• Ruth Zaporah

  • Yael Karavan

  • Cassie Tunick

  • ROVA Saxophone Quartet

    ROVA Saxophone Quartet - image by Heike Liss

Full: Shift

Programmed by Shinichi Iova-Koga

A night of dance, improvisation, music, and performance art, featuring groundbreaking performers from around the world: Ruth Zaporah, the legendary founder of Action Theater; award-winning UK-based dance artist Yael Karavan; and East Coast performance artist Cassie Tunick. In addition, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet and Charles Gurke will improvise music all evening.

Ruth Zaporah, one of the "leading lights of the Bay Area's thriving experimental theater scene of the 1970s and '80s" (San Francisco Chronicle), began her career six decades ago. She developed Action Theater as the meeting of Eastern and Western disciplines, addressing all vocabularies of expression, including movement, vocalization, and speech. Zaporah has twice received NEA choreography grants, and recently she was named a Cultural Envoy by the US State Department.

Award-winning performer, dancer, and director Yael Karavan was born in Israel, grew up in Italy and France, and has been based in the UK since 1997. In 1994 she began traveling through Europe, Brazil. and Japan. developing a contemporary, physical language of expression bridging East and West, dance and acting. Since 2009 she has been the artistic director of the site-specific company Karavan Ensemble. Her work is often described as visual poetry, drawing on elements of Butoh, dance, mime, clown, physical theater, and visual theater.

Raised in California, Cassie Tunick is now based in New York and Boston. She performs in the company she founded, Second Nature, and is a Senior Teacher of Action Theater.

Rova Sax Quartet's musical goal has always been, since 1978, to instigate, to challenge, and to inspire. The group explores the synthesis of composition and collective improvisation, creating exciting, genre-bending music. Rova is one of the longest-standing groups in the music movement that has its roots in free jazz, 20th century new music , and rock music. Rova draws inspiration from the visual arts, contemporary dance, and contemporary poetry. We listen closely and deeply appreciate both the traditional and the pop music styles of Africa and Asia. And then there is the blues; always a key.

Charlie Gurke is a saxophonist, composer, and educator active in the jazz and latin music scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can hear him perform at venues and festivals around the bay with his own ensemble, Gurkestra, with cuban son quintet Latido, and with the salsa band Candela.