When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Returning from sold-out shows and rave reviews in New York, Smuin Ballet brings the inventive, much-lauded, and uncomfortably resonant Oh, Inverted World back home. In this deft collaboration between choreographer Trey McIntyre and indie-pop darlings The Shins, the Smuin dancers conjure the flutter and flurry of youthful friendship, the physical power and influence of peers, and the glory of cresting adulthood, amid the quiet, lonely internal struggle for differentiation and self-discovery. Michael Smuin, who often choreographed for Broadway and film, would have been proud. Scantily clad in slick athletic shorts, sports socks, and wristbands, his small, passionate, technically consummate company finds in Oh, Inverted World a perfect vehicle to carry on their late director’s vision: to make the classical precision and grace of ballet fresh, accessible, and exciting. Three Smuin pieces — Starshadows, an intimate adagio for three couples, and two solo works called Homeless and No Viviré — are included in this program, along with the West Coast premiere of Adam Hougland’s beautiful Cold Virtues. Set against a cinematic backdrop of slowly spinning ceiling fans and the bleak, penetrating score of Philip Glass’ “Violin Concerto,” Cold Virtues is stylistically noir but without artifice. If The Postman Always Rings Twice moved you, Hougland’s emotional geometry will have you salivating.
Oct. 5-6; Oct. 11-14, 2012