Author: Gohar

Three Decades of Dance in the Mission

In 1980, Sears moved out of its building on Army street (renamed Cesar Chavez in 1995) and the building became legally zoned as ‘live/work’ – a major coup for artists at that time.  Deborah Slater’s friend, Judith Lit, heard the news by chance, and the two were able to visit the building and pick their studio. Founded by Jenny Debouzek, Deborah Slater, Judith Lit, Michelle Larsson and soon joined by Helen Dannenberg, the space was named Studio 210 and very quickly became a favorite rehearsal location for San Francisco-based dancers, theater troupes, musicians, and other performing artists.  Since then, more than two hundred artists have used the space for various purposes. Currently, the studio has a few main functions: It houses Studio 210 Summer Artist Residency Program, established in 2012. They offer space, mentorship, and performance opportunities to emerging and established artistic talent in the Bay Area.  It is also home to Deborah Slater Dance Theater, founded in 1989 and offers space for classes in improvisation, rehearsals of all stripes, and the Bare Bones Butoh Festival. Deborah Slater Dance …

“How Others See Us”

I’ve been following the work of photographer Ken Holden since the day I saw his exhibition at the de Young Museum’s Kimball Gallery in San Francisco a few years ago. The range and potential of the artist were overwhelming, considering he was a relatively unknown fine art photographer. At the exhibition, I realized that I had seen Ken wandering the museum almost every Saturday, (I used to take my kids to a Saturday morning art class there), and shoot non-stop, visitors, architecture, and textures, but not the artwork on display. Ken was also interested in how people looked through a shattered glass windowpane, or through a raindrop covered plastic tent, or the slow environmental changes throughout the museum – through this, through that as he studied the environment. It’s hard to talk about what this artist likes. But it’s rather easy to figure out what he doesn’t like: the obvious and perfect reproduction of reality. Ken doesn’t photograph the “postcard” image. Rather, he captures what lies in our imagination on the sidelines of our vision. Ken and …

Music Festivals in SF Coming Up!

Get over your fear of crowds, packed public transportation, port-a-potties and get to one or both of October’s music festivals this year! San Franciscans are used to seeing large numbers of people flocking to the city, whether for standard tourist fare or to the many technology events hosted here each month. But it’s not only the tech events that bring out crowds to SF. Massive music festivals draw the crowds, including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass October 2, 3 and 4, and Treasure Island Music Festival October 17-18. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is a big, three-day festival in the Golden Gate Park and it’s FREE! The festival is a love child of philanthropist Warren Hellman who founded the festival in 2001. Just be prepared for a lot of people. The crowd is eclectic: locals, tourists, old hippies, nomads, hipsters, children, etc. Treasure Island Music Festival is considered the smallest and one of the best music festivals by many. You get to enjoy a great line-up, sweeping views of San Francisco with both bridges and amazing sunsets. Don’t forget …

Big Book Sale Coming Up!

2015 Big Book Sale September 16 – 20, 2015 | 10 am to 6 pm Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, SF FREE More than half a million transactions at The Big Book Sale—combined with online auctions, two used book stores and annual events—will raise approximately one million dollars to benefit the public library’s free programs and neighborhood branch upkeep efforts. The Friends of the Library, as one of the nation’s largest used book distributors, is proving that ‘the book’ is not dead. Everything is $3 or less – $3 hard cover books – $2 paperback books – $1 DVDs / CDs / Books on Tape / Vinyl On Sunday, the final day of the sale, everything is $1 If you’d like to volunteer follow the link below for all the details: http://sf.funcheap.com/volunteer-sfs-big-book-sale-free-books/

News vs. Entertainment

The Bay Area can be regarded as one of the most important economic and cultural regions in the nation, a region generating news about politics and society because of its role as a center of change. It hosts a few broadcast news channels and newspapers. But do these media outlets help people understand the reality of critical situations here and around the world? Jamal Dajani is a San Francisco based Peabody Award-winning news producer, journalist, filmmaker and Middle East analyst. He is the co-founder of Arab Talk Radio. His Twitter and Facebook page have become a trusted news source for a large number of followers and the numbers are growing each day. This is the reason we reached out to him in this short interview: G.B. As a journalist what drives your curiosity? J.D. The lack of global news covered on mainstream media. TV coverage tends to be US-centric. Look at what you currently see on CBS, CNN, FOX, etc. these days…more than 50% of the coverage focuses on Donald Trump, while we a have a refugee …

Motti Lerner: I am trying to deal with fear

Motti Lerner is an Israeli playwright whose more recent plays have been rejected in Israel, and staged only in Europe and US for dealing with controversial political issues (including Coming Home, Pangs of the Messiah, The Murder of Isaac, and Benedictus). In SF Motti Lerner’s works have been produced by Golden Thread Productions and I had the honor of taking production photographs and observing the playwright at work. A couple of months ago, Motti held a three-day writer’s workshop at the Playwrights Foundation. I had the pleasure of meeting him again and chatting about literature, his plays, Chekhov’s influence on his work, love and life in general. G.B.  How would you describe the creative process? M.L. I never use the word creative process for it, but rather, hard work. Not because there’s no creativity but because it’s mostly hard work. In writing there’s a lot of research and learning involved. Of course there’s a moment when you start creating the characters and the creative ideas come from associations, but the hard work is to choose among all …

Path and Patterns in Art, Spirit and the City

I saw Paz de la Calzada’s labyrinth installation at the de Young not that long ago and couldn’t keep her name or the art out of my mind. By chance we went to the same event hosted by Burning Man’s Black Rock Arts Foundation in San Francisco and had an opportunity to chat a bit about her work and life. She’s doing an artist residency in Crete and will be back in SF end of August. I’m looking forward to new installations by the artist.  We corresponded by email: You have explored hair in your work. What does hair signify for you?  For me hair is an icon and a reference of the human body. I have a special interest in patterns, both in nature and in the industrial world. Hair is an organic natural pattern that I have used to create a dialogue with the urban architecture, questioning sometimes the rigidity of its forms. In this sense I have used mostly feminine hair to cover a building or to playfully engage with it. I …

burgers Grazzy restaurant

Artful Pairing

Q is a man of many interests: acting, writing, motorcycling, cooking, entrepreneurship.  After leaving his home in Iran more than 35 years ago to get a degree in the US (BS in agriculture, MA in Agricultural Engineering), Q has made the Bay Area his home. How would you describe yourself? I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve always had my own business. I’ve done so many things. Worked as a general contractor, opened a garage on 98th street in East Oakland. Back then the situation was pretty bad. My business partner and another owner of a gas station got shot. That got me to move out of that area and open my first café in Berkeley. It was a place to hang out. Everything was happening at the café; painting classes, cooking classes, history class, lot’s of partying. We did “open café” nights where people would bring their own drink and food to share and talk politics, art, history, etc. Back then there was no Facebook or Twitter, people loved to hang out and meet new members of …

City Harmonious

During my family’s first trip to Denmark two years ago, we fell in love with pastries, furniture design, simplicity in lifestyle, attention to detail, and the endless summer nights. Three weeks ago we returned to Copenhagen with the same excitement for familiar things and new adventures. Copenhagen is a city you can explore alone, with family or friends. Whether you walk the streets or bike the specially designed bike routes, the city will slowly unfold its fairytale charm.   After living in California for more than 15 years and spending a good amount of time stuck in traffic, Denmark seems like heaven.  Cities belong to pedestrians and cyclists, not cars. Children are equal members of society. The city planners in Denmark have dedicated a vast amount of parks and playgrounds for their youngest citizens. Designated areas for kid’s play in every courtyard helps visiting little ones like mine enjoy their stay, as well. I found Danish children not at all spoiled by all this official attention. They seemed polite, well behaved and overall adorable! Copenhagen …

Emotions Are Louder Than Words

I’ve been a big fan of Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan, principal dancers with San Francisco Ballet. At the beginning of every ballet season, I’m anxious to catch a performance with the couple in the leading roles, especially when the performance is a love story. The SF Ballet features phenomenal dancers, but it’s Vanessa and Davit’s one-of-a-kind connection on stage that takes the experience to another level. Seeing the couple perform Romeo and Juliet a few years ago (coincidentally, the same day he proposed to her on stage after the performance) was a life changing experience for me, and I believe for a lot of people in the audience. They told the beautiful story of two lovers without saying a word, but with their bodies connecting and emotions flowing. The audience felt a part of their passion, sadness, joy.  Their vulnerability had truly filled the theater. If you’re curious to learn a bit more about the life of a professional dancer and to hear them speak, view this super video by Mode.com about Vanessa Zahorian. (Photo …