ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO? Homegrown trends and traditions (2005)

Observations and projections by Keith Hennessy, guest performance curator Bay Area Now 2005.
Written for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Bay Area Now 2005 catalogue

• Burlesque, sideshow, circus, fire arts and a return to artists who entertain.

For the past decade there’s been a steady increase in aerial acrobats, fire spinning and sculpting, nostalgic & campy burlesque, and the word circus being used to describe just about everything from the entire genre of Tom Waits meets gypsy/Roma music to the Schwartznegger election. After years of deconstructing the spectacle, entertainment is back. For a few years anyone who could spin fire or climb 25 feet of fabric earned respect but that moment is over and for a few dancers, aerialists, contortionists, fire sculptors and spinners, and even hula-hoopists, it’s all about quality now, pushing craft and performance and obsessive training to the next level...

Read More