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Trolley Dances 2011 - All around the town

by Joanna G. Harris
October 16, 2011
San Francisco, CA
October 15/16, 2011

Joanna G. Harris
Author, Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, 1916-1965. Regent Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009. Contributor to reviews on culturevulture.net
Kim Epifano and Epiphany Productions make a special gift to San Francisco each year. They bring "Trolley Dances" to delighted audiences, most who have never seen any dance, and certainly not dancing on streets, steps, trolley stops and storefronts. But they do and men, women, children and this year, a large black dog, came along…and had a very good time.

The event began across the street from the main branch of the SF Public Library with Antoine Hunter evoking "Animal Calls" at the SF Environmental Center. Hunter is a tall, elegant dancer who filled the tiny space with expansive gestures and long leaps. From there, the group proceeded to the Library steps where KT Nelson and her ODC dancers performed "Transit", a work for ten dancers, and two bicycles, one of which could function as a bench! The dancers used the steps in many intriguing ways, climbing, pushing, sliding, running…and the bikes rode 'round and 'round the ramps. Sometimes the dancers read newspapers; sometimes they napped. It was a great presentation of transit riders. Notable were Yayoi Kambara, Justin Andrews and Jeremy Smith on the bike-bench!

In the Library itself, in the Children's Reading Room, we were treated to the antics of "Sweet Can" productions. Jamie Coventry, Natasha Kaluza, Matt White accompanied by Dari Cantrell on accordion, performed acrobatic feats with sticks, hula- hoops and plates, all done with precision and play. It was fun-for-all time.

On to the Library's mysterious 6th floor terrace where an exhibit of "American Sabor," Latinos in U.S. popular music, was brought to life by the "Salsa mania" group. First two sexy ladies danced salsa, with fringes flying; then two couples shook their way through the fast steps and twirls of that amazing dance followed by a lead couple whose routine left the audience cheering and whistling. And more was still to come.

Carefully crossing Grove Street, the group moved down to MUNI and the L/M/N trolley to West Portal. There in the station itself, Christine Boansea and Marina Fukushima, in blue wigs, pink dresses and yellow slickers climbed slid and generally adorned the MUNI station with delightful activities. A few steps from the station and we were at the West Portal Public Library watching the versatile Jodi Lomask of Capacitor do remarkable flexible feats on her looped equipment. She curved, slid and balanced in the small space of the Library's courtyard. Kudos to Jodi and her amazing skills.

A pleasant walk down West Portal Avenue past ice cream shops and other neighborhood places brought us to the Book Shop West Portal. There, Kim Epifano and her San Francisco State University
Group greeted us with "Whispering Pedestrians." The dancers walked on the avenue as we watched huddled in the courtyard. Then, a narrator, Mo Awaobo told us the history of West Portal, citing the various civil battles fought to retain this special site. Ten dancers lined up, sometimes running, lifting each other and telling us "change is not always good." Jennifer Perfilio was an outstanding soloist.

To end a lively day, we proceeded to the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy to see Lion and Dragon Dancers and an exhibition of Kung Fu combats and skills. Jill Moran Doherty played drums effectively and accompaniment to the highly dramatic pugilistic display.

Kim Epifano and Epiphany Productions, their staff, volunteers and all the supporters of Trolley Dancers are to be congratulated once again for bringing people to dance and dance to the people.
Trolley Dances 2011

Trolley Dances 2011

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown


Trolley Dances 2011

Trolley Dances 2011

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown

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