Deemed 2012's Best Dance Troupe in East Bay by Diablo magazine, Diablo Ballet's 10 international dancers have enthralled audiences of all ages with live performances since 1993. During contemporary and classical ballets, the performers call upon their experience pirouetting with prestigious dance companies––including the Bavarian National Ballet, Venezuela’s Ballet de Caracas, and the Colorado Ballet––to execute precise footwork to an array of musical compositions. In its free time, Diablo Ballet exposes youngsters to the arts by switching fast-food toys with Rothko paintings and participating in the PEEK Youth Outreach Program, which brings art education to more than 5,000 elementary-school students in Contra Costa County.
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.
Born in Melbourne in 1978, Circus Oz is an animal-free circus troupe that performs all the death-defying stunts and astounding feats of Cirque de Soleil while undercutting its spectacle with a refreshing dose of irreverent Australian humor. The motley band of tumblers, tightrope-walkers, foot-jugglers, magicians, and acrobats favor leather pants, Viking helmets, and wild facial hair over spangly Lycra unitards—giving the circus a wondrously raw feel, like a steampunk Victorian circus comprised of Mad Max extras. Over the course of two hours, voluptuous ringleader Sarah Ward will unfold a cheeky phantasmagoria of star-crossed trapeze artists, roller discos, bicycles overflowing with 11 riders, two men balanced atop the shoulders of a single woman, and a mysterious event known only as “the senior citizens’ hour of power.” An off-kilter brass band (complete with a tiny tricycle organ) replaces the typical cirque’s New Age mood music with joyous rock and roll.
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.
Few theater troupes are as downright friendly as Impact Theatre. For one thing, their laid-back theater is in the basement of a pizza parlor. For another, they don't just accept unsolicited submissions?they base their mission around never-produced new plays from emerging playwrights. Since its inception two decades ago, Impact has held fast to its DIY roots, staging fun fundraisers alongside its thought-provoking and eclectic works.