On Thursday (3/17), the pioneering artists from San Francisco's contemporary dance company ODC will launch their 2016 season with a stunning array of world premiere pieces at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts! See video teasers above and below. Tickets available here. I've seen many ODC performances over the years and the commonality between them is that they are all sublime. This Thursday is the first ever performance of ODC founder/artist director Brenda Way's "Walk Back the Cat," featuring an original score commissioned and performed by Paul Dresher, with visuals by RJ Muna and Ian Winters.
"'Walk Back the Cat,' a metaphor for retracing the complex backstory of an event, explores the skeleton of the creative process," Way says. "How does context affect meaning in dance? Developing from pure movement ideas into a dramatic scenario, the work is conceived as a kind of choreographic puzzle, which ultimately comes together in a scenario inspired by Thomas Hart Benton’s muscular and vital murals of American City Life in the 1930s."
The other pieces in the 2016 season include:
* KT Nelson’s new work, "Going Solo," for the exceptional Private Freeman
* Reprise of Nelson’s explosive 2015 hit, "Dead Reckoning"
* Kimi Okada’s "humorous I look vacantly at the Pacific…though regret"
* An unprecedented co-commission from NY choreographer Kate Weare who brings her fiery movement to the ODC dancers with the world premiere of "Giant"
"I look vacantly at the Pacific... though regret":
Football is about one thing and one thing only: dance. As far as I can tell American rules football is where men in elaborate costumes, featuring tight pants, seek to stop other men from dancing.
Colloquially known as a touchdown celebration, the body of rules and regulations managed by the credible governing body, the National Football League, seems to focus on allowable practices to bar the opposing team from dancing. After they've determined what you can do to stop a dancer, and what things are permissible to get the dancer on to the dance floor, known as an "end zone," the NFL then heavily regulates what type of dancing is appropriate.
We have seen Footloose, sad things happen when you try to stop people from dancing. In the NFL this frustration frequently seems to present as abuse and other ugly, unacceptable social behaviors.
I do like the commercials.
World of Dance just held their World Finals in Los Angeles, and the breakout team in the Youth competition brought insane levels of energy and breakdancing precision to win their division. Read the rest
In 1983, Downtown NYC post-punk dance band Liquid Liquid released this Michael Sporn Animation Studios video for "Cavern," a killer track whose bassline became the foundation of Grandmaster Melle Mel's pioneering hip hop track "White Lines (Don't Do It)." The excellent Superior Viaduct label has just reissued Liquid Liquid's classic records including Optimo, the EP containing "Cavern." Read the rest
My friends at Youth Radio interviewed a sports medicine physician, who used to dance with Cirque du Soleil, about the anatomy of "bone breaking," the incredible form of turf dancing where the performers rhythmically contort, pop, and flex their bodies in crazy ways.
Below, Youth Radio's earlier video about turf dancing.
Who can resist babies that bOING! bOING!?
"According to most people who show interest in cultures and especially in the culture of Gouro ethnic group, Zaouli, a popular mask dance, was created in the fifties. The Gouro ethnic group is the midwestern part of Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. According to what people say, there are diverse legends regarding the origin of the Zaouli mask and dance; yet, all come to the agreement that such legends were inspired by a very beautiful girl - 'Dzela Lou Zaouli' - daughter of Zaouli." -- Gouro Culture Read the rest
Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios choreographed a dance of drones and people titled Sparked. Below is a behind-the-scenes video.