The Bay Area lost one of its brightest cultural lights when Leslie Scalapino passed away earlier this year. Beyond producing her award-winning and widely anthologized poetry, she taught at local institutions such as Mills College and the SF Art Institute, founded the Oakland small press O Books, and experimented freely as a playwright and author of prose. Flow (Winged Crocodile)/The Trains, one of her final works for the stage, was published shortly after her death and was first performed in June at the Poets House in New York by the Relationship, a theater group known, like Scalapino, for taking risks. Now the Relationship brings Flow to the Bay Area. In an exploration of left brain (logic and analysis) vs. right brain (creativity and intuition), the winged reptile of the title dances onstage next to Tania, the alter ego of the infamous kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst. The piece features music developed between Scalapino and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, formerly of the Kronos Quartet, as well as video and projected drawings by Eve Biddle. Flow in all of its wild inventiveness stands as a strong testament to Scalapino's rich imagination and to her refusal to be bound by any convention.
Dec. 21-22, 8 p.m., 2010