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
If you're still making mental notes to catch SF Ballet in its 75th Anniversary Season every time a Muni bus placard conveys those exultant leaping dancers past you at an intersection, it's time to pick a date. This week marks the last in the season, and the second in the company's New Works Festival, a humdinger of a season finale showcasing ten world premieres by some of the best dance-makers in the business. Judging from the program notes, nearly the entire roll call, which includes modern dance and experimental ballet choreographers from six countries, has seized the opportunity to break their own molds. Paul Taylor's Changes, set in part to the music of the Mamas and the Papas, marks the modern dance icon's first foray into folk-rock and social dance -- look for passing references to the Watusi, the Frug, and the Mashed Potato. Threads by local favorite Margaret Jenkins is the modern matriarch's first work for a ballet company, and Yuri Possokhov's Fusion, inspired by the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, may be the first dance ever to seek spiritual transcendence through contemporary jazz. In short, it's a festival of firsts to be savored, even at the last minute.
May 2-4, 2008