Circus

Monday, December 17, 2012

S.F.'s Seven Best End of the World Events

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 6:30 AM

DEBBIE SMITH
  • Debbie Smith

We're gonna go out on a limb here and guess that the most popular song in the clubs this weekend will be REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." Between the end of the Mayan calendar and the constant "fiscal cliff" blathering, the whole country is feeling positively apocalypsish. And while the world probably won't end on December 21st, it's always good to cover your bases, so we've rounded up the seven best Apocalypse-themed events on December 20 (and the coming weekend).

See also:

Books for Surviving the Impending Apocalypse

Masterminds 2013: Artists, Enter Our Contest to Win Money and Fame*

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Five Questions for a Guinness World Record-Holding Contortionist

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

tipton1.jpg

You might not guess it to watch me type, but once upon a time, I was pretty flexible. This is in large part due to a class I took (more years ago than I care to admit) at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts called Acrobatic Stretching. At the time, I didn't realize that the teacher, Professional Contortionist Leslie Tipton, was in the Guinness Book of World Records and had performed in more countries than I had been to, but I did realize that she knew what she was talking about, and that stretching hurts. When I heard recently that the former competitive gymnast and 20-year circus arts veteran was starting her own contortion school in San Francisco, I went to her studio by Ocean Beach to get the lowdown, and meet her beloved cat Bean.

See also:

Local Circus Veterans' New Trick: Come to Shows that Never Happened

Seven Tips for a Great Audition

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Video of the Day: Twisted Beats and Circus Feats

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Simone Lazar
  • Simone Lazar

You might not associate clowns with rappers, but Australia-born hip-hop puppeteer Jesse Horne of Circadelix does. An admitted problem child, Horne found writing rhymes an antidote to his ADHD, and turned his inability to sit still into a successful career as a street performer. His clowning and juggling skills took him on a grand adventure that included performances for royalty in Abu Dhabi, the World Expo in Shanghai, and eventually the San Francisco Circus Center, where he met and fell in love with classically trained ballet dancer and aerialist Simone Lazar.

See also:

A Delicate Balance: Five Questions for S.F.'s Hottest Pole Acrobat

5 Clown Questions Debunked From a Ringling Bros. Pro

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Podcast Review: The Grimaldis Are Dead

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM

RACHEL GOLDEN
  • Rachel Golden

The Grimaldis Are Dead, a co-production by Dane Ballard productions and Circus Center San Francisco, is spectacular in theory. It combines circus, magic, improv, and musical theater, backed up by a live band and filmed projections; it follows generations of a family who were all in showbiz and all died ghastly deaths; and it takes place in a new and unconventional venue, Firehouse 8.

See also:

Podcast Review: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Marks Elaborate Entrance for the Aurora's 21st Season

Podcast Review: The Collapse of Enron, with Puppets!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

A Delicate Balance: Five Questions for S.F.'s Hottest Pole Acrobat

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM

CALIBREE PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Calibree photography

If you're a regular at Supperclub, the Hubba Hubba Revue, or Bootie SF, you may have noticed that pole acrobat Kara Nova has become a constant presence in the D.I.Y. circus scene. With only four years of training, this 23 year old, self-proclaimed "ninja space angel" has performed at Bay Area institutions The Edwardian Ball and Sea of Dreams, as well as for larger acts like Primus and Bassnectar. Fresh from a gig in Las Vegas, she sat down with me after the Craft Spirits Carnival at Fort Mason to discuss training, success, and coffee.

See also:

Local Circus Veterans' New Trick: Come to Shows that Never Happened

7 Tips for a Great Audition

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bands, Burlesque, and Skee-Ball, Oh My!

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

HANNA QUEVEDO
  • Hanna Quevedo

The great thing about living in San Francisco is you never run out of things to do. I'm not just talking about Fleet Week and America's Cup type things -- what really makes a city interesting are the nooks and crannies. It's those little morsels of culture that you couldn't find anywhere else, and we've got one coming up soon with the Rock 'N' Roll Carnival, presented by Broke-Ass Stuart, Tricycle Records, and Public Works.

See also:

San Francisco Best New Venue: Public Works

Loving the Nighlife in San Francisco

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Local Circus Veterans' New Trick: Come to Shows that Never Happened

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM

JASON KRUPPA
  • Jason Kruppa

The most exciting and innovative circus in the Bay Area isn't coming from Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros., or any of the big schools. It's hiding out in an underground training location called The Royal Russian Kung Fu Circus Training Academy of Heaven Mountain by a few, and Sons of Cayuga, by everyone else. The pair responsible claim to have the highest skill level of any local circus in their shows (true), and disdain advertising, claiming that, "when you make mazes for people they try to find the end of the maze."

See also:

"Humor Abuse": A Son Remembers the Pickle Family Circus

The Hard Truth of Circus Life

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Seven Tips for a Great Audition

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

HANNA QUEVEDO
  • Hanna Quevedo

The first in an occasional series on life as a performer in San Francisco.

So, you've practiced those pirouettes, mastered your handstand, or finally beaten that hula hoop into submission, and it's time to get out there and strut your stuff.  Maybe you've signed up for backstage, or stared endlessly at that Cirque Du Soleil open call poster at the dance studio? Auditioning can be a harrowing experience for a veteran, and downright terrifying for a beginner.  Here are seven tips to help get you through:

1. Have your shit together 

You don't want to be that guy running in at the last minute drenched in sweat, clothes flailing, cellphone ringing, with no headshot, no resume, and no clue.  Go to bed early, set an alarm, be on time, and always, always, know what you're auditioning for.

See also:

Social Media Self-Promotion: The Only Advice You Need

How to Not Die in an Earthquake: Six Essential Tips

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

San Francisco's Top 10 Places to Take or Act Like a Kid

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM

MO RIZA/FLICKR

Life is hard enough without a screaming, running away, randomly pooping, peeing, puking, money-sucking companion at your side, whether it be your child, multiple children, or Chris Daly. If you've been feeling spread a little thin lately, we're here to help. Below are the top 10 places you can nourish your inner child, or entertain your real one(s).

(Key: Poot! = Take your toddler, Toot! = Take your kids, or Woot! = Take yourself!)

10. Urban Recess (Poot!)

Urban Recess
  • Urban Recess

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Flying Tiger Circus -- Amazing Acrobatics with a Dash of Masochism

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Acrobat Chloe Marvel Light Axelrod - SCOTT GOLUB
  • Scott Golub
  • Acrobat Chloe Marvel Light Axelrod

Tattoo and body piercing shop Body Manipulations recently turned 23. It's celebrating, naturally, with a night of acrobatic feats, Russian trapeze, body suspensions, contortion, and an exceptionally high pain tolerance.

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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.