Drama Talk & Drinks: Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta – “I was mesmerized”

I haven’t seen a Cirque Du Soleil show in about 9 years and Garrett had never seen one. So this year I knew we needed to check out Volta. So off we went to the parking lot of AT&T Park to see what was going on underneath that huge tent.

volta

Katie: Having only seen a Cirque Du Soleil show about insects, I enjoyed the heartfelt, darker tone and mood of Volta’s storyline. I also liked that they explored themes of how technology can be a negative distraction and it can keep us from each other.

Garrett: Having never seen a Cirque du soleil show before, I was thoroughly impressed and entertained. I was mesmerized with what was going on. I liked some of the themes they explored but there were times where the story was hard to follow and didn’t really match was was happening in a scene.

K: Yeah, agreed, but overall I thought it was beautiful. The music, lighting and costumes were so great. The show feels like a concert, but also a dance show and also an exciting athletic event with acrobats and gymnasts.

G: Yeah, the vibe was really cool. The relationship between the performers and the audience is very unique, and different from anything I’ve seen. Everyone’s very encouraging because you understand that what they are doing is dangerous so there is applause when someone does something cool or when someone messes up they get love from the audience. Having driven past those tents hundreds of times over the years, it’s incredible to finally see what’s going on inside, and I like it. They create such a unique environment…you forget you’re in a freaking parking lot!

 The Verdict: Cirque Du Soliel shows are all about spectacle and Volta doesn’t disappoint. Bring a date, bring the fam, this show is for everyone.

The Drama Talk: Wow. How do they do it? You forget how difficult these things are because they make it seem so easy. Tricks off trampolines, with bikes and jump ropes, through hoops and in the air, there were like 100 athletic achievements being done and it was all pieced together with a story of a young man who has lost touch with himself because he’s different. The storyline has some cool, beautiful moments, but overall it didn’t quite feel cohesive. However, the incredible performers, music, and lighting make up for it.

The Drinks: There was free champagne at this performance as well as a bar so we decided not to venture, but if we did we were going to go to the Atwater Tavern since it’s pretty much in the same parking lot.

Volta plays through February 3rd under the Big Top at AT&T Park. Tickets range from $68-$290 and can be purchased on their website. Right now there are discounted tickets available on Goldstar.

 

Drama Talk & Drinks: Shout-out

As big fans of Crowded Fire Theater we were really excited to hear about their collaboration with AXIS Dance Company, Star Finch, and Ensemble Mik Nawooj to create a new immersive multidisciplinary experience that merges “hip-hop, contemporary dance, and theater into a boundary-pushing work featuring a 12-person orchestra”. Sounds intriguing right?!

Unfortunately there are only 3 performances over 2 days, which means we won’t be reviewing it, but we felt strongly that a show as unique as this needed a shout-out. We definitely recommend checking it out. We will be.

Photo by Ian Davis.

Photo by Ian Davis.

WHAT:

DEATH BECOME LIFE: BANISH DARKNESS - a future vision by Crowded Fire Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Star Finch, and Ensemble Mik Nawooj

WHERE:

Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, 4705 3rd Street, San Francisco

WHEN:

November 16, 8:00pm

November 17, 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Tickets $25: Visit www.crowdedfire.org/dbl-banish-darkness for more information and to purchase tickets.

 

Circus show on your BART platform

[via Brock]

Now please enjoy this classic post about some acrobatics on a moving BART train.

On breakdancing, and being inspired by your neighbors

I first saw breakdancing, I think, at the #BernalHeights Rec Center around 1984. Back then it was two guys in the sparkling sunshine, one with Stevie Wonder-style beaded braids and another with a shower cap on his hairdo, practicing the six step. A little later, at Rocky Mountain preschool, a dance troupe came with a boombox and a piece of cardboard, and as I spun around on the butt of my Oshkoshes, a preteen with a jheri curl and a Members Only jacket dubbed me "Lil' Turbo". The movement and possibilities and grace of the dance fascinated me, and I "practiced" in my living room for hours to the sounds of The Real Roxanne and Rappin' Duke on 107.7 KSOL. But it wasn't for another 20+ years that I had the confidence to pursue my interest in movement in a formal practice. I finally discovered my passion: #capoeira. Certainly very different from breakdancing, but in my mind arising from the same ancient font. I didn't begin learning until the age of 27, and at nearly 35 I will probably never be the guy on YouTube showing you how to do a handspring to back tuck. But as I practiced in the rec center under the moonlight tonight, I did feel wonder, nostalgia, and much gratitude for all my teachers–and to those long-gone Bernal dwellers who first inspired me to move.

A video posted by @eamonka on

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Broken Knife – “never seen anything quite like that”

We have been wanting to check out a show at ODC for a long time. So when we heard about a show with a mix of movement and fun storytelling we were all about it. I mean who wouldn’t be interested in a show described as “A Graphic Novel for the Stage”? Unfortunately, Brittany had a last minute work thing come up. Luckily, I called upon Garrett Lamb (of Garrett’s Granola) last minute and he was more than happy to join me for the world premiere of 13th Floor’s The Broken Knife.

Julie Mahony as Cupid and Colin Epstein as Hermes. Photo by Andy Mogg.

Julie Mahony as Cupid and Colin Epstein as Hermes. Photo by Andy Mogg.

Garrett: I’ve never seen anything quite like that. I liked the style of dancing with the acting thrown in. But the writing and acting weren’t very strong, so the rest of it needed to be really good. It was pretty impressive as far as the dancing…but it didn’t really do it for me overall. I was a little confused as to what is was about. It didn’t really take a stance one way or another on the style. They needed to either choose old school or modern dialogue. Instead they went back and forth.

Katie: I can sum up everything you are saying in one word: Inconsistent. Inconsistent performances, inconsistent use of movement, inconsistent story, inconsistent use of sound and lighting design. All around it didn’t have a strong foundation in one thing.

G: I really liked the lighting design and the sound effects that they did use, but yeah, it was inconsistent.

K: I loved the sound design. There were really good sound effects when characters were motioning with their hands or bodies….but also moments when they were shooting some sort of invisible energy from their hands at each other and there was no light or sound cue. To be consistent, there should have been some sort of sound there.

G: Yeah, I would have liked it more if they did the sound effects 100% of the time…it would have been more “graphic novel-ish”. They were talented dancers, and I like the style of fighting, tumbling, and acrobatic stuff, but other then a couple exceptions, it looked like a bunch of good dancers trying to act and it didn’t work for me.

K: There were really great moments in this piece when the movement, design and story were in harmony, but unfortunately that occurred only a few moments. The show just felt half baked to me.

The Verdict: Overall this is very unique and fun theater experience. Check it out if you love seeing something different opposed to something perfectly executed.

The Drama Talk: Great effort and heart went into this show. The movement was really beautiful and so was the stage combat choreography. Unfortunately, they fell short in regards to making this graphic novel inspired, greek mythology centered, theater, dance show come together in a way that worked. The piece wasn’t grounded enough in a clear consistent style and well crafted story.

The Drinks: Right across from the ODC is the Mission Bowling Club, which oddly enough I’ve never bowled there, but have really enjoyed their food and drinks. It was a great place to grab refreshing cocktail after a refreshing theater experience.

The Broken Knife runs through November 15th at ODC Theater. Tickets can be purchased directly through their website. Tickets are between $15-$45. ($45 Patron of the Arts, $25 Advance / $30 at the Door, $15 Senior (60+), $15 Student (with valid ID), $15 Child (12 and under), $15 Low Income)

A very San Franciscan dance

Emo night at the Knockout this Friday!

We know how much you miss Diary, the original Mission emo night at Pop’s that sadly is no more, but rather than get all emo about it, now you’ve got another chance to sing along too loudly to Understanding in a Car Crash at the Knockout every month with Make Me a Mixtape!

Come and party like it’s 1997!

Playing the best 90s/00s old school emo,punk and post-hardcore tunes. All vinyl!

Friday 6-9pm

And the best part is they’re not even trying to trademark the term “Emo Night” like those doofuses down in LA.

Also, after the last American Football tune drowns out, go grab a couple tacos at Cancun and then pop back to the Knockout for Primo’s Oldies Night!  Look at that, I just planned out your whole Friday night.  Now do it to it!

Win tickets to the Dancehall of Beautiful Radiant Things

There’s really no better party than a dance party, but have you ever been to a slow dance party?

The Dancehall of Beautiful Radiant Things is a slow dance club that welcomes dancers of all skill levels and non-dancers to share a night of vignette moment with strangers and friends. Attendees are given a dance card upon entry with 21 spots for 21 songs to be filled by you with other attendees.

We will begin with a simple lesson of the dancestep and then leave it to you to fill up your card. You do not need to be an accomplished dancer as the emphasis the interaction not the flair. Dress to the nines and come mingle with us for a night not to be forgotten.

It’s all happening at the Verdi Club this Wednesday at 8pm, and we’re giving away TWO FREE TICKETS!  To enter, just name your favorite song to dance to in the comments.  Contest ends at 4pm tomorrow!  Check out all the details here.

And for all the rest of you, get 20% of your tickets here!

The Debaser crew makes their triumphant return to the Make Out Room tonight with Last Nite!

So get ready to dance!

It’s like we ate Pitchfork, stole your iPod and then rode off on your track bike.

Check out all the details here.

SMITHSFITS tonight at the Knockout with special guest Terry Malts!

Just because it’s cold and there’s a 100% chance of rain doesn’t mean you have to hideout in your house all day watching Netflix!  Or maybe it does.  But here’s a better idea:  dancing to the SMITHS and MISFITS all night!

Local heartthrobs Terry Malts are playing some tunes too, and who knows?  They might even play some Misfits covers!

Check it all out here.