The Junior League of Oakland-East Bay sprung into existence more than 70 years ago, but the history of the larger organization dates back to the turn of the 20th century. In 1901, Mary Harriman and 85 other women founded the Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements, a charity devoted to the improvement of the human condition. Today, the Oakland-East Bay branch carries on that do-good philosophy. They've launched such nonprofits as The East Bay Children's Theatre, the Volunteer Center of the East Bay, the Family Stress Center, and Super Stars Literacy.
At the Berkeley Playhouse, performances often begin before audiences even make it to their seats. The innovative theater company erects installation pieces in the lobby that encourage playgoers to engage and interact with upcoming performances through movement, writing, and music, deepening their understanding of the worlds they’re about to enter. Once in their seats, they revel in productions featuring multicultural and multigenerational casts, whether they’re watching a performance from the mainstage season or a production from the youth program.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of song, dance, and ritualized fighting that is centered on a physical game called jogo de capoeira. Like Spock and Kirk forced to fight by a threatening tribunal of bearded men, two players dance around each other in the center of a circle, exchanging movements of attack and defense in a constant, heart-pumping flow. Both players attempt to control the space by confusing their opponent, although no intentional contact is made or harm done—unlike sticks and stones with hurtful words carved into them. The observers in the circle play a variety of traditional Brazilian instruments and sing, setting the pace and beat of the dance-fight. Explore the schedule to find times during the week that work for you; additional classes are held at 7 a.m. by appointment only. Each session will immerse you in the flips, feints, kicks, and songs of capoeira.
The Shawl-Anderson Dance Center offers a slew of adult classes each week in a non-competitive environment that welcomes dancers of all skill levels. Instructors have years of performing, choreographing, and teaching experience to bestow high-caliber training upon their eager pupils. Tutued beginners tulle up for ballet or prepare for overdressed conditioning during Pilates. The Horton Modern Technique focuses on flexibility and strength, lengthening spines and hamstrings like ropes of sentient saltwater taffy. Unleash inner b-boys and girls through a series of intricate pops and locks during a 75-minute hip-hop class (clean sneakers required). More experienced toe tappers can try to grab hold of contemporary jazz after firmly grasping modern, jazz, or ballet. Founded by Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson in 1958, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center’s classes were first taught above a liquor and tobacco store on College Avenue and have since been moved to a beautiful Craftsman across the street, which houses four sunny studios for twirling, jumping, and gooey spinal articulation. Use today’s deal to shower new dance moves on unsuspecting party guests and supermarket checkout lines.
Studio 12 flys is an aerial dance program specializing in low flying trapeze, sling, and rope and harness work. We have 6 teaching aerialists committed to the merging of dance and aerial arts and offering a rare blend of creativity, aerial technique, improvisation, time and space to motivate the artist within you.
The Pacific Film Archive is the Berkeley Art Museum’s venue for all things filmic, cinematic, and animatic, offering screenings, collections, and events and seminars that explore the rich world of motion pictures. An individual membership to the archive comes with a reel's worth of celluloidal benefits, including free admission to the PFA gallery, discounts on tickets to film screenings, and free artist discussions and lectures. With reciprocal membership privileges at more than 30 university art museums, you can become a fixture in the film world, which, unlike the spontaneous-rock-hurling world, is a vibrant, supportive community.