Drive East

Even if your beat is strictly limited to ballet, you can’t write about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area without running into the classical dances of India. In the case of Drive East, Indian Classical Dance--to exploit the  ...

San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove

The pieces chosen for the opener and closer of this year’s Stern Grove San Francisco Ballet program proved the best fit for the venerable if quirky raked stage with brown panel backdrop, like you’ve seen on TV in the  ...

Jangala

Rudyard Kipling’s name is eponymous.  His “White Man’s Burden” lament has served as a sanctimonious apologia for centuries of imperial rape and pillage on foreign soil. Kipling is also the author of “The Jungle Book,” a children’s cautionary tale  ...

All is True (2018)

Again with the Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh! This time it’s not a movie version of a work by the bard, but rather, a close encounter with him along fault lines predicting a fractious interlude.  You may wince at  ...

Shostakovich Trilogy. San Francisco Ballet

“Shostakovich Trilogy” is an evening-long tour de force by Russian-born choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. It’s outstanding for its theme: the tumultuous reconciliation of a world-altering revolution and subsequent counter-revolution with the career of Dmitri Shostakovich, a composer influenced by Igor  ...

Celebrated Masters. Diablo Ballet.

Diablo Ballet reaches beyond its San Francisco bedroom community setting to recruit dancers from a host of backgrounds, both personal and professional. It brings in choreographers from across oceans or just a tunnel and bridge away. It draws on  ...

White Crow (2019)

Even given transparent formulas for box office success, it’s curious how each filmmaker’s starting point holds out an argument of its own. Ralph Fiennes, who directs and appears in “White Crow,” a film that collects around the idiosyncrasies of  ...

Who Will Write Our History (2018)

If the phrase “History is written by the victors” has become a truism, here is the film that takes the would-be victor, fascism, and transforms its own records and documents into a mirror of its perfidy. It also stands  ...

The Sleeping Beauty

Few can stride across a floor, arms raised to usher in festivity, as convincingly as Val Caniparoli, San Francisco Ballet’s reigning King Without a Crown. The story ballet fixture, be it  ...