Shanghai Ballet’s ‘The Butterfly Lovers’ cracks the cocoon

Last week, Cal Performances brought the internationally renowned Shanghai Ballet to UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall in a night of drama, elegance and class. The company danced “The Butterfly Lovers,” a childhood romance with fatal consequences that has been touted as China’s “Romeo and Juliet” story. Former principal dancer Xin Lili
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Fresh Meat Festival gives a stage to queer performers

“I’m not trapped in the wrong body — the world is trapped in wrong-headed assumptions about gender and bodies,” Dana Morrigan proclaimed to a packed audience at Z Space in the Mission. Morrigan spoke at the Fresh Meat Festival, an annual event created so that queer and trans* artists could
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Alvin Ailey reinvigorates modern dance

Dance company performs at Zellerbach

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is quintessential American dance, balancing new and traditional, embracing color, new movement, props and humor. Under new artistic director Robert Battle, the company has become particularly more contemporary, concentrating less on the Negro spirituals that defined its repertoire before him. However, this more contemporary
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Ballet sweeps across Zellerbach stage

After more than a decade away from Zellerbach Hall, the Joffrey Ballet’s performance on Saturday night (put on by Cal Performances) began with an empty stage. Regal red curtains hung in the background, recalling the stately grand ballrooms found in the novels of Jane Austen — a place where men
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‘Swan Lake’ enchants at Zellerbach

The ballet “Swan Lake” begins with a solitary violin sequence, soaring briefly before crashing into the swell of the orchestra. With this short passage played to spine-tingling perfection, the atmosphere inside Zellerbach Hall, already buzzing from the mere presence of the illustrious Mariinsky Theater (ballet and orchestra), instantly turned spellbinding.
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Famous mother-daughter dance company missteps

We are much unlike the ballet as far as performances go,” forewarned a company musician in his introduction to last Saturday night’s performance by Carolina Lugo’s & Carole Acuna’s Ballet Flamenco at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. He requested that the crowd assume an active role in the performance
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Dance theater fuses gospel and trance at Zellerbach Hall

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater offers an alternative to those who are and aren’t into religious or Class A ecstasy. At Cal Performances on March 13, the company translated the inclusive energy of ritual spaces like the club and the church to Zellerbach Hall in pieces featuring gospel and
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