San Francisco is crawling with unexpected dance events over the next month. Here are seven on our radar.
The Right to be Believed
Jo Kreiter's gravity-defying, site-specific dance work taking place on UC Hastings College of the Law's Outdoor Wall probes the credibility of women in society through Flyaway Productions' signature cocktail of social justice and acrobatic spectacle. May 25–27, June 1–3. flyawayproductions.com.
San Francisco International Arts Festival
This festival takes the "international" part of its name seriously: The dance lineup alone has 26 different groups hailing from 10 countries, with equally wide-ranging styles and inspirations running the gamut from capoeira to shadow theater and traditional bharatanatyam to postmodernism. May 25–June 4. sfiaf.org.
Last Blue Couch in the Sky
Epiphany Productions' Hien Huynh and Nuria Bowart. Photo by Andy Mogg, Courtesy YBCA.
Kim Epifano's community-informed work explores the gentrification of San Francisco's South of Market district, beginning with a walk of the neighborhood before concluding with a black-box performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. June 2–4. ybca.org.
Walking Distance Dance Festival
Still from Deep South. Photo by Alex Ketley, Courtesy John Hill PR.
This year's iteration of ODC Theater's annual event includes world premieres from FACT/SF, Monique Jenkinson and Maurya Kerr's tinypistol, as well as Deep South, the final part of a film trilogy exploring what dance means to people in the rural U.S., with a performance by The Foundry. June 2–3, 9–10. odc.dance.
Hope Mohr Dance on site at Klockar's. Photo by Margo Moritz, Courtesy Hope Mohr Dance.
Inspired by the closing of the historic Klockar's Blacksmith shop, Hope Mohr Dance celebrates its 10th anniversary with this new work, which begins with a tour (created in collaboration with Shaping SF Walking Tours) exploring the labor history of the Mid-Market neighborhood and ends with a performance at CounterPulse. June 1–3. hopemohr.org.
Nobody Lives Here Now
As part of a celebration of three decades of dance theater, Joe Goode Performance Group premieres a fantastical story using contemporary dance, text and video to confront aging and the fluidity of gender identity. At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, June 22–24. joegoode.org.
San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko's rep company returns for a second season with works by Alejandro Cerrudo, José Limón, Danielle Rowe and Penny Saunders, as well as a world premiere by James Graham and the U.S. premiere of Christopher Bruce's Shadows. June 22–24. sfdanceworks.org.
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.
You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)
Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of: