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 Post subject: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 11:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Rachel Howard asks a brave question:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?</B><P>Rachel Howard, Examiner Dance Critic<P> It's received wisdom by now that San Francisco is the No. 2 dance capital in the world -- so much so that denizens of dance city numero uno wax ecstatic over the Bay Area scene. "Oh, you're from San Francisco?" the NY critic seated next to me for the debut of Twyla Tharp's new company exclaimed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://63.78.169.150/style/default.jsp?story=x0312NYdance0" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 11:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: neworleans, louisiana
Perhaps a play-off is in order -- a la AFC versus NFC ...<P>Gosh, that conjures up a pretty picture, doesn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 11:45 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Not to denigrate San Francisco in even the slightest way, but I've often been asked by potential employers if I've worked in NY; I've <I>never</I> been asked if I've worked in SF.<P>People from SF are no less geocentric than New Yorkers, though. They often refer to "the bay area" as if there were no other bays in America and some ODC/SF dancers once asked me if I'd ever had fresh seafood, as if that were an impossibility for someone from Houston (Hint: there's a reason they call it "gulf" shrimp).

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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I'm sure Azlan saw this coming:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It's received wisdom by now that San Francisco is the No. 2 dance capital in the world.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>We hold these truths to be self evident, assuming this is 'world' as in the baseball 'World Series'. There's somewhere else that comes to mind when one is thinking of world dance capitals - two major ballet companies based there (90 strong and 60 odd), a 22-strong modern company, a 20 strong full time pro. African Dance Company and about 10 or so other fully pro. companies, a legion of pick-up ones; about half a dozen major dance schools/colleges, 3 to MA and PhD level; an international Opera House, a 1500 seater dedicated dance venue - Bausch, Forsythe, SFB, PNB, NDT, Rambert etc etc), a modern dance venue with over 130 performances per year (Mark Morris in the past, de Kaersmaeker etc) plus another 6 or so major venues that feature dance regularly plus a number of other smaller ones. Then there's the festivals - Dance Umbrella Festival with the cream of world modern dance (Merce, Tharp, Preljocaj etc), Resolution! with 100 or so emerging companies and various others. The Kirov or the Bolshoi and sometimes both come each year at the moment. <P>Now where is it? It was on the tip of my tongue. Oh yes - London. I wouldn't like to draw up league tables, but certainly I would question the 'received wisdom' re. San Francisco. <P>SF I remember being the city where in a 2 week visit in Summer there was not a single pro. dance event in the entire period. Such an occurrence simply does not happen in London. I sometimes wonder whether there is a 2 day period (except for Christmas and Boxing Day) without some form of professional dance. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Hmmmm...regarding Ms. Howard's article about "dance critics inflating the reputatations of local dance artists"...she faults NY critics with this. I LIKEWISE feel exactly the same way about San Francisco critics and Alonzo King. I am going to start a thread on this in "Issues". <BR>As far as dance capitals...people do tend to be geocentric. When I lived in NYC (for eight years) people absolutely felt it was the "center of the universe"..."if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere" mentality. I'm not sure where it would be now. I feel like NY is not the center it once was..have to think on this one. <p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited March 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 2:27 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
As I remember correctly, I believe it was Kevin Ng in another thread who made a very good case for Japan - I assume he means Tokyo - as having some very good claims to being very much a dance capital.<P>But does it matter? Just as long as there is dance.......and the people who enjoy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: neworleans, louisiana
Trina -- I remember a teacher at our school (from Boston), who was founder of a chamber ballet company, labeling another teacher (from New York), who was ballet mistress of another company, "New York Provincial."<P>I thought both of them were kind of full of poo, but I do recall that the one from NY taught a wonderful, logical class, and then changed completely, introducing all kinds of crazy barre work and 'fashionable' arms and positions that she apparently attributed to the way things were currently being done in NY. (E.G., arms bent and held very close to the body for turns -- looking very 'elbow-y'). <P>Because many, many people from this city have studied dance for years without ever being exposed to major companies and productions, they are very easily influenced by people who claim to KNOW. <p>[This message has been edited by Christina (edited March 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
I received a very nice clarification from Ms Howard indicating that the headline isn't hers. She intended her article to be merely a comparison of the two dance capitals in the US.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:36 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Well, Stuart, to Americans, the US <I>is</I> the world. We even have a grand scheme to capture the World Cup by 2014. And once we do that, we will allow only American-based teams to compete. It will be California vs. New York in the final. Forget Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany and Italy. We may however allow Canada and Mexico to field guest teams, if they're nice to us.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2001 11:19 pm 
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Location: San Francisco CA USA
Hi folks,<P>Because of the amount of discussion I hear this article has stirred, I feel compelled to post and, frankly, make some excuses for myself. I refrained from posting earlier because I didn't want to stifle response or force it into false politeness, but since the thread appears to have dried up, here goes. I hope everyone's a-okay with a critic posting, and that it won't interfere with the tenor of discussions in the future.<P>The headline "Who's no. 1 in dance?" is not of my devising. It makes the piece sound like a polemic or an attempt at a cohesive argument, which was not my intention. I took a wonderful first (yes, my first!) trip to New York City and typed up some impressions when I returned, literally two hours worth of writing. I told my editor I had written something, not knowing if she'd have any interest in using it. A few days later several main articles fell through and suddenly this piece was going to run on the front page.<P>I thought that might be all right if it were framed in the right way: as informal notes. Then I came down with that same nasty cold/flu just about everyone out here's battled and I completely dropped the ball, stayed home sick, and did nothing to supervise layout, editing (and revision, which it needed), and production. I also did nothing to fact check, as the mis-spellings of Nancy Umanoff and Marjorie Folkman attest. Finally--and this will sound utterly naive--I did not realize the phrase "second string," used in reference to Jennifer Dunning, was a pejorative one. I meant "number two critic," or something like that.<P>I certainly cannot blame my editors for these mistakes. They are great editors, but I think it's safe to reveal that the new Examiner is under-staffed and under-organized at this time. They've even mis-spelled my name, which they could have copied right off the byline, on the website. Because the paper is new and has suffered circulation problems, I think I developed the comforting idea that no one was reading my pieces anyway. No longer!<P>Several people have emailed me to kindly offer corrections. I'd like to thank them for their tolerance. Who should become a dance critic? The appointment of one is sometimes arbitrary. It isn't in my case, because I have loved dance from the age of four. But I'm still learning how to analyze and report on it. I feel very lucky to have wound up in this profession and I hope in the future to earn my keep.<P>By the way, I think all of this is a prime example of the Internet keeping a critic "honest"--or at least accountable.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2001 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks for the clarification, Rachel. And keep on writing! Your articles, collectively, bring a breath of fresh air to dance journalism.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2001 8:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Yes, Rachel, I agree with Azlan. Your idea on "Dance Epiphanies" was fascinating and stimulated a lot of discusson, if not memories here at cd.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2001 9:57 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
It is always a pleasure to see/read you Rachel.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2001 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
This isn't quite an article about who's No. 1 in dance but it is the SF Chronicle's "101 Reasons We Love the Bay Area":<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Feet Don't Fail Me</B><P>With the oldest ballet company in the United States and the place that hosted the very first U.S. performance of "Nutcracker," the Bay Area is dance central U.S.A. Helgi Tomasson has been artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet for 15 years and has brought the company international acclaim. His predecessor, Michael Smuin, now runs his own company, Smuin Ballets/SF, and also draws both big audiences and critical acclaim. From major midlevel companies like Oakland Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Alonzo King's Lines Ballet and Brenda Way's ODC/San Francisco, to cutting-edge groups like Jo Kreiter's Flyaway Production, and ethnic keepers of the flame like Lily Cai Dance Company - the Bay Area sets the bar high for dance. . <P><BR>...<P><BR><B>So Original</B><P>Modern dance was born in the United States, and the Bay Area remains a hothouse for some of the most gripping and original modern dance anywhere - not least of which is the work of San Francisco's own Margaret Jenkins and Joe Goode. .<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/04/29/CM176727.DTL" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Who's No. 1 in dance: S.F. or N.Y.?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2001 5:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Clive Barnes seems to be joining this debate:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>DANCING FEATS</B><P>CLIVE BARNES, NY Post<P>...<P>New York is internationally recognized as the center of the dance world. But each and every spring it frantically goes into high gear as if to prove it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.nypost.com/05072001/entertainment/29933.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>


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