The Outsider

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Vaslav Nijinsky was in many ways an outsider. The famous Russian dancer's Polish roots, slightly Asiatic looks and  upbringing in a family of itinerant dancers made him a source of disdain among his peers as a boy. In adult life, though the centerpiece of Serge Diaghilev's world famous Ballet Russes and adored by his public, the dancer's sexual orientation and mental instability made it impossible for him to lead a "normal" life. The outsider nature of Nijisnky's life is the focus of Hamburg Ballet director John Neumeier's powerful work … [Read more...]

Of Angry Waiters and Oblivious Arts Managers

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A few days ago, I overheard a conversation between a guy who works at a swanky restaurant in Hayes Valley -- let's call him Jordan -- and some of his friends. Hayes Valley is a central neighborhood in San Francisco where many of the big performing arts institutions and venues are located, including the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, The Herbst Theatre, The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, The San Francisco Jazz Center and the San Francisco Ballet. It's also where some of the city's best restaurants are to be … [Read more...]