Friday, October 12, 2012

Wanda's Picks Friday, October 12, 2012

Deborah Vaughn, Latanya Tigner of Dimensions Dance Theatre speak about Down the Congo Line II, Sat., Oct. 13, 2012, 8 p.m. at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland, (510) 465-3363. Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck artists and programers, Anna Pulley (artist) and Lex Leifheist (host); Muisi-kongo Malonga joins us to talk about KONGOisms: Art, Awareness, Action for National Congo Week: Oct. 14-21, 2012; we close with feminist critic, scholar, and writer, Silvia Federici who is speaking tonight at CIIS in San Francisco.

Under the artistic leadership of co-founder Deborah Vaughan for over 39 years, Dimensions Dance Theater has become widely recognized for its presentation of both traditional dances and contemporary choreography drawn from African, Jazz, and Modern dance idioms. DDT has garnered national and international acclaim, performing throughout the US and traveling to Nigeria, Jordan, Germany, Zimbabwe, The Congo (Brazzaville) and Cuba. DDT has advanced African American dance as an art form through a series of interdisciplinary collaborations with composers, musicians and singers working in a wide variety of African and African American traditions. These have included Hugh Masekela, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Street Sounds, Cab Calloway, Chanticleer, Omar Sosa, Anthony Brown and Fifth Stream Music and the late Khalil Shaheed and the Mo’Rockin Project.

Herve (Kayos) Makaya is a choreographer, musician, and dancer trained in both traditional Congolese and contemporary dance. Born and raised in Republic of Congo, Makaya was initiated and ritually trained in the art of Congolese music and dance. His training spans over two decades and he has traveled the world and earned numerous honors and accolades for his artistic excellence. He traveled to San Francisco in 2007 with Compagnie Li-Sangha to participate in the San Francisco International Arts Festival, and decided to stay in the Bay Area to escape the civil war that was plaguing his home country. He is the Artistic Director of Tata Kaya Art, a Congolese dance and drum ensemble. He is based in Arcadia and is working with DDT for the first time on this project.

Dimensions Dance Theater presents Premiere of DOWN THE CONGO LINE II, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 8 p.m. at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Oakland

features two works rooted in Congolese tradition by choreographers Herve (Kayos) Makaya and Jose “Cheo” Rojas, directed by Dimensions Dance Theater Artistic Director
Deborah Vaughan.
A celebration of dance and music rooted in Congolese traditions, the performance will be accompanied by Cuban and Congolese percussionists, and two of the Bay Area’s best-known drummers—Sandy Perez from Cuba, and Kiazi Malonga, son of the late Malonga Casquelourd.
DOWN THE CONGO LINE II premieres on Saturday October 13, 2012, at 8pm at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street at 14th Street, Oakland. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door (children under 18 years $15). Advance tickets are available at or in person at the Dimensions Dance Theater office (M-F 4pm-7pm) on the 3rd floor of the Malonga Center (1428 Alice St. at 14th St.). Further information is available at (510) 465-3363 or
“Join Dimensions Dance Theater for a special evening of this exciting blend of exhilarating music and powerful dance traditions that are present in Cuba and Congo,” said Artistic Director Deborah Vaughan. The concept of DOWN THE CONGO LINE came about through a trip Vaughan made to the Congo. Her experiences there inspired her to build a collaboration for the company that would recognize the extraordinary contribution that Congolese culture has made to the music and dance of the Americas. This new work engages traditional artists from the Diaspora to create contemporary work that is both rooted in the local community’s traditions and also reflects their Congolese origins.

Jose Rojas’s choreography OF THE ISLAND brings a view of Cuba from a past time – making the old become the new. The impassioned rhythms and dances of the island will light up the stage. This exciting work highlights Cuba's connection to the Congo with a suite of dances that reflect the enduring and irrepressible spirit of Africa in Cuba.

Herve Makaya’s choreography VUKANA is a lush creation that will entertain and inspire audiences with the spellbinding sound of the “ngoma” (drum), layered with song, story and widely varied dance styles of Brazzaville, Congo. This work has a rich vocabulary and celebrates living traditions in the Congo.
Dimensions Dance Theater presented Part I of DOWN THE CONGO LINE in Spring 2012, featuring works by choreographers LaTanya d. Tigner and Isaura Oliveira, with live percussion accompaniment.

of Words: A Literary Potluck
Anna Pulley

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Pulley, who lives in San Francisco, is a freelance writer and the Arts and Culture Editor for SF Weekly. She tends to put quotes around things unnecessarily and spends altogether too much time justifying the artistic merit of limericks. She has written reviews of everything from bars to restaurants to films to theater to sex toys, in addition to writing several different sex and relationship columns for Centerstage, Chicago Tribune's RedEye, and AfterEllen. She also writes a weekly social media etiquette column for SF Weekly, and her work has appeared in AlterNet, Mother Jones, The Bay Citizen, The Rumpus, and several other websites you've probably never heard of. "Like" her and she might write you a haiku. More information about Pulley can be found at and you can follower her on Twitter at

Lex Leifheit

Feast of Words host Lex Leifheit provides artistic vision and strategic direction for SOMArts Cultural Center in her role as executive director. Recently, her writing has been seen in InDance magazine, the online journal Art Performance Now, the inaugural Animating Democracy blog salon of Americans for the Arts and on her personal blog at She studied creative writing with Anne Greene at Wesleyan University and received a full fellowship to the Wesleyan Writers Conference. She co-founded the High Street Writers Collective in Connecticut and has previously hosted readings at Buttonwood Tree, Green Street Arts Center and Secret Theatre. 

SOMArts Cultural Center presents
Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck, an intimate monthly dinner party where writers and foodies come together to eat, write, and share. Head to Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck on the third Tuesday of each month to discover local chefs and writers, bring a dish on the monthly theme and share your on-the-spot writing to be entered in a drawing for edibles, books and other prizes!

On Tuesday, October 16, 7 to 9pm, Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck features writer Anna Pulley. SOMArts’ annual Dia de los Muertos group art exhibition inspires this month’s theme, “Nerve.” More information about the exhibition Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Dia de los Muertos 2012 (October 13–November 10, can be found at

Women, Reproductive Work, and the Commons
  | October 12  2012
with Silvia Federici, Friday Oct 12 - 7 pm 
Namaste Hall, California Institute of Integral Studies   
1453 Mission Street, San Francisco
Public Lecture 

Sliding scale, suggested donation. Please arrange at least 15 minutes before to ensure you are able to get a seat.

Women worldwide are constructing more cooperative forms of reproduction. Federici examines the sources of this development, its possibilities and its constraints. She argues that while the production of a commons is mainly an immediate response to the economic crisis, it also expresses women's quest for autonomy from the state and the market. Federici also contrasts women's search for more collective and autonomous forms of reproduction with the attempts by international institutions and governments to capture these communal efforts through the system of micro-credit and social programs extending women's unpaid labor.

Silvia Federici is a long time feminist activist, teacher and writer. In 1972 she was a co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the international campaign for wages for housework. In the 1990s, she was active in the anti-globalization movement, in particular campaigning against the World Bank's program for the commercialization of education in Africa . From 1991 to 2003 she was one of the editors of the CAFA newsletter. In 1995 she helped found the Radical Philosophy Association Anti-Death Penalty Project.

She has authored many essays on feminist theory, women's history, political philosophy and education. Her published books include: Revolution at Point Zero (forthcoming, PM Press June-July 2012). "Caliban and the Witch. Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation"; "Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and its Others" (editor); "Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities" (co-editor). She has taught at the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and she is now Emerita Professor at Hofstra University .

Muisi-kongo Malonga on Kongoisms: Art.Awareness.Action
KONGOisms: Art. Awareness. Action is a Congolese cultural event series supporting the 5th annual global observance of Breaking the Silence Congo Week. Proceeds from events will benefit 2 Congolese charities, Fondation Ebina (Brazzaville) & Croisade Nationale Drepanocytose (Kinshasa). Please join us for one or all of the events.  
(SUN) OCTOBER 14TH, 1:00-3:00pm, Cost: $18
Master Congolese DANCE Workshop w/INTL Guest Artist KEVIN MFINKA
Rhythm & Motion/ODC Commons, 351 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 

(MON) OCTOBER 15TH, 6:00-7:30pm, Cost: $20
Master Congolese DRUM Workshop w/KEVIN MFINKA (Designer Import!)
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (Studio D, 3rd Flr)
(MON) OCTOBER 15TH, 7:30-9:00pm, Cost: $15 
Master Congolese DANCE Workshop w/KEVIN MFINKA (From Paris!)
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (Studio A, 2nd Flr) 
(THUR) OCTOBER 18TH, 6:00-7:30pm, Cost: Free (Donations Accepted)
CALL TO ACTION! DIALOGUE on Human Rights Crisis in Congo 
with Muadi Mukenge (Global Fund for Women) 
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts 

(THUR) OCTOBER 18TH, 7:30-8:30pm, Cost: $20
Master KISANSI Workshop w/International Guest Artist KEVIN MFINKA
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (Studio E, 3rd Flr)
(THUR) OCTOBER 18TH, 8:00-9:30pm, Cost: $15
Haitian DANCE Workshop w/Portsha Jefferson
Presented by Cultural Arts of gold
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (Studio E, 3rd Flr)

(FRI) OCTOBER 19TH, 8:00pm-12:00am, Cost: $15-$20 (Sliding Scale)
NKEMBO! SOUKOUS PARTY feat. DJ SLIM (Admission 21+)
Presented by Cultural Arts of gold
Hiram Banquet Hall, 8105 Capwell Drive, Oakland, CA 94621 
To Purchase Advance Tickets go to

(SAT) OCTOBER 20TH, 12:00-1:00pm, Cost: $15
Congolese DRUM Class w/Kiazi Malonga
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (306C, 3rd Flr) 

(SAT) OCTOBER 20TH, 1:00-2:30pm, Cost: $12/$10 (Students w/Valid ID)
Congolese DANCE w/Muisi-kongo & Lungusu Malonga
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (Studio A, 2nd Flr)

(SUN) OCTOBER 21ST, 7:00-9:00pm, Cost: $15-$25 (Sliding Scale)
Sons of the River, Musical CONCERT ft. Kevin Mfinka & Jacques Ibula
The New Parish, 579 18th Street (at San Pablo), Oakland, CA 94612

Tickets are available at


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