writers on dancing



covering the dance scene in the San Francisco Bay Area


August 18 , 2003

Noh Project II

An intercultural dance/music/poetry performance installation
Headlands Center for the Arts
Sunday, August 3

by Ann Murphy

...Although none of this small reverie was stage-managed by choreographer June Watanabe, 15 minutes later the 63-year-old artist and Mills College dance professor confronted me with an interdisciplinary work-in-progress called Noh Project II that willingly embraced and even sought out puzzles of how things seem as opposed to what they are. That made this was one of the most demanding and provocative collaborations I’ve seen in years, where form and content fused with sinuous delicacy. I only wish more completed local work was as rigorously inventive and daring as this.


"I have in the past decade created works-in-progress primarily because I was trying a new kind of work, and, in a number of cases, I was doing it at the Headlands. I love that place more than any other performance space….The work-in-progress sites are critical in that they lend themselves to the content and nature of the work. I also want the audience to be physically closer, a part of the piece."

full article

Anna Halprin

Emergence and Seasons

by Rita Felciano

San Francisco, July 23, 2003.

In introducing Seasons during the weekend of the summer solstice, Halprin explained that the dancers were not trying to create a ritual—which cannot be invented—but a ritual performance. Ritual performances, she said, make possible a common language out of which rituals, which are based on cultural myths, can grow. That seemed fair enough. Whatever else it was intended to be, “Summer” turned out to be an exquisite site-specific performance piece built around the theme of emergence.

Led by a silent guide, dressed in red from head to toe, the audience, which was not supposed to think of itself as “audience” but as “witnesses”, proceded along leafy paths from one performance arena to another. The artists, Halprin had explained, had chosen a specific site and created their section of the work from that place. All along the way we would encounter a hunched-over dry-as-dust gray old woman, silently crouching next to a path, merging with a pile of earth, only to disappear and pop again. After a while you began to believe that she really was the spirit of these woods.

full article


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copyright 2003 by danceviewwest


page last updated on October 8, 2003

what's on this week
August 18- 25

A free lunchtime treat: Summerfest/dance and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival team up to commission 10 Bay Area choreographers to create site-specific works. Aug. 18: Elizabeth Frye and the Kamisi Dance Ensemble, and Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement. Aug. 19: Ann Berman and Dog Patch Superstars. Aug. 20: Rebecca Pappas and Janice Garrett + Dancers. Aug. 21: Maxine Moerman Dance Theater and Mark Foehringer Dance Project. Aug. 22: Zaccho Dance Theater and Navarette x Kajiyama.
Aug.18-22, 12:30pm, Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard St., San Francisco, (415) 543-1718,

Dances by Karl Gillick, Rosemary Hannon, and Ralf Jaroschinski.
Aug.21 8pm, 848 Community Space, 848 Divisadero St., San Francisco, (415) 701-1619.

The promising and deliciously quirky choreographer Alma Esperanza Cunningham joins Joe Landini and Courage Group for a shared bill at the intimate Shotwell Studios.
Aug.22-23 8pm, Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th St., San Francisco, (415) 621-3066.

STOMP alumna Kamal Sinclair Steele teams with Obie-Award winning playwright Robbie McCauley and “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” star Baakari Wilder to present a dance theater show mixing music, hip-hop, and poetry.
Fridays 8pm and Saturdays 3 and 8pm through Aug. 23, Baha’I Center Theater, 170 Valencia St., San Francisco, (415) 431-9870,

One of the Bay Area’s most prodigiously gifted dancers celebrates the 10th anniversary of his troupe with a premiere, “Magenta Sky,” inspired by the Seminole wars in mid-1800s Florida.
Aug.22-23, 7pm, Buriel Clay Memorial Theatre, 726 Fulton St. (inside the African American Art and Culture Complex), (415) 621-3778 ext. 2,

—Rachel Howard

Calendar Listings source courtesy of IN DANCE, a FREE monthly publication of Dancers' Group at


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