"Micki and Wes, the Stork Club owners, have been just great, really open to this," choreographer Randee Paufve says in a recent e-mail. "They're excited about presenting dance for the first time." Paufve plus seven other dancemakers are joining forces for one night in a low-tech, potentially wacky concert called 8x8x8 at the offbeat punk and rock bar, the Stork Club (2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). If the concert title seems significant, it is -- sort of. The name arose after the dancemaker eyeballed the stage space, sizing it up as around eight feet by eight feet, about the size of a suburban walk-in closet. With eight choreographers on board, titling it 8x8x8 gave it an elegant and irresistible geometry. But then Paufve found out that the real dimensions of the performing area are closer to nine by seventeen, and "9x17x8" has about as much ring as the signal calls leading to the hike in a football game. Besides, why get so literal? And what's dance doing in a club in the first place?"It's a response to the lack of suitable performance spaces for dance in the East Bay," Paufve explains. "It's also a way of bringing dance to a new audience by going outside the traditional dance venues in the East Bay." The idea came to her after her friend, poet Beth Murray, declaimed verses from the stage. If poetry, why not dance? And what an array of dance it is. Joining Paufve are seven women who "produce some pretty wild and innovative work," according to Paufve, and all of them game to expand the narrow dimensions of the club paradigm.
They will stage dance that ranges from Sima Belmar's nutty "Inner Lucy," a meditation on Lucille Ball, to Kimiko Guthrie's "There," a jagged tale about a man's strange race with time. In keeping with club protocol, live music will accompany several works, including Paufve's new duet "We'll Again," with an original composition written and played by Terese Taylor, and a unnamed solo by Rebecca Johnson set to an Ornette Coleman composition, as arranged and performed by saxophone-playing vocalist Matt Waters of the Mass. In Armentrout's "A leads to B," the dancer and choreographer isn't so much accompanied by music as by a bucket of water, a pair of scissors, and a dress, ready for almost any club emergency.
The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $5. The Stork Club is a 21-and-up venue. -- Ann Murphy
Filipina fete in Berkeley
Marianne Villanueva's debut short-story collection, Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila, drew critical notes for its dreamy depiction of the Philippines under Marcos' rule. In coediting (with Virginia Cerenio) the new anthology Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas, Villanueva turned her eye to the Filipina Diaspora at large, collecting as many contributors as there are weeks in a yea. Villanueva joins four of the book's contributors for a reading today at 3 p.m. at Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University Ave. -- Stefanie Kalem
Word for Word is a company dedicated to propelling literature intact from the page to the stage; Traveling Jewish Theater aims to investigate Jewish identity through the performing arts. The two have worked together before, but their latest collaboration is a sure-fire schmaltzgreeb (happy accident). Windows and Mirrors comprises stories by Grace Paley (Wants and A Conversation with My Father), Bernard Malamud (Spring Rain), and Maxim Biller (Finkelstein's Fingers), performed by Corey Fischer, Karine Koret, Naomi Newman, and Michael Smith. The production comes to Julia Morgan Theatre (2640 College Ave., Berkeley) Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets: $20.50-$28.50 from 415-285-8080. -- Stefanie Kalem
Here's your chance to spend an evening with a pack of leading men, and you don't even have to make the high bid at a charity auction. Just show up at the Kofman Auditorium (2200 Central Ave., Alameda) by 8 p.m. and plunk down $25 ($23 if you donate canned food) for Gentlemen Prefer Songs, a revue featuring manly stars from Alameda Civic Light Opera Company's first seven seasons. Jeff Teague directs the singers as they perform songs from productions past and future. 510-864-2256 or ACLO.com -- Stefanie Kalem
What the Fork - December 1, 1:56 PM
What the Fork - November 28, 1:33 PM
What the Fork - November 15, 1:37 PM
What the Fork - November 11, 11:00 AM
Culture Spy - November 8, 2:53 PM