A few people straggled almost unnoticed onto the stage of the War Memorial Opera House before the house lights had dimmed, and they began to talk. Even before the dancing had begun, their presence was an announcement that one had better not expect to see a traditional narrative ballet that opening night. However, the ambition to create a piece that comes close to the innovative prowess of its subject—Vaslav Nijinsky—would require more than an opening gimmick. Nijinsky is still one of dance’s towering figures, and one of the very few who merit the term “genius” both as a performer and a choreographer, blessed with abilities of the practitioner and the visionary. This is the man who envisioned a young faun as a masturbating nymph-chaser, and disguised a ménage à trois as an innocent game of tennis between two women and a man (and that was the cleaned-up version; his original idea was for an all-male cast and even less ambiguity). His ballets incited riots and still look modern today, while other examples of innovative and even revolutionary art softens and grows quaint with time.
- May 17, 2013
ZYZZYVA Spring Release at Diesel
Location: 7 p.m., Diesel Bookstore, 5433 College Ave., Oakland
Description: Come celebrate the release of Issue No. 97 with readings from contributors Molly Giles, Marianna Cherry, Alexandra Teague, & Aaron Jae-Ho Shin. Editors Laura Cogan & Oscar Villalon host. Free. For more info, visit http://bit.ly/15REYYI
- May 22, 2013
Luis Negron in Conversation with Oscar Villalon
Location: 7 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
Description: Negron, an acclaimed Puerto Rican journalist, editor, and writer, will discuss his debut story collection, "Mundo Cruel" (Seven Stories), with ZYZZYVA's managing editor. Free. For more info, visit http://bit.ly/1449E5v
- June 13, 2013
National Book Critics Circle Mixer at ZYZZYVA
Location: 6 p.m., ZYZZYVA, 466 Geary St., Suite 401, San Francisco
Description: Celebrate the summer with an informal mixer hosted by the NBCC and ZYZZYVA editors Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon. Free to NBCC members and those interested in learning more about the organization.
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