Robert Avila

Sounds of silence

Nina Raine's 'Tribes' explores a specific and general deafness

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Moscow weather report

Notes from the Russia Case offerings at the Golden Mask Festival

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THEATER Moscow's temperatures had been climbing up to 70 degrees just a week before my arrival, but by the first of April, it had slipped back into the 30s and 40s, collecting snow on the ground and clouds overhead in a gloomy replay of winter. In a novel this would have looked like a cheap literary device: nature manifesting a political climate that had also grown decidedly chillier. But with Russia's recent reabsorption of Crimea, and talk everywhere of a new Cold War, it was pretty apt nonetheless.Read more »

State of possession

Aaron Davidman's 'Wrestling Jerusalem' embodies the divide over Israel-Palestine

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Shooting straight

An actor prepares for several comebacks in 'Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me'

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Movers/Shakers: Two rare visits by European contemporary dance-makers this weekend

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Here are two very special opportunities to see (and, in at least one case, join in on) the work of some leading European contemporary dance/performance makers passing through town this weekend…

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Rocked worlds

The Bengsons take love, life, and music on the road with 'Hundred Days'

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THEATER

There are two sides to every road. But ask a long-haul trucker, a traveling salesman, or a pair of wandering minstrels like the Bengsons, and they'll remind you that those sides converge at the horizon line.Read more »

Goldies 2014 Lifetime Achievement: Sara Shelton Mann

An iconoclast who has performed to great acclaim and inspired others for decades

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GOLDIES In 1979, Sara Shelton Mann — the farm girl from the wilds of Tennessee who ended up studying with such greats as Alwin Nikolais, Erick Hawkins, and Merce Cunningham — moved to San Francisco. Earthquake country. And did she ever shake up the place. With Contraband, the collective of performers she directed until 1996, she reconfigured what the dancing body can be. Their aim, she has said, was to "make bold live theater with an aggressive, lyric physicality."Read more »

Goldies 2014 Performance: SALTA

Unique performance group driven by collaboration and a creative sense of place

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GOLDIES Creating a space for experimental contemporary dance and performance in Oakland, outside of the usual channels and roadblock$, has been an instigating, galvanizing mission for SALTA. The collective — a sharp and motivated group of seven women, all Oakland-based choreographers and dancers under 30 — has made a scene, built an audience, developed a network, enlarged an ethic, and opened up horizons in a beleaguered arts ecosystem.

They also know how to party.Read more »

A feast for the nonsenses

Cutting Ball Theater's Ubu Roi frolics in kitchen sink surrealism

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi is probably better known for its riotous Parisian opening (back in 1896) than for the play itself. The profanity it leveled against the city's crème de la crème, beginning with its famous opening incantation, "Merdre!" — not exactly a word but dirty-sounding enough to precipitate a violent revolt long before the final curtain — broke open the doors of the WC on so-called polite society. As it turned out, no one was really keen or able to close them again.Read more »

Expose yourself to art

Deborah Cullinan and Marc Bamuthi Joseph talk creative ecosystems and Young Jean Lee's 'Untitled Feminist Show'

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