Established 1978
The Arts

Pre-Autumn Roundup

by Larissa Archer


August might be considered artistic “off-season” in most cities, but San Francisco knows you never want to leave, and it’ll be working hard this month to keep you entertained.

The ODC dance common’s Music Moves Festival will definitely keep your eyes and ears occupied until the start of the new opera season. As part of the festival, companies such as Joe Goode’s Performance Group, Bandelion and Guests, Dance Heginbotham, Pearl Marill, Holcombe Waller, and others, will explore and celebrate the relationship between music and dance.

Yo Yo Ma will be at Cal Performances on the 12th of August, playing selections from Bach’s Solo Cello Suites. From the 1st through the 3rd, Z Space will host Aaron Landsman’s City Council Meeting, which— following the current theatrical trends for both using documentary sources as a basis for storytelling and incorporating the audience into the action—“finds the poetry in bureaucracy, the architecture of power, and the comedy of procedure.”

The Artist’s Gallery of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will continue its show, How the Light Gets In, featuring the work of seven Bay Area photographers. The show explores how these artists create their images: specifically what instruments and techniques, in digital and analog, produce each artist’s desired result.

If you’re still restless to get out of the city but can’t, visit Rayko Photo Gallery, which, starting August 6, will host a juried exhibition of contemporary travel photography in its show, The Perimeter of the World. Juror and Rayko director Ann Jastrab writes, “I hear photographers talk of how they shoot more when they travel—and it’s these images that I wanted to see in this exhibition. What drives them to lug a 4 x 5 [camera] into the mountains, or buy 100 rolls of film for a trip, or rent expensive dream lenses for their digital cameras—or download every picture on their smartphones so they can capture limitless images?”

The California Historical Society continues its celebration of Yosemite’s 150th anniversary with Yosemite: A Storied History, presenting photographs, video, historical objects, and other artworks to remind us (when we don’t have the leisure to visit in person) what a majestic treasure we have in our own backyard. Ken Yager, president of the Yosemite Climbing Association, will also give a talk on the history of climbing, on August 13th.


On September 8th, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) kicks off its season—while celebrating apple season—with the James Beard Award-winning writer, Rowan Jacobsen, who will talk about his new book, Apples of Uncommon Character, and offer a sampling of the locally grown varieties he describes in the book (which includes recipes, yum). Other draws at JCCSF’s Arts and Ideas series include OkCupid’s Christian Rudder, the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition, and Thomas L. Friedman.

The San Francisco Playhouse will open its 2014-2015 season with the official premiere of its Sandbox Series hit from last year, Aaron Loeb’s Ideation, which has been described as a “psychological suspense thriller, in which a group of corporate consultants work together on a mysterious and ethically ambiguous project.” As sinister as it sounds, this writer saw it and can assure you it is not only sinister, but uproariously funny.

Feed your terpsichorean and literary hankerings with Liss Fain Dance’s The Imperfect is Our Paradise, which uses William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury to explore the potential of stream of consciousness as inspiration for dance. The production allows the audience to move freely around the dancers within the space (thus letting each audience member enjoy a different “view” of the piece).

On the 24th, graphic artist and illustrator MariNaomi will celebrate the release of her new book of “thought-provoking, emotionally honest vignettes,” Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories. She will be at City Lights Bookstore. MariNaomi is a regular, beloved contributor to the San Francisco-based literary website, The Rumpus with Smoke in Your Eyes, and is the award-winning author of her graphic memoir, Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, published by Harper Perennial.

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