resemble bats, clinging to the studio ceiling by pulleys, flying through the air at random with the release of…
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    Culture, Dance Truth in Dance

    Truth in Dance

    London audiences didn't quite know what to make of Mark Morris' Four Saints in Three Acts when the work premiered there in June. Even though the English National Opera produced the work (and footed most of the bill), Morris had…
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    Culture, Dance Step by Step

    Step by Step

    Oakland Ballet's rehearsal studio has become a dance history classroom, and Mary Cochran, a petite powerhouse with a tousle of exuberant paprika-red curls, is calling out the syllabus. "It's actually Nijinsky meets hip hop," Cochran says as a lanky woman…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    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.'"

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