There is no other festival more
concerned about the dreams and myths of the past than Carnaval. In
that motherland of Caribbean
Carnival, there is a saying, "Carnival is Woman." For most
Carnivals, and especially throughout Latin
American, the most coveted position is that of the Queen of Carnaval.
Becoming the Queen of the Drums for one of the 12 special samba
schools of Rio de Janeiro can launch your career in media or extend
it an extra decade or more.
For the last seven years, Roberto Hernandez has run the San
Francisco Carnaval, prior to 2002, Patricia Aguaya had the
reins for 7 years. Come this 2009,
Rita Barela and her team of talented women have entered the field.
With the election of the Hawaiian Barack Obama as President; and the
ascendancy of the most powerful triumvirate the world has ever
known in the Washington DC Majesty of Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein we
felt compelled to survey other Queens who have spun the global
culture from the West Coast, San Francisco and connect them to
various myths from the tradition of the triple goddess.
||Carnaval SF || 19th century || 20th
California/SF Queens || Washington DC
San Francisco California is known the world
over for many things besides the Golden Gate Bridge, fog and Fisherman's
wharf. This has been the case since at least the gold rush of 1849. shoring
up San Francisco's quirky but iconic reputation.
The Power of 3 at the tall center of
the San Francico Bay Area
Triple Goddess is the
archetype of our hour in the land of living myths know as California.
Celebrating the rhythms of the universe and the cycles of the earth in:
Barbara Boxer most powerful woman in the Senate,
never defeated in a political race
Barbara Boxer has been in Congress since
1983. Boxer is the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, serving right under
Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), making her the highest ranking
woman member of the Senate. Boxer's committee assignments include
chairing the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, and Committees
on the Environment, Global Warming, and Asian Relations.wikipedia.org/ Barbara_Boxer
Featuring the Roman goddess of wisdom and war
like the state of California that became a state without first
having been a territory. The seal was officially adopted the seal on
October 2, 1849.
Minerva caught and
and presented him to the 9 Muses
Is it in feminism's best interests for a
woman leader to be so overshadowed by a man? Shouldn't the
first woman president get elected and govern on her own?
What that might look like was suggested last week in Nancy
Pelosi's controversial Mideast junket.
Despite legitimate concerns about whether
a speaker of the House should be creating ambiguity about
American foreign policy, I thought Pelosi looked fabulous --
crisp, stylish, graceful and warm yet authoritative. It was
a step beyond Condoleezza Rice's commanding but steely
Amazonian aplomb. And it was a world away from Hillary's
stiff, guarded, sanctimonious unease, which her toothy
smiles and barking laugh never quite conceal.
Pelosi is as hard as nails and is no man's
puppet. Whatever her affronts to diplomatic protocol
(Democrats wouldn't want a Republican speaker doing that to
a Democratic president), she gave the best seat-of-the-pants
performance yet of what a woman president might look like.
Our arms start from the back because they
were once wings.
We learn by practice. Whether it means to
learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by
practicing living, the principles are the same. One becomes
in some area an athlete of God.
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.
Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because
of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
In 1980. a well-meaning fundraiser came
to see me and said, "Miss Graham, the most powerful thing
you have going for you to raise money is your
respectability." I wanted to spit. Respectable! Show me any
artist who wants to be respectable.
I am absorbed in the magic of movement
and light. Movement never lies. It is the magic of what I
call the outer space of the imagination. There is a great
deal of outer space, distant from our daily lives, where I
feel our imagination wanders sometimes. It will find a
planet or it will not find a planet, and that is what a
The great spokesperson for finding your art
through dance Martha Graham (1894-1991) did not explore the
cultural legacy that dance carries with it from the generations who
have danced the same patterns but she does affirm the place of dance
as bringing us as close to celebrating life in the present as anyone
before or since.
"We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an
affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness
of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of
life. This is the function of the American dance."
The most influential dancer of the 20th century
began her dance career in the state named after the goddess Califia
in the City named after one of the more mysterious trinity saints
from the Christian tradition ---Santa Barbara. Like many before and
after she would seek affirmation from an audience for her art in New
York City. Her first pieces from her own school that she opened at
age 33 dealt with social problems (Immigrant, Vision of Apocalypse,
Lamentation, Revolt and her first first non-solo ballet in 1929 was
Miss Graham's dances spoke eloquently against the
crushing of the human spirit, and one of her frequent themes was the
condemnation of intolerance, especially toward nonconformists.
"You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled,
then something has been lost.
Audiences throughout the world were often
disturbed by Miss Graham's strong female characters, and a frank
portrayal of women's sexuality
which gave vent to their lust and hate, baring the passions that few
humans liked to recognize in themselves but that Miss Graham exposed
with the unflinching scrutiny of a Jungian analyst. When asked
how she, among all choreographers of either sex, so well understood
and appreciated the male sex, Graham replied,
"Well, dear, I like men."
According to Agnes de Mille: "I was bewildered and
worried that my entire scale of values was untrustworthy. ... I
confessed that I had a burning desire to be excellent, but no faith
that I could be. Martha said to me, very quietly,"
'"There is a vitality, a life force, an
energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all of time, this
expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist
through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not
have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor
how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is
your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the
channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or
your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges
that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is
pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There
is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that
keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others"'
In general, Miss Graham saw art as a reflection of
its time inseparable from life.
"My dancing," she said, "is not an attempt to
interpret life in the literary sense. It is an affirmation of
life through movement."
Shortly before her death on April 1,1991she made a
statement regarding her belief concerning life after death. At the
time she was working on a new ballet for the Olympic Games of
Barcelona, called The Eye of the Goddess.
"I'm asked so often at ninety-six whether I
believe in life after death. I do believe in the sanctity of
life, the continuity of life and of energy. I know the anonymity
of death has no appeal for me. It is the now that I must face
and want to face.
Blanche Brown has
taught and studied traditional Haitian Dance for the past 30
years. Blanche was the Artistic Director of Group Petit La
Croix. For 15 years, they toured throughout the Western U.S
performing the traditional dance and music of Haiti. After
serving as Board President of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance
Festival and as a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission,
Blanche is returning to teaching because she has missed it so
Maria Souza, Aquarela's director, first experienced Carnaval in
her home town in Minas Gerais, Brazil, when she was 8 years old. That
was a great experience, all family; cousins, brothers, mom, and she was
dressed in a blue costume with glitter and sequins on the skirt.
SF Queens Silvana ['96] & Maria ['95]Aquarela do a squeeze play on the
Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco Willie Brown. Da mayor's
one and only wife
Blanche Brown is one of the great mother's of Carnaval SF. This
master teacher has been bringing her Haitain dance students to the
streets as long as anyone in the parade.
Silvana Sousa Silvana is a native of Goiânia,
Brazil and has been with the group since its inception. After Aquarela's
Maria Souza who officated as Queen of 1995, Silvana was elected Carnaval
Queen of San Francisco in 1996. Today, Silvana is chief choreographer of
Aquarela. Silvana is a registered nurse. She lives and works in
The music was called "Marcha". It had lots of
instruments like flute, saxaphone, and trombone. Nowadays her favorite
part of Carnaval isn't just the parade. It's getting ready. Thinking
about the costume design, concentrating, getting excited. Rehearsals.
Waiting for the parade to start. Then, dancing for the whole thing! Even
with the inevitable problems, it's as though nothing happened; only fun.
So enjoyable, but over too soon.
She feels that her
parade with the Award winning Aquarela Samba School and
Carnaval Queens Micaela (2004),
Silvana (1996) & Maria (1995) &
King Carlos (2000)
contingent is very professional, but at the same
time, it's like an extended family. The daughters and sons of the
contingent have become participants, and bring that youthful excitement
every year. Her focus is to do her thing, make her people happy, and
make their dreams come true. She shows San Francisco what the true Rio
de Janeiro has about Carnaval. It's an authentic experience including
the float, the music, and dance routine. Maria herself is not only is
one of the Carnaval Queens, but she has the most Queens and Kings of
Carnaval in her contingent. It is the Royal Family.
Marina was elected Queen of Carnaval San
Francisco 2007 on her 3rd attempt. She has been dancing as part of the
performance company with Aquarela since 1998. The two leaders of Aquarela
and former Queens themselves are credited by Aquarela as being the biggest
influence on her dance careet. An English teacher by day she sees Carnaval
as a healthy outlet for adolescent energy and would like to find a way to
get move of them involved. 2007 Queen
Portsha Jefferson's dedication
and exploration of Haitian culture have brought her to Haiti, where
she has traveled throughout the country to research regional dance,
rhythms and musical traditions. Her concentration of study took
place in Gonaives at Lakou Badjo, where Nago (Yoruba) traditions are
preserved, and through religious ceremony at Tanp Souvenance Mistik,
a Vodou community that celebrates it's Rada (ancient kingdom of
Dahomey) heritage. She studied at Ecole Nationale Des Arts (ENARTS)
and at Vivian Gauthier's School of Dance with Cadet Jean Evens and
Ansy Daphnis, as well as independent study with Peniel Guerrier of
Ballet Folklorique Tamboula D' Haiti, and Daniel Brevil of Ayikodans
Portsha is the founder and artistic director of Rara Tou Limen, a
Haitian folkloric dance ensemble composed of dancers, musicians,
singers and practitioners who have studied with pioneers of Haitian
culture in both the United States and Haiti.
Born and raised in Salvador, Bahia,
Tania Santiagogrew up in the heart of
African-influenced Brazil. She has taught, danced, and choreographed for
the most well known companies in Brazil. Tania has also extensively
studied other forms of dance such as Jazz, Ballet, West African,
Afro-Cuban, and Modern dance. She spent six years working with Olodum, a
highly respected and internationally acknowledged Bloco Afro in Brazil.
Tania also choreographed and performed for Olodum on television, at
concerts, and at music festivals. Since 1997 Tania has been teaching
classes and giving workshops in California, New York, Hawaii, Florida,
and Vancouver, Canada. She has been an artist in residence at various
school programs in San Francisco as well as a featured teacher at the
Brazil Camp in Northern California.
Elizabeth Soberanes started
dancing at R&M in 1985 and
began teaching Fusion Rhythms
Workout in 2001. She holds a BA in Dance Ethnology and has studied
Dunham Technique, Afro-Haitian, Brazilian, Cuban, Modern, Hip Hop and
Jazz Dance. She has worked as an arts educator,
administrator and producer for prominent organizations such as
Performing Arts Workshop, World Arts West, East Bay Center for the
Performing Arts, and Carnaval San Francisco. Elizabeth has
performed with several local ethnic dance companies, and was crowned
Queen of Carnaval SF in 2001. She has traveled to Brazil and Cuba
to study dance and participate in their Carnaval celebrations. She
believes that dance is a healing force for physical, emotional and
spiritual well-being and hopes to inspire students to lose themselves in
the joy of dance.
Raffaella has been
a professional Brazilian dance performer since 1998. Raffaella's dance
training and experience includes performing professionally with numerous
Brazilian dance companies in the Bay Area and performing both locally
and internationally both in Europe and Brazil. She has performed in
numerous types of events including the SF Carnaval Ball and many SF
Carnaval Parades. In 2004, she became co-founder of Sambamora Dance
Company which offers dance classes, performances and costume design in
the Bay Area. Raffaella's samba class was also awarded best of the bay
in 2004. She is currently teaching samba workshops through ODC/ Rhythm
and Motion and UCSF Bakar Fitness Center. She also teaches youth samba
classes at Out Of Site Youth Arts Center.
Rhonda Stagnaro Low has had a passion for Brazilian dance
and music since 1986. She has studied with Mestre King, Ballet Folklorico do
Bahia, Olodum, and Ile Aye from Salvador, Bahia and with Jorge Alabe from
Rio de Janeiro. She has performed with Escola Nova de Samba Folkloric group
for eight years and has danced for Sergio Mendez, Pete Escovedo and Tito
Puente. She has performed in four San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals and
has been teaching dance in the Bay Area for the past 15 years. She has also
been artistic director for the award-winning MaraReggae Carnaval contingent,
for the past 10 years.
She enjoys studying music and other movement forms such as
ballet, jazz, yoga, pilates and capoeira. Her mission in life is to “Get the
World to Dance!!!”
MaraReggae, Mara meaning Movimento Artistico com Respeito
aos ancestrais. [Artistic Movement with respect to the Ancestors] was
founded in 1995. Rhonda with her husband Wilson Low seek to create a style
of dance and music that blends the "Soul of Brazil" with the American
The first century
Divas who paused in San
Lola Montez, who could have served as the inspiration for the
song from Damn Yankees, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," was famous
for performing her Spider Dance, a provocative performance based on
the notion that spiders were crawling on her body under her
clothing. As she twirled and writhed around the stage, rubber
spiders came flying out. She lived for a few years in Grass Valley,
long enough to inspire a young pupil, Lotta Crabtree to go to become
the most successful actress in America's 19th century.
famous as the love object of Judge Roy Bean, "the law west of the
Pecos" – although the two never met – also started out as a
courtesan, the mistress of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.
After breaking up with the Prince, Lilly took to the stage. She
performed in San Francisco to large crowds who were less impressed
by her theatrical skills than her scandalous past. She bought land
in Lake County and for several years produced red wine and raised
thought to be the subject of the saying, "It's not over until the
fat lady sings," was a gifted and internationally popular opera star
who performed in San Francisco. Her most famous performance here was
a free concert on Christmas Eve Day, 1910, at Lotta's Fountain on
Market Street at Kearny.
Locked in a contract dispute and threatened with an injunction
against singing in any theater, she sang for free on the street to a
crowd of two to three hundred thousand. A local chef named a
dish (turkey, chicken, or seafood Tetrazzini) after her.
does everything feel so charged up at Carnaval Time? One reason is
the Esu is much more out and about. Esu bears striking resemblance
to Hermes who was renamed Mercury by the Romans. Both are likely
progeny of the Egyptian's Thoth (shown is the
Mercury dime )
12 stepping with the Orixas in Brazil
Brazilian Jungian analyst John Burns updates the most successful
model of drug treatment with spectacular orisha illustrations by
Francisco Santos. The similarity between these deities and those of
early Greece and the relationship to Egypt is a new topic in
Black Queen Califa ||
Learn the fascinating story about the Goddess the state of
California was named after. Throughout history, Black Madonnas have
often inspired heroism by historic figures.
"In this old Presidio she was born.
In the old Mission Dolores she was christened. Here, it is told,
that in the merry exuberance of her innocent babyhood, she danced
instead of prayed before the shrine. In the glory of these sunrises
and day-vistas and sunsets, she passed her girlhood and bloomed into
womanhood. In this old adobe building she queened it supremely. Here
she presided at every hospitality; here she was the leader of every
The Love-Story of Concha Argüello.
Nicola Petrovich Reznov,
Chamberlain to the Czar and Concepcion (Concha) Arguello, daughter of
the commandant of the Presidio.
There is a
popular rock-opera version of the story in Russia called
The Juno and the
Rose of the Presidio on Cinco de May weekend, May 5, 6 & 7, 2006.
The opening at The Victoria Theatre,
have been many small and large miracles associated with this
project, none the Vatican would recognize but enough for me to
understand why the Ohlone Indians called Concha "La Beata," the
In 1806 a Russian diplomat, secretly
seeking supplies for starving Russian trappers in Alaska,
proposed marriage to the 15-year old Rose of the Presidio,
My proposal shocked her parents, raised
in fanatiscism," wrote Rezanov in his journal. "The
difference in religion and the future separation from their
daughter were like a thumderclap to them." Leaving to seek
permission for the marriage from the tsar and the pope
Rezanov did not survive his solo journey to St. Petersburg
in winter. Concho became a Dominican nun.
Charlotte (Lotta) Mignon Crabtree ((November 7, 1847,
– September 25, 1924) was known as “Miss Lotta, the San Francisco Favorite"
and “The Nation’s Darling.” By the age of 27, she was one of the most highly
paid actresses in America. Today she is known primarily as the donor of
Lotta’s Fountain where the San Francisco 1906 Earthquake commemoration takes
place at Market and Kearny on April 18th at 5:12 am. The fountain was
donated in 1875, at which time Lotta was touring the nation with her own
Crabtree had become one of the wealthiest and most beloved American
entertainers of the late 19th century. From her beginnings as a 6-year-old
red-haired ball of energy becoming enamored by her neighbor in Grass Valley
the world famous, Lola Montez, until her retirement at the age of 45, she
danced and jigged and sang her way into becoming "The Nation's Darling".
Lotta was noted for her Irish dancing, at least some of which she seems to
have learned from Lola. Lotta also sang Irish songs and played the banjo
which was a popular instrument among minstrels.
Lotta began her career by traveling to all of the mining
camps performing ballads and dancing for the miners. Jigs, flings, wild polkas, breakdowns, the whole range of
soft-shoe dancing: in her five or six years of traveling in the mines or
playing to small audiences in San Francisco she had picked up every bold and
lively changing step which could provoke a sudden cheer, and danced them
with a delicate sprightliness or a rough and romping humor. In 1856,
the family moved back to San Francisco where Lotta toured the Sacramento and
San Joaquin Valleys as well as the city's variety halls and amusement parks. On the east
coast she launched her stage career with melodramas which offered lots of
opportunity for singing and dancing. She liked wearing male clothes
and smoked cigars, on stage and off.
After retiring in 1902 at age 45, she made one
final appearance in 1915 for "Lotta Crabtree Day" in San Francisco
at the Panama-Pacific Exposition.
Lotta's mother Mary Ann had a legendary
steamer trunk filled with proceeds from the tours, when it became
too heavy, she would shrewdly invest Lotta's earnings in real
estate, bonds and other endeavors.
Alma de Bretteville Spreckels
(March 24, 1881
– August 7, 1968), known both as "Big Alma" (she was 6 feet (1.8 m) tall)
and "The Great Grandmother of San Francisco"
A fascination with fine art led her to enroll in night
classes at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute, where she studied painting
miniatures during her late teens. Her wholesome beauty began to make heads
turn and she soon found herself working as an artist's model at the school,
which paid for her lessons. Fed up with her meager financial situation, she
accepted lucrative offers to pose in the nude for various local artists, who
provided tastefully risqué paintings to the many saloons found along the
city's infamous Cocktail Route.
Alma de Bretteville met her future husband thanks to
modeling for the Dewey Monument by Robert Aitken, which can be found in
Union Square. This statue was selected from a number of entries and only
barely made the cut, thanks to the crucial vote of the chair of the
Citizen's Committee, Adolph Spreckels. Because he was head of the Spreckels
Sugar Company, Alma often referred to her husband as her "sugar daddy".
Their home in Pacific heights now serves as the home of author Danielle
Steel. After the mansion was completed, she began throwing opulent parties
as befitting a woman of her status. Although attended by local celebrities
such as author Jack London and sculptor/ public art arbiter Earl Cummings,
there were a number of people who were disdainful of her earlier infamy and
snubbed her invitations. This motivated her to gain some respectability for
herself and she went to Paris, where she met entertainer Loie Fuller and
through Fuller, other artists, most notably Auguste Rodin. Through Fuller's
encouragement and contacts, Spreckels became one of the more influential art
collectors in the U.S. which was beautifully housed in the museum she built:
the Palace of the Legion of Honor overlooking the Marin headlands and the
At the center of the square at the center of the
city is a triumphant bronze goddess atop a tall granite column,
holding a wreath of peace towards the horizon, and a trident to the
of the three oldest squares in San Francisco - the other two are
Portsmouth Square and Washington Square - Union Square was donated
the land to The City for a public plaza in 1850, by John W. Geary,
the first American mayor of San Francisco.
"modern dance," founding the "New
System" of interpretive dance, blending together poetry, music and
the rhythms of nature
Joseph Charles and Dora Gray Duncan. Her father
was a poet and her mother was a pianist and music teacher. When
Isadora's parents married, her father was divorced with four
children and 30 years her senior. He supported his family through
running a lottery, publishing three newspapers, owning a private art
gallery, directing an auction business and owning a bank. After his
bank failed he was put on trial four times and eventually moved to
Los Angeles. Dora Gray Duncan divorced her husband, supporting her
family by teaching music. Her husband later returned and provided a
home for his ex-wife and their children.
am the spiritual daughter of Walt Whitman,'' Isadora Duncan had
declared, and indeed ''Song of Myself'' could stand as a motto for
her entire life. Her version of RW Emerson's ideal of the
spirit of self-reliance that believes only in itself and refused all
She constantly studied the sources of movement and
refined her own liberating approach to dance, which she claimed to
have discovered in the waves breaking on California shores, in the
art of ancient Greece, in the ideas of Whitman, Nietzsche and
Wagner. Wherever she went, she proclaimed her aesthetic, both from
the stage and in writing. Her costumes were scant, but she was
shrouded in her lofty ideas: ''Art which is not religious is not
art, is mere merchandise.''
She created a primitivist style of improvisational
dance to counter the rigid styles of the time. She was inspired by
the classics, especially Greek myth. She rejected traditional ballet
steps to stress improvisation, emotion, and the human form. Isadora
believed that classical ballet, with its strict rules of posture and
formation, was "ugly and against nature" and gained a wide following
that allowed her to set up a school to teach. She became so famous
that she inspired artists and authors to create sculpture, jewelry,
poetry, novels, photographs, watercolors, prints, and paintings.
Throughout her career, Duncan did not like the
commercial aspects of public performance, regarding touring,
contracts, and other practicalities as distractions from her real
mission: the creation of beauty and the education of the young.
In her last United States tour in 1922-23, she
waved a red scarf and bared her breast on stage in Boston,
proclaiming, "This is red! So am I!". She was bisexual, which was
not uncommon in early Hollywood circles.
Duncan's fondness for flowing scarves which
trailed behind her was the cause of her death in a freak automobile
accident in Nice, France, on the night of September 14, 1927, at the
age of 50
“Isadora Duncan is one
of the greatest women I have ever known … Sometimes I think
she IS the greatest woman I have ever known.”
– Auguste Rodin
''All who have escaped in any degree from
the rigidity and prissiness of our once national religion of
negation owe a debt to Isadora Duncan's dancing. She rode
the wave of revolt against Puritanism; she rode it, and with
her fame and Dionysian raptures drove it on. She was --
perhaps it is simplest to say -- the crest of the wave, an
event not only in art but in the history of life.''
''The soul becomes drunk with this
endless succession of beautiful lines and groupings''
- Ernest Newman
''Where her work was concerned she had
integrity and patience, knowing no compromise with what she
felt to be the truth about beauty. In her personal life she
had charm and a naive wit. Of tact and self-control she had
very little, nor did she wish to have. She was the complete
and willing tool of her impulses.''
Ina Coolbrith possessed a rare talent. She not only created
beauty, but she had the gift, as well, of inspiring the
creative instinct in others. Isadora was an eager pupil. Her
reading carried her back to the classical culture of ancient
Greece, and the natural, unaffected, spontaneous Grecian art
became her inspiration
“"The most famous woman
of the first quarter of the 20th century may have been Mary
Pickford, but the most influential, and the most notorious,
was Isadora Duncan. She was the progenitor and soul of a new
art form, modern dance. She was the prototype of the
uninhibited young American whose freshness and originality
charmed jaded old Europe.
Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)
was an American singer, songwriter, and music arranger, from Port Arthur,
Texas. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big
Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist. She left Texas
for San Francisco in 1963, living in North Beach and later Haight-Ashbury.
Cheap Thrills, which gave the band a breakthrough hit single, "Piece of My
Heart," reached the number one spot on the Billboard charts eight weeks
after its release, remaining for eight (nonconsecutive) weeks.
“Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions
and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home
lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That’s what
music is to me.”
“The thing that really got me about Janis the most, was
how liberated she was. She stood in that power even though it was kind of
that platform of blues of being completely tormented, that enabled her to
just stand there and let it go at a time when woman were not doing that…she
just came out in the completely undone, unwrapped way and I think spoke
right out of a woman’s soul. Directly.”
— Ann Wilson
She had an unshakable
commitment to her own truth, no matter how destructive, how
weird or how bad. Nothing else seemed to matter. She was
such an individual in the way she dressed, the way she sang,
the way she lived. She loved her whiskey and made no bones
about it. This was a full-blown one-of-a-kind woman — no
stylist, no publicist, no image-maker. It was just Janis.
Rosanne Cash From RS 946,
April 15, 2004
She defined men sexually, as she defined
herself, and then went at her one-night stands and sometimes
orgies under the cover of a liberated style of life. . . .
She was left with little more than the yawning chasm of a
Myra Friedman in
“Yes, folks, it’s me
wearing a sequined cape, thousands of strings of beads &
topless. But it barely shows because of the beads. Very
dramatic photograph & I look really beautiful!! I’m
thrilled!!! I can be Haight-Ashbury’s first pin-up.”
On the surface, she seemed the perfect
icon for stardom in the late Sixties: She fit no standard of
beauty yet exuded a raw sensuality that mirrored a movement
which rejected societal standards by creating its own. When
Janis Joplin arrived in San Francisco, in 1966, the year
before the Summer of Love, its music scene was already in a
nascent, post-Beat hippie whirl. Young people flocked to the
Bay area as if to Mecca by the thousands, searching for
identity, reason, justification, maybe just something as
simple as acceptance.
Joan Baez (born January 9, 1941 in Staten Island, New
York) is a folk singer and songwriter known for her highly individual
vocal style. Baez was born on Staten Island to Mexican and Scottish
parents. Her father, Albert Baez, was born in 1912 in Puebla, Mexico,
and died March 20, 2007.
Albert Baez grew up in
Brooklyn, where his father preached to — and advocated for — a
Spanish-speaking congregation. Joan Baez's father considered becoming a
minister, as well before he turned to the study of mathematics and
physics. A physicist (co-inventor of the x-ray microscope and author of
one of the most widely used physics textbooks in the U.S.), he refused
to work on the "Manhattan Project" to build an atomic bomb at Los
Alamos. This decision had a profound effect on young Joan, who had two
sisters: older sister Pauline and younger sister Mimi.
In 1957, at age 16, Joan committed her first act of
civil disobedience by refusing to leave her Palo Alto Senior High School
classroom in northern California for an air-raid drill. After the bells
rang, students were to leave the school, make their way to their home
air-raid shelters, and pretend they were surviving an atomic blast.
Protesting what she believed to be misleading government propaganda,
Baez refused to leave her seat when instructed and continued reading a
book. For this act she was punished by school officials, and was
ostracized by the local population for being a supposed "communist
Joan Baez with Bob Dylan, August 1963.
Baez first met Dylan in 1961 at Gerde's Folk City in
Greenwich Village. At the time, Baez had already released
her debut album and her popularity as the emerging "Queen of
Folk" was on the rise. In 1965 Dylan's UK tour and
simultaneous disintegration of Baez's and Dylan's
relationship was documented in
D.A. Pennebaker's film documentary
Dont Look Back
From the early to mid-1960s, Baez emerged at the
forefront of the American roots revival, where she introduced her
audiences to the then-unknown Bob Dylan (the two became romantically
involved in late 1962, remaining together through early 1965), and was
emulated by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell
and Bonnie Raitt.
The early years of Joan's career saw the Civil Rights
movement in the United States become a prominent issue. Joan linked arms
with Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez on many occasions.
In 1969, Baez's appearance at the historic Woodstock
music festival in upstate New York afforded her an international musical
and political podium, Beginning in the late 1960s, Baez began writing
many of her own songs, beginning with "Sweet Sir Galahad" and "A Song
For David" (the latter written after her husband was imprisoned for
Her disquiet at the human rights violations
of communist Vietnam made her increasingly critical of its
government and she organized the publication, on May 30, 1979,
of a full-page advertisement, published in four major U.S.
newspapers, in which the communists were described as having
created a nightmare, which put her at odds with a large segment
of the domestic left wing, who were uncomfortable criticizing a
leftist regime. In a letter of response, Jane Fonda said she was
unable to substantiate the "claims" Baez made regarding the
atrocities being committed by the Khmer Rouge
On Earth Day, 1998, Baez and her friend
Bonnie Raitt were hoisted by a giant crane to the top of a
redwood tree to visit environmental activist Julia Butterfly
Hill, who had camped out in the ancient tree in order to
protect it from loggers.
On February 3, 2008, Baez wrote a letter to
the editor at the San Francisco Chronicle endorsing Barack Obama
in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. She noted: "Through all
those years, I chose not to engage in party politics.... At this
time, however, changing that posture feels like the responsible
thing to do. If anyone can navigate the contaminated waters of
Washington, lift up the poor, and appeal to the rich to share
their wealth, it is Sen. Barack Obama." Playing on the
Acoustic Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in June, Baez said
during the introduction of a song that one reason she likes
Obama is because he reminds her of another old friend of hers:
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing on October
is an American singer and songwriter, who was one of
the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson
Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, and as a solo artist, for
nearly three decades, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s. Alongside her
close contemporary Janis Joplin, Slick was an important figure in
the development of rock music in the late 1960s and was one of the first
female rock stars.
By the summer of 1966 the San Francisco scene
became a hot spot for rock music and her band with her husband and
brother-in-law, The Great Society was one of the biggest bands in the
area. Slick left her band for the Jefferson Airplane with two
compositions: "White Rabbit" , and "Somebody to Love" and the band began
recording an album. By 1967, Surrealistic Pillow and its singles were
huge hits and Jefferson Airplane was one of the biggest bands in the
country. The album and the two songs were instrumental in announcing the
existence of the Haight-Ashbury counterculture to the rest of the United
States. Grace became a household name and one of the first popular
female rock stars. Her striking beauty and stage persona also turned her
into a sex symbol for the era.
In the eighties, Slick was the only former Airplane
member to be in Starship. The band went on to score two chart topping
hits with We Built This City and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now. After
retirement from music, she turned her attention to painting and drawing.
She has done many renditions of her fellow '60s musicians such as Janis
Joplin, Jerry Garcia, and others. In 2000, she began displaying
and selling her artwork. She attends many of her art shows all across
the United States.
She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in 1996 (as a member of Jefferson Airplane).She was
ranked #20 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll.
Aside from singing, she also sometimes played
piano, keyboards, oboe, and recorder for the bands.
In a 1969 Dick Cavett Show performance, Grace
became the first person to say "motherfucker" on live television
during a performance of "We Can Be Together" as Jefferson
She has one daughter, China Wing Kantner (born January
25, 1971). China's father is former Jefferson Airplane guitarist
Paul Kantner, with whom Grace had a relationship from
1969 through 1975. During her stay in the hospital after the
baby's birth, Grace sarcastically told one of the attending
nurses (whom Grace found to be annoyingly sanctimonious) that
she intended to name the child "god", with a small "g", as she
'wished for the child to be humble'.
Blender Magazine calls
STARSHIP's 1985 #1 hit
“We Built This City” the worst rock song ever.
"The lyrics of “We Built This City” appear to restate the
importance of the band once known as Jefferson Airplane within
San Francisco’s ’60s rock scene. Not so, says former leader
Grace Slick, who by 1985 had handed her band to singer Mickey
Thomas and a shadowy team of outside songwriters.
“Everybody thought we were talking about San Francisco. We
weren’t,” Slick says. “It was written by an Englishman, Bernie
Taupin, about Los Angeles in the early ’70s. Nobody was telling
the truth!” [more]
Carol Doda (c. 1946
Her premiere topless dance came on the night of June 19, 1964. Doda
performed 12 shows nightly so that management could keep crowds
moving in and out. She was 19 or 20 when she first danced at the
Condor. Two months after she started the rest of San Francisco's
Broadway was topless, followed soon after by the rest of America
In 1964 Doda, still in her teens, made international news when a
gynecologist injected silicone into her size-34 breasts, adding 10
inches to what would become known as Doda's ``twin 44s and ``the new
Twin Peaks of San Francisco.
Doda was a witness during the trial of two
all-nude dancers who were arrested for indecent exposure and lewd
and dissolute conduct, in 1969. The defendants were dancers at the
Pink Pussy Kat in Orangevale, California before Presiding Municipal
Court Judge Earl Warren, Jr. The deputy district
attorney opposed asking her
to perform, considering it irrelevant to the case. He was overruled
by Warren. For over a decade, till the late 70's Doda would coo
"You're watching the Perfect 36 in San Jose." for television station
KICU-TV Channel 36,
Annie M. Sprinkle (born
Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954 in Philadelphia,)
sexologist, saying what everybody was thinking.
For over 30 years,
Sprinkle has been baring her ample assets for all the world to see,
from the early days in the '70s as fetish adult film starlet to her
"Post-Porn-Modernist" days of avant-garde performance art.
Sprinkle's work has always been about sexuality, with a
political, spiritual, and artistic bent.
In December 2005, she committed to doing seven years of art projects
about love with her wife and art collaborator, Beth Stephens.
Ann Guilfoyle (born March 9, 1969)
An American cable news personality
including the anchor of The Lineup, a weekend crime show that airs on the Fox
News Channel, and was previously an anchor at Court TV and a legal
analyst/commentator for CNN and ABC.
Guilfoyle was born in San Francisco to a Puerto Rican mother and an Irish
father. She grew up in the Mission
District and Westlake and is a graduate of Mercy High School, the
University of California, Davis. She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from
the University of San Francisco Law School.
She used to be a Victoria Secret model.
Gavin Newsom and Kimberly were married on December 8, 2001
in San Francisco at St. Ignatius Church. The wedding ceremony was officiated
by Father Stephen Privett, S.J. who was then president of the University of
San Francisco. Their rehearsal dinner was hosted by Maryon Davies Lewis at
Plump Jack's in the Marina District. They had 500 guests at their
$232,616.90 reception held at the Pacific Heights mansion of Ann and Gordon
Getty. On January 8, 2004, Gavin became the 42nd Mayor of San Francisco,
In January 2004, Kimberly moved to New York to work as a
legal analyst for CNN. Soon afterwards her husband made a historic decision
on February 12th to order the city clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses
to same-sex couples. Sharing the same lawyer, on January 7, 2005,
Gavin and Kimberly announced their amicable divorce.They said that having
careers on opposite coasts led to their divorce. Their divorce was finalized
on February 28, 2006 and both have since remarried.
San Francisco's First Couple...The Newsoms Harper's Bazaar
Harper's Bazaar dubbed them "The New Kennedys."
AP Photo Credit: Dewey Nicks,
the time Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe met, their careers were
on different trajectories. DiMaggio’s star was fading; Monroe’s
was rising. Joe was done with baseball, and Marilyn had no
interest in the sport. Yet it was the game that brought the two
After their night out, DiMaggio came on with the determination
that he used to show as a base runner. He called later that same
evening, and every night for two weeks. She refused every
invitation. Finally, DiMaggio called no more.
A week went by before they spoke again. This time Marilyn called
Joe. The bi-coast dating began. Not much later, Joe was seen on
the sets of Marilyn’s movies. In New York City, Joe used to
bring his new date to Toots Shor’s for an evening on the town.
Their elopement at San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954 was the
culmination of a courtship that had captivated the nation.
The relationship was complex, marred by his jealousy and her
ambition. DiMaggio biographer Richard Ben Cramer asserts that it
was also violent. One
incident allegedly happened after the skirt-blowing scene in The
Seven Year Itch was filmed on September 14, 1954 in front of New
York's Trans-Lux Theater. Then-20th Century Fox's East Coast
correspondent Bill Kobrin told the Palm Springs Desert Sun that
it was Billy Wilder's idea to turn the shoot into a circus. The
couple then had a "yelling battle" in the theater lobby. She
filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty 274 days after
the wedding. DiMaggio re-entered Marilyn's life as her marriage
to Arthur Miller was ending. On February 10, 1961, he secured
her release from Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. She joined
him in Florida where he was a batting coach for the Yankees. on
1 August 1962 to ask her to remarry him; she was found dead on
August 5. Dimaggio's son Joe Jr. had spoken to Marilyn on the
phone the night of her death and had claimed she seemed fine.
Devastated, he claimed her body and arranged her funeral,
barring Hollywood's elite. He had a half-dozen red roses
delivered 3 times a week to her crypt for 20 years.
Relying on over 150 interviews as well as Marilyn's letters and
diaries, this work by best-selling biographer Spoto casts new
light on every aspect of the actress's tempestuous life.
more @ amazon.com
This most celebrated of all
actresses, and still reigning global goddess of sex was
born Norma Jean Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los
Angeles General Hospital. Prior to her birth, Marilyn's
father bought a motorcycle and headed north to San
Francisco, abandoning the family in Los Angeles. Marilyn
grew up not knowing for sure who her father really was.
When she was nine she was placed in an orphanage where
she was to stay for the next two years.
After Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn
Monroe wed at City Hall in 1954, the had their wedding
dinner at Amelio's which today serves as Carnaval
headquarters in North Beach.
Peña Pachamama—One of those magical places... a
little island of the future where those who enter her
doors are forever transformed by the spirit of the music
and dance that takes them in. You'll find it on a little
side street in San Francisco's old Latin Quarter
somewhere between Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and
endless Italian late-night cafes.
One of San Francisco's most important
speakeasies and along with Ernie's were the most famous
restaurants in the city. The two upstairs dining rooms
with fireplaces have views of Coit Tower and often host dinner parties
and Carnaval San Francisco fund raisers.
In the last interview before her
death, Marilyn pleaded unsuccessfully with a reporter to
end his article like this: "What I really want to say:
That what the world really needs is a real feeling of
kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews,
Arabs. We are all brothers. Please don't make me a joke.
End the interview with what I believe".
Sharon Stone (born March 10, 1958) actress, film
producer and former fashion model who first achieved
recognition for her performance in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct, a
story concerning a psycho bi-sexual Bay Area woman.
On Valentine's day February 14, 1998, she married Phil
Bronstein, executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner and later San
Francisco Chronicle. Stone and Bronstein were divorced in January 2004. They
have an adopted son named Roan Joseph Bronstein, born on May 22, 2000. The
couple's most well known shared story concerns a birthday gift visit to a
Komodo dragon's cage at the Los Angeles Zoo which got pretty far trying to
eat her husband's toes.
Stone attempted a return to the mainstream with an "older
woman" role in the film
Catwoman (2004) however, the film was a critical and commercial flop.
Her switch from Scientology to Tibetan Buddhism has been awkward
After years of litigation, Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction was released on
March 31, 2006. A reason for a long delay in releasing the film was
reportedly Stone's dispute with the filmmakers over the nudity in the movie;
she wanted more, while they wanted less. A group sex scene was cut in order
to achieve an R rating from the MPAA for the U.S. release; the controversial
scene remained in the U.K. version of the London-based film. Stone told an
interviewer, "We are in a time of odd repression and if a popcorn movie
allows us to create a platform for discussion, wouldn't that be great?"
In January 2008, Stone was quoted as saying, "Everybody is
bisexual to an extent. Now men act like women and it's difficult to have a
relationship because I like men in that old-fashioned way. I like
masculinity and, in truth, only women do that now".
Stone's character was strong and powerful,
and had 'flashed' on her own terms, namely as a form of
assertion rather than submission.
The role that made her a star was that of
Catherine Tramell, a brilliant, bisexual San Francisco Bay Area
based serial killer, in Basic Instinct (1992). Stone had to wait
and actually turned down offers for the mere prospect to play
Tramell (the part was offered to 13 other actresses before being
offered to Stone). Several better known actresses of the time
such as Geena Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Melanie
Griffith, Kelly Lynch and Julia Roberts turned down the part
mostly because of the nudity required. In the movie’s most
notorious scene, Tramell is being questioned by the police and
she crosses and uncrosses her legs, revealing the fact she was
not wearing any underwear.
According to Stone, upon seeing her own vulva
in the leg-crossing scene during a screening of the film, she
went into the projection booth and slapped director Paul
Stone claimed that although she agreed to film
the flashing scene with no panties, and although she and
Verhoeven had discussed the scene from the beginning of
production, she was unaware just how explicit the infamous shot
would be. Verhoeven and the infamous screen writer
Josef Eszterhas dispute
Marilyn Chambers (April 22, 1952 - April 12, 2009) was an American pornographic
actress, exotic dancer, and vice-presidential candidate. She was
perhaps best known for her 1972 hardcore film debut Behind the Green
Door as well as being the girl pictured on Ivory Snow Soap.
Behind the Green Door (1972) was directed by the San
Francisco based Mitchell brothers and starred Marilyn
Chambers as Gloria Saunders, the movie depicts her abduction to a
sex theater, where she is forced to perform various sexual acts with
multiple partners in front of masked audience members.
In the film, Chambers has sex with
African-American actor Johnny Keyes. The porn industry and
viewing public were shocked by the then-taboo spectacle of a white
woman having sex with a black man.
In 1985, Marilyn was arrested while
performing on-stage at a San Francisco nightclub and charged with
soliciting. Marilyn retired from the adult film industry when she
heard about AIDS. Marilyn was married to Linda Lovelace's
ex-husband, Chuck Traynor, from 1975 to 1985.Marilyn joined
Narcotics Anonymous after years alcohol and cocaine abuse and had
been clean since 1988. On July 28, 1999, Mayor Willie Brown
proclaimed Marilyn Chambers Day in San Francisco.
"Marilyn Chambers' appearance as the
symbol of a kind of pioneering, no-shame x-rated
wildness and, well, professionalism in porn --
orchestrated by SF's equally
entrepreneurial and creative Mitchell brothers --
plugged into a burgeoning public sexuality that ran
footloose into the future."
“Behind the Green Door” was among the
first X-rated films to gain wide distribution and, along
with “Deep Throat,” released the same year, is generally
credited with helping establish a mainstream market for
pornography. Before this movie, pornographic films were
limited mostly to 10-minute "loops," which were viewed
privately in the back rooms of adult bookstores or at small
"It's hard to look back at yourself at
28. On one hand it's great to be an older woman but on the
other hand youth is a great commodity."
"When Dianne Feinstein was mayor, she tried cleaning up
the strip joints, particularly the Mitchell Brothers’ Theater"
Warren Hinkleon his suspicious arrest for walking his
dog without a leash soon after unleashing a series of columns on
the puritan leanings of the Mayor and now senior Senator from
(born November 13, 1955)
from New York City, joined the Blake St Hawkeyes theatre in Berkeley and
soon moved into solo performances. Her creation of the solo work "The
Spook Show" here led to eventual stardom after it toured the USA and
Europe. When Performing in The Spook Show Director Mike Nichols
spotted her and gave Whoopi her own one-woman Broadway Show in 1984 an
evening of her own material. The show opened to critical acclaim. Audiences
unable to see her New York Show were able to see an HBO Special "Whoopi
Goldberg-Direct from Broadway" The Album won a Grammy Award for best
recording of the year.
She returned to San Francisco to star in "Moms" as Moms Mabley, a one-woman
show show she co-wrote based on the Comedienne Moms Mableys work. The
following year Steven Spielberg found her and cast her as Celie in
the film version of the Novel "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker.
Caryn Elaine Johnson,
Whoopie's real name, began her career at 8, performing with the Children's
Program at the Hudson Guild Community Center and the Helena Rubinstein
Children's Theatre. She dropped out of high school after just two weeks. She
would later learn that she had suffered from dyslexia, which is why she was
often regarded as stupid or retarded by her teachers
"My family is Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist and Catholic. I
don't believe in man-made religions."
SF Mission District resident
who appears as the narrater
Califia, the Queen of California. in "Golden Dreams"
a 23-minute film showing the history of California through several
recreated scenes. The attraction ran from February till
2009, when it was demolished to make way for the construction of a
Little Mermaid dark ride.
cool under pressure which has made her a popular daytime TV host.
Following a media frenzy outbreak in 1993 where her then boyfriend,
the actor Ted Danson, appeared in blackface to roast her at
the Friar's Club, she issued a statement stating the the two had
decided to play on some of the nasty letters and comments their
relationship has elicited. "We've gotten a lot of hate mail. He's
been called a |nigger lover' and people have said that if we had a
kid they hoped he or she died. We decided to go over the top with
it. If you think he's a nigger lover, here he is in blackface.
People took offense about it."
Anna Paglia (born 2 April 1947 in Endicott, New York) is
an American author, teacher, social critic and dissident
feminist. Since 1984 Paglia has been a Professor at The
University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Her book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from
Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, published in 1990, became
My peak Web moment of recent
weeks was watching
the riveting video of Code Pink's March 2003
confrontation with Hillary Clinton in a Senate
conference room. I whooped and applauded as
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the antiwar group,
spoke eloquently of the trauma and horror
inflicted by the invasion on the women and
children of Iraq (a subject consistently ignored
by the American press).
There's a priceless moment
when a protester strips off her pink slip and
hands it to Hillary (who had just voted for the
war resolution the prior October) as a symbol of
her flunking this ethical test. Hillary, who has
problems when life departs from script, at first
takes the gift, then yanks her hand back and
loses her temper. The hapless slip is seized by
a female flunky and abducted. It's a classic!
This entire election wasn't
about gender and sexism -- until the profligate,
mismanaging Hillary began losing and grasping at
straws. For Minerva's sake, let's move on to a
fresh new generation of female leadership!
Sex for sternly
workaholic Madonna has become a brittle concept
rather than a sensual reality, a monotonous
compulsiveness diverting her from artistic
Though her reputation has
receded in the U.S., Madonna retains a huge fan
base around the world. By shrewdly monitoring
trends, she has been able to maintain her
relevance and sell out concerts at stratospheric
Young women performers
everywhere have been massively influenced by her
persona and stagecraft, even if they don't know
it because they've borrowed from intermediaries
closer to their age. Madonna's great songs have
become canonical on radio airplay. But she is no
longer a game-changer; she's lost her once
unerring sense of the cutting edge. In a
performer this talented and ambitious, it's a
What happened to Madonna? I
have had a series of revelations about this
since my trip to Brazil in May, which I wrote
my June column. I described the moment when,
after my art lecture at the Teatro Castro Alves
in Salvador da Bahia, five DVDs arrived wrapped
in red ribbon
After a six-year
absence, Salon.com's cultural high
priestess and pioneering Web proto-blogger
has returned! Paglia was part of the
team of writers who helped found Salon
in 1995 returned in 2007.
from Daniela Mercury,
the charismatic superstar who has been called
"Brazil's Madonna." It was literally
electrifying: I felt as if I had been hit by
lightning, causing some mysterious rearrangement
of brain cells. My boredom and disillusion with
popular culture, which have been intensifying
over the past 15 years, seemed to vanish. Since
then, I have been enthusiastically exploring
Brazilian history and Mercury's career through
the wonders of the Web -- that revolutionary
instrument of cultural exchange.
What Madonna could learn from
banner by flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/73803631/sizes/l/
There's Barbara Lee who been a Carnaval Grand
Marshall who with Lyn Woolsey represent the progressive or more liberal
wing. The are balanced by
Sat. April 25,
Ronald K. Brown
Events : Ronald
K. Brown Soundsuits Audition
Blend of African, Modern, Ballet
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC School and the Black
Choreographers Festival offer a special opportunity to audition for
Ronald K. Brown upcoming performance: Nick Cave Soundsuits
Rehearsal dates: May 18-23, 26-27
Each rehearsal will be four hours
long and will be scheduled according to space and dancers'
Performance dates: May 28, 7pm;
May 30, 3pm; May 31, 3pm
Call TBD. All performances will be
at YBCA. Performance fee: To be discussed with selected
YBCA is thrilled to conclude its 08_09 season with a truly
remarkable confluence of performing and visual art, fusing the
movement of renowned choreographer Ronald K. Brown and the
shimmering soundsuits of visionary sculptor Nick Cave. Praised as
"one of the most profound choreographers of his generation," Brown
and his company EVIDENCE blend African, modern, ballet and social
dance styles to tell stories about the human experience. As part of
his residency at YBCA, Brown and EVIDENCE dancer Arcell Cabuag will
collaborate with local performers to bring to life Cave's soundsuits-ephemeral
full-body sculptures composed of recycled clothing, beads, bottle
caps, toys, twigs and hair. The exhibition, which runs in YBCA
galleries March 28-July 5, represents the largest scale presentation
of Cave's career, and gives YBCA audiences the unique chance to
experience his soundsuits in performance. While these groundbreaking
performance "happenings" will take place only three times, numerous
activities and performances are planned in conjunction with the Nick
For more information on the performance,
Throughout her career, Martha Graham's
fundamental tenet was that dance should reach audiences through a
visceral response rather than an objective image that registered
upon the intellect.
"Out of emotion comes form," she
said, and then proved that out of form she could re-create the
same emotion onstage.