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2016 Winter Arts Guide: Dance 

Wednesday, Jan 20 2016

Winter in San Francisco might not weigh hard on the body like it does elsewhere. But bodies in motion keep us even warmer. From mothers-to-be to mothers-in-law, from a veneration of the world's most valuable carbohydrate as an object to a festival cheekily dubbed WTF, from surviving genocide to surviving gentrification, dances abound for your delectation.

Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Rice

In Cloud Gate's 1994 Songs of the Wanderers, a steady rain of golden rice is poured down upon the head of a meditating monk, is raked into a spiral, and is flung in ecstatic plumes, all symbolic of the myriad obstacles and encounters on the path to enlightenment. Rice, created for the Taiwanese dance company's 40th anniversary, returns meditation on the grain to an earthly plane in a study of crop cycles, the humility of human existence, and the rural environs of the small agricultural town of Chihshang.

Jan. 22 - 23 at Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley.

Compagnie Hervé Koubi

The French troupe makes its West Coast debut with What the Day Owes to the Night, a piece for 12 men created by French-Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi. Acrobatic and abstract, athletic and spiritual, the whirl of the body is both a b-boy headspin and a Sufi ritual trance, made to mesmerize and humble the mortal viewer.

Jan. 22 - 23 at ODC Theater.

Dance In Revolting Times

In a world of increasingly virtual existence, the body is a nuisance, an invisible entity, a vehicle that requires the most expensive of garages. Now in its second year, the D.I.R.T. Festival gives activist artists a shared space to stand ground against social and political issues by arguing for the embodied life. With 18 Bay Area choreographers in three thoughtful programs, there are many to salute in the continued resistance. Dance Mission Theater director Stella Adelman says, "The dancing body, the way it demands to be seen and take up space, is itself an act of rebellion."

Jan 23 - Feb. 7 at Dance Mission Theater.

Winter Theatre Festival

Satisfy your hunger for the weird and the wonderful at the first ever Winter Theatre Festival, with acts that go the gamut from flamenco to performance installation to cabaret. Watch clowns cavort and sexy robots flash their inhuman parts in a lurid, old cinema-turned-theater in Chinatown.

Jan. 27 - Feb. 6 at the Great Star Theatre.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Analogy/Dora: Tramontane

Conversations with your mother-in-law are notoriously discomfiting, more likely to result in passive aggressive interludes and squabbles over how best to scramble an egg. However, if you are Bill T. Jones, conversations with your mother-in-law become a 30-part dance theater piece on surviving World War II and the aftermath of holding such memories. French Jewish nurse Dora Amelan gives a name and a face to an indelible historical event, translated through the faces and figures of Jones's diverse company.

March 10 - 13, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

See the links below for more of the 2016 Winter Arts Guide.

Who’s Coming to Town?








About The Author

Irene Hsiao


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