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
Disney’s animated version of the story of Aladdin had a lot going on. There were the Broadway-worthy songs, Robin Williams hamming it up as the voice of the genie, and let’s not forget Princess Jasmine’s belly-baring harem pants ensemble. Do you know what that story was missing, though? Over-the-top Bollywood dance sequences. Bay Area theater company Solskrit rectifies this oversight with its latest production, “Genie: A Touch of Magic.” They relocate the action from the Chinese town of the original story in The Book of the Thousand and One Nights to the slums of Mumbai but retain the fantastical elements commonly associated with the folktale. Solskrit’s Aladdin starts out a penniless orphan but soon enough goes through a genie-enabled transformation into a somebody who’s somebody. But you know what they say about not being able to put the genie back in the lamp. It wouldn’t be a true Bollywood adaptation without some serious melodrama, and of course all of the action onstage is supplemented by those aforementioned dance sequences. Considering the cast is over 60 actors and dancers strong, these are not subdued numbers. We suspect you might find yourself practicing your own post-show dance moves in front of a mirror at home. Whether you do it in a Princess Jasmine costume is your own concern.
March 2-3, 1 & 6 p.m., 2013