San Francisco dance community comes out for AIDS-fighting benefit 

click to enlarge Hiromi Yamazaki and Robert Dekkers of Diablo Ballet dance in “Blue Boy,” a piece in “Dances From the Heart 2.” - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Hiromi Yamazaki and Robert Dekkers of Diablo Ballet dance in “Blue Boy,” a piece in “Dances From the Heart 2.”

One of this year’s best dance programs isn’t being presented by just one

“Dances From the Heart 2,” the second annual benefit for Bay Area AIDS organizations on Sunday at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, features 10 local troupes: Ballet San Jose, Chitresh Das Dance Company, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Diablo Ballet, ODC/Dance, Post: Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin, Smuin Ballet, Salsamania and Te Mana O Te Ra.  

“Most other big cities have pretty big all-dance AIDS benefits, and San Francisco oddly didn’t,” says dancer-choreographer Robert Dekkers, a member of the event’s planning committee, who also helped organize last year’s inaugural program. “It was wonderful to see how it turned out last year, and I think this year will be stronger. It’s a cool program, and it’s nice to see different companies come together for such a great cause.

“I think one of the really interesting things about the Bay Area dance scene is how many companies there are and how diverse, how broad the range of work is,” Dekkers adds.

“The City has big ballet companies, modern companies and small, off-the-wall project-based things, and everything in between,” Dekkers says. “We’re excited about bringing Chitresh Das to the show. They have great foot work and use microphones on the floor. It’s very percussive and musical. Even though it’s an all-dance concert, you get a full range of artistry.”

Multitasker Dekkers, a member of Diablo Ballet, founder of his own troupe, Post: Ballet, and sought-after teacher and trainer at dance studios on both sides of the Bay, performs with Diablo Ballet on Sunday.

Post: Ballet presents choreographer Dekkers’ solo piece, “Sixes and Seven” danced by Christian Squires (also a member of Smuin Ballet). Setting the piece to music by Philip Glass, Dekkers created the work to be performed by a different dancer — male or female — each time.

“What’s really interesting about dance as an art is that each performance is different,” Dekkers says. “It’s about the ‘now.’ With music you have sheet music. When a painting is done, it’s finished. With a play there’s a script. With dance, once it’s done in a place and time, you can never have that particular performance again.”

Presented by the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, the show’s beneficiaries include Larkin Street Youth Services and Bay Area Young Positives and Dancers’ Groups’ Parachute Fund.


Dances from the Heart 2: Presented by Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation of SF

  • Where: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., S.F.
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $40 to $60 show only; $100 to $1,000 includes receptions
  • Contact: (415) 273-1620,

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