writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, San Francisco Bay Area edition

       Volume 2, Number 10   March 8, 2004   The weekly online supplement to DanceView magazine

No new reviews this week, but a press release from the Izzies committee with background on this year's nominations:


San Francisco ----The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee announces the “Izzie” awards nominees for the 2002-2003 performance season, and the first year of a vibrant collaboration among Bay Area dance organizations.

The Izzies will join forces with Bay Area Celebrates National Dance Week and the website Voice of Dance for the first ever Bay Area Dance Awards evening, presented in association with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The program will bring together Bay Area Celebrates National Dance Week’s annual awards, a new Voice of Dance “Dance Critic of Merit” award, and the Izzies in a shared production. This inclusive celebration will be held Monday, April 26, in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the ceremony at 7 p.m. The event is free to the local community. Last year’s ceremony drew nearly 400 members of the dance community representing myriad dance forms. This year the Izzies expects its new partnerships to attract an even broader segment of the dance community.

2004 will mark the 18th year that the Izzies Committee has recognized the excellence and diversity of Bay Area dance. Awards are bestowed in ten categories to Bay Area dancers, choreographers, their collaborators and composers as well as to others who contribute to the advancement of the dance community.

The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee seeks to honor local dance artists and promote their visibility, primarily by acknowledging outstanding achievements within a twelve-month period of performances, running September 1 through August 31. The “Izzie” awards, formed as part of Dance Bay Area in 1984 with honors first given in 1985, are designed to celebrate the unique richness, diversity and excellence of Bay Area dance. In 1994, the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee reincorporated as a volunteer association under the auspices of the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum. In 2002, it became a fiscally sponsored entity of Dancers Group. Its members are choreographers, dancers, teachers, critics, writers, and arts administrators who serve one- or three-year terms.

Below is the roster of this year’s nominees, with the choreographer of a given piece indicated in parentheses:


• Alonzo King, Pas, for AXIS Dance Company, at the Alice Arts Center Theatre
• Robert Moses, The Soft Sweet Smell of Firm Warm Things, for Robert Moses’ Kin, at the Cowell Theater
• Tomi Paasonen, W, for Kunst-Stoff, at ODC Theater
• Terry Sendgraff, Red Bed, for Motivity Aerial Dance, at the Alice Arts Center Theatre
• Shinichi Momo Koga and Tanya Calamoneri, Heaven’s Radio, for Inkboat, at Venue 9

• David Bentley in Conversations (Yannis Adoniou) with Kunst-Stoff during Summerfest at the McKenna Theater
• Kara Davis for her entire season; Margaret Jenkins Dance Company at the Herbst Pavilion, Janice Garrett + Dancers at the Cowell Theater, and Kunst-Stoff at ODC Theater and McKenna Theater
• Amy Foley for the entire evening, Robert Moses’ Kin home season at the Cowell Theater
• Brandon “Private” Freeman in Investigating Grace (Brenda Way), in ODC/SF’s home season at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
• Ledoh in ElsewhereHere (Ledoh), at Noh Space
• Vladimir Riazantsev in Dance Suite from Saratov, with the Nevá Russian Dance Ensemble at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater

• Nadia Adame and Jacques Poulin-Denis in Sans Instruments (Sonya Delwaide) with AXIS Dance Company at the Alice Arts Center Theatre
• Sally Clawson, Christy Funsch, and Nol Simonse in September for Sale (Stephen Pelton) with Stephen Pelton Dance Theater at Dance Mission Theater
• Lorena Feijoo and Joan Boada in Don Quixote (Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov after Petipa) with San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House
• Sean Felt, Gabriel Forestieri, Jesse Howell, and Scott Wells in On the Rebound (Scott Wells) with Scott Wells and Dancers at 848 Community Space
• Aimee Lam and Lorevic Rivera in Giving Strength to this Fragile Tongue (Manuelito Biag) with SHIFT Physical Theater at Dance Mission Theater

• Chitresh Das Dance Company in Pancha Jati (Chitresh Das) at the Cowell Theater
• Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in Wolosodown and Wango (Zakarya Diouf and Naomi Washington) at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater
• Inkboat in Heaven’s Radio (Shinichi Momo Koga and Tanya Calamoneri) at Venue 9
• Limón Dance Company in Psalm (Jose Limón) at the Cowell Theater
• ODC/San Francisco in Investigating Grace (Brenda Way) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

• Donald McKayle/Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley for restaging of District Storyville (Donald McKayle), at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
• Carla Maxwell/Limón Dance Company for restaging of Psalm (Jose Limón), at the Cowell Theater
• Margaret Jenkins, Rinde Eckert, and Kathleen Hermesdorf/Margaret Jenkins Dance Company for revival of Shorebirds Atlantic (Margaret Jenkins and Rinde Eckert), at the Herbst Pavilion
• Monica Parker/San Francisco Ballet for restaging of Elite Syncopations (Kenneth MacMillan), at the War Memorial Opera House

• Patrick Grant for music; Fractured Fictions (Margaret Jenkins), for Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, at the Herbst Pavilion
• Rob Bailis, Nathan Breitling, Phyllis Kamrin, Jeff Watson, Matt Ingalls, Chris Froh, Richard Worn, and Christopher Jones, for their performance at Summerfest’s Choreographers and Composers Consortium, at McKenna Theater
• Emily Fox, Nils Frykdahl, Kinji Hayashi, Carla Kihlstedt; Jeannie Mckenzie, Dawn McCarthy, Dan Rathbun, Sten Rudstroem, and Allen Willner for text, sound, and music; Heaven’s Radio (Shinichi Momo Koga, Tanya Calamoneri and Allen Willner), Inkboat, at Venue 9
• Reverend Markus Hawkins for music composition and performance; ElsewhereHere (Ledoh), at Noh Space
• David Worm and SoVoSó for music; Sans Instruments (Sonya Delwaide), for AXIS Dance Company, at the Alice Arts Center Theatre

• Matthew Antaky for light and scenic design, East as Center (Ni Ketut Arini/Pandit Chitresh Das/Guru Govindan Kutty), Chitresh Das Dance Company, at ODC Theater
• Patrick Makuakane and Patty Ann Farrell for visual design, Stories of the Lehua (Patrick Makuakane), Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater
• Alexander V. Nichols for lighting design, entire evening, AXIS at the Alice (AXIS Dance Company), at the Alice Arts Center Theatre
• Austin Forbord, Sean Riley, and Dave Cerf for video design for House (Austin Forbord and Shelley Trott), Rapt Performance Group, at SomArts Theater
• Allen Willner and Mary Lois Hare for visual design, Heaven’s Radio, Inkboat, at Venue 9


Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Three Decades of Dance

An extraordinary team of collaborators worked for more than a year to celebrate the work of one of San Francisco’s bedrock choreographers. In April 2003, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company: Three Decades of Dance transformed the vast Herbst Pavilion into a living museum of dance history. Set designer Alexander V. Nichols, poet Michael Palmer, videographer Martin Gould and sound designer Gregory T. Kuhn created a truly transporting environment to showcase the company’s past. More than 100 former MJDC dancers were contacted to participate, and several veterans performed significant past works during a pre-show. The company’s program presented a new work with an original live score and also restaged MJDC classics not seen in many years, notably bringing writer and performance artist Rinde Eckert back to the stage in the 1988 work Shorebirds Atlantic. The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company retrospective was an absorbing testament to the company’s past and future.

Chitresh Das, Ni Ketut Arini, Govindan Kutty for choreography and performance and Matthew Antaky for visual design, East as Center

In May 2003 three renowned masters of Asian dance—North Indian Kathak dancer Chitresh Das, Balinese dancer Ni Ketut Arini, and South Indian Katahkali dancer P. Govindan Kutty—met on the common ground of the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic. In East as Center, presented at ODC Theater during Das’ artistic residency, each master portrayed distinct characters in stories excerpted from the Ramayana, with the cast augmented by their disciples. This method of collaboration highlighted the differences between the disciplines while creating a satisfying artistic whole, greatly enhanced by Matthew Antaky’s imaginative lighting and live music by Gamelan Sekar Jaya with guests from India and Bali.



Malonga Casquelourd was born in Douala, Cameroon in 1947. As a principal dancer of the National Congolese Dance Company and as a resident choreographer and performer with Le Ballet Diaboua, a Congolese repertory company based in Paris, he attracted an international following.

Malonga leaves an impressive legacy of institution-building as the founder of Fua Dia Congo, a nonprofit performing arts company formed in East Palo Alto (1977) and currently based in Oakland; Congolese Dance & Drum Camp, the first and longest running Aftican dance, drum and percussion workshop (1979), and Ballet Kizingu, the youth division of Fua Dia Congo (1994). He co-founded Tanawa, the first professional Congolese Dance Company in New York City (1972), and Diata Diata, an all women's Congolese drum ensemble (1990). He was instrumental in establishing Everybody's Creative Arts Center, known today as Citicentre Dance Theatre in downtown Oakland, and the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. He served on the faculty at many institutions, including New York University, Stanford University and San Francisco State University, where he taught for 26 years.

A pioneer, cultural ambassador and visionary leader, Malonga welcomed artists from every continent, challenging all to engage in dialogue and build bridges for cultural exchange. He encouraged the elimination of barriers between continental Africans and African Americans.

Malonga died on June 15, 2003. His last projects included Kusum Africa, a dance-theater performance showcasing the collaborative works of African director/choreographers; Malaki Matanga 2003: Congo of Yesterday & Today; and Wa Dia Fua Yiko Dio, a project exploring themes of cultural inheritance and exchange between urban/hip hop culture and traditional Congolese culture to be completed in the Summer of 2005.

Lou Harrison, one of North America’s most original and influential composers, was best known for his luscious, prolific music for symphony, gamelan and percussion orchestras, chamber ensembles, choral groups and operas. He also composed scores for dancers and played live at dance performances. What is less known was that he danced himself, and would sometimes get up from playing the piano or hitting a gong or drum and get on stage to join the fray.

He also worked as an accompanist, improvising for dance classes. He later said that learning how to improvise helped him with composing.

He started his stage career at the age of two and a half and stole the show as “Buster” in Daddy Long Legs. On the West Coast he appeared as a dancer and/or as an accompanist and composer for/with Bella Lewitsky, Marian Van Tuyl, Tina Flade, Carol Beals, Lenore Peters Job, Bernice van Gelder, Bodil Genkel, Louise Kloepper, Bonnie Bird, Lorie Kranzer, Tandy Beal and Eva Soltes. In New York, he wrote music for Katherine Litz, Jean Erdman, Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris and Remy Charlip.

Lou Harrison was also a skilled painter, calligrapher, type designer, essayist, critic, poet, teacher, instrument builder and political activist. He championed causes ranging through gay rights, pacifism, environmental & ecological, the use of Esperanto and the sign language of deaf people. He taught a course entitled “Music of the World’s People” furthering the study of multi-cultural sources, which has changed what and how we hear today beyond Euro-centric music. In his early years he loved to go to the Chinese Opera. His piece for Michael Tilson Thomas’ debut with the San Francisco Symphony, “A Parade for MTT,” was influenced by Harrison’s love for San Francisco’s Chinese New Years Day Parade. He enlivened the range of musical instruments by his playful use of found objects. He learned Labanotation so he could help choreographers remember what they did from rehearsal to rehearsal. He said, “If you work with dancers, you must learn to dance.”

What's On This Week

March 8, 2004

SF Performances presents Batsheva Dance Company in "Deca-Dance", tour-de-force excerpts by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin including "Naharin's Virus" to "Sabotage Baby", Mar. 10-13, 8pm, Mar. 14, 2pm, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard St (Third), SF, 415-398-6449, Artistic Director Yoshifumi Inao in conversation with Margaret Jenkins, Mar. 8, 8pm, Kanbar Hall, JCSF, 3200 California St. (Presidio), SF

March 9, 2004

Program A: Works by Elisa Monte with Bay Area premieres by Alonzo King, Robert Battle, "Revelations", Mar. 9, 12, 8pm, Mar. 14, 3pm; Program B: Excerpts of Ailey Classics plus entire "Revelations" Mar. 10, 8pm, 13, 2pm; Program C: Works by Dwight Rhoden, Judith Jamison, Billy Wilson, Mar. 11, 13, 8pm; Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, Bancroft Way (Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-9988,

March 9, 2004

The last Footloose production at Venue 9 features Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement, Aura Fischbeck, Sue Li Jue of Facing East Dance & Music Mar. 9, 8pm; Sarah-Luella Baker, Lisa Townsend, Jenny Schaffer, Mar. 16, 8pm; and LEVYdance Company, Huckabay McAllister Dance Company, and Jenny Chien, Mar. 23, 8pm, Venue9, 252 Ninth St.(Folsom), SF, 415-289-2000,

March 9, 2004

Presented by SF Performances' Dance/Screen, Charlotte Shoemaker curates "Anaphase ­ The Film" about Contemporary dance from Israel, Mar. 9, 7pm; and "Paul Taylor Dance Company", Mar. 30, 7pm, Screening Room, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission St, SF, 415-398-6449,

March 11, 2004

Presenting "Frequency" in Women on the Way series at Venue 9. Three weeks of new dance, music, performance, video, with two premieres by Leyya Tawil and Christopher Keyes, with different guest artists each week, including Rasmus Jorgensen, Christopher Froh, Camille Auburtin, Angelina Nichole's Imaginary Friends, and Zari Le'on Dance Theater. Mar. 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, 8pm, Venue 9, 252 Ninth Street (Folsom), SF, 415-289-2000,

March 12, 2004

ODC presents second Youth Fest, featuring modern dance by ODC Dance Jam & ODC Jellies, North Indian Kathak dance by Chhandam School of Kathak Dance, Aerial dance by Zaccho Youth Company, and Japanese Gen Taiko, Mar. 12-13, 8pm, ODC Theater, 3153 Seventeenth St (Shotwell), SF, 415-863-9834,

March 12, 2004

This astonishing, theatrical, hip Australian company returns with "Ellipse", with costumes by fashion designer Akira Isogawa, Matthew Hindson's modern score, the dancers explore love, contemplation, rivalry, and seeking with relentless and impossible fluidity. Mar. 12-13, Memorial Auditorium, Serra St. (Galvez), Stanford University, Stanford, 650-725-2787,

March 12, 2004

Dance Repertory/San Francisco presents a professional showcase for emerging Bay Area choreographers & high school & dance studio artists. Mar. 12-13, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina Blvd (Buchanan), 415-225-0934,

March 12-13, 2004

Dance Mission Theater presents annual spring showcase of new works by emerging and established Bay Area choreographers. Dog Patch Superstars, Paufve Dance, Takami. Mar. 12-13, 8pm; Chimene Pollard, Dance Romanesque, Automatic Art, Mar. 19-20, 8 pm; Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St.,(Mission), SF, 415-273-4633,

March 13, 2004

"Re-Visioning the Body in Dance #3" featuring Bruce Curtis, Dandelion, Della Davidson/Jane Schnorrenberg, Element Dance Theater, Kerry Gaither-Mehling, John Killacky, Vitali Kononov and Navarrete x Kajiyama Dance Theater. Mar. 13, 8pm, Jon Sims Center, 1519 Mission St., SF, 415- 554-0402,; Mar. 20 Dandelion and Friends in "Gourmet Dance and Dining "at Digs Bistro in Oakland,, RSVP required.

March 13, 2004

A guided and revealing journey through ancient Hawai'ian chants and modern hulas, exploring many layers of expression and emotion cleverly concealed within the poetry of hula. Mar. 13, 8pm, Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, 10 Ave. of the Flags (Civic Center Dr.), San Rafael, 415-499-6800,

March 13, 2004

Cherie Carson in "Dress Up/Dress Down" shakes up conventional wisdom about clothing, gender roles, what makes music, and audience performer distinctions, performing stories told through outlandish dress, dance and music, with musicians SoVoSo, Mar. 13, 8pm, Mar.14, 4pm, Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club, 1650 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, 510-587-0770,

calendar courtesy of Dancers Group




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last updated on February 23, 2004