February 2011 Archives
Showing that you're in love with someone doesn't usually involve a sailor's costume with a hula hoop or a coordinated magic act on trampolines, but a new San Francisco performance piece may change all that.
Z Space Theatre Company, in conjunction with local director Mark Jackson and actor-singer Beth Wilmurt, has created "The Companion Piece," an alternative mixture of modern theater and the long-forgotten vaudeville genre playing at the Z Space theater at 450 Florida St. through Feb. 13.
"There's such a variety of things going on in the piece," Jackson said. "There's music, there's dance, there's movement, there's scenes, there's vaudeville."
Vaudeville was a form of theater popular in the early 20th century that incorporated everything from comedians, magicians and singers into a single performance.
"The Companion Piece" is about a pair of failing performers, Wilmurt and actor Christopher Kuckenbaker, who struggle to deal not only with developing a functioning vaudeville act, but also with interpersonal conflicts.
Their failure to develop a cohesive act is contrasted by veteran vaudeville star Jake Rodriguez, who has his act down pat and performs confidently.
While not a true vaudeville show, Jackson said the genre is used as a basis for characters and the piece as a whole.
"I still enjoy watching it even after I've been working on it for so long," Jackson said. "I just went to go see it last night and it surprises even me because it doesn't unfold in a traditional way, so it has a lot of unexpected turns to it and the characters and the themes come at you in a way that's unexpected."
Wilmurt was originally inspired by the book, "A General Theory of Love," which takes a scientific look at the process of love and its affect on biology.
"One of the subjects of the book was how our bodies need other bodies in order to survive," Jackson said. "Our heartbeat is regulated by other heartbeats around us. This mystical thing we love, that we think about, is actually also a biological necessity."
As a result, "The Companion Piece," while attempting to be a comedic experience, delivers some points about what it means to need another person rather than being alone.
Watching vaudeville documentaries in Berlin, Wilmurt and Jackson felt that the genre and its performers were a great fit for what it meant to rely on something to survive, such as depending on paying gigs.
"It acknowledges the great struggle we all seem to have in life dealing with the extent to which we need other people," Wilmurt said. "Themes of desire for credit and recognition, loneliness, feeling stifled, et cetera, are all a part of that endless struggle."
The script for "The Companion Piece" was not worked out in advance by a playwright; instead, Wilmurt, Jackson and a team of others worked to create a script through improvisation and collaborative efforts.
Since graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in directing from SF State, Jackson has remained an influence on campus, serving as a freelance professor of viewpoints, biomechanics and directing since 2006. He was also a guest director in the 2010 SF State performance, "Juliet".
Costume and set designer Nina Ball and all three actors in the show are also SF State alumni.
After the show, some audience members were bursting with joy over the piece.
"I really liked the design elements, I felt they added to the work," said audience member Andrew Packard. "The idea was definitely out of the box."
"The Companion Piece" makes attempts at both comedy and poignancy in regard to relationships, yet in the end it makes some conscious choices to leave certain points unfinished.
"Something needed to be missing," Jackson said. "In life, things don't always end as neatly as they do in fiction and we wanted to someway reflect this in the piece so that it was a truer piece about being in a relationship."
Protesters gathered in front of City Hall Tuesday afternoon against the sale of the University of San Francisco's bandwidth for radio station KUSF to the University of Southern California.
"They forced everyone out of the building Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. after they sold KUSF to the classical station without telling anyone," said former KUSF disc jockey Steve Abbate, also known as 'Stereo Steve'.
The biggest concern around the sale was that the community would lose its diversity, according to several speakers, including host and producer Farinaz Agharabi. "How many stations do you know that play 13 other languages? We are a diverse community, and this station represents that," Agharabi said. "It has to stay!"
KUSF music director Irwin Swirnoff was also concerned for the community.
"It is not about a format change or classical music, it's about robbing a community of its voice," Swirnoff said. "USC does not serve us. This is our station! Whose station? Our station!" Swirnoff chanted to the crowd of around 100 protesters wearing various "Save KUSF" paraphernalia.
San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi made an appearance at the protest around 1:30 p.m. before attending the Board of Supervisors meeting. "I consider it reprehensible that the USF Administration did not provide some logical conversation or explanation," Mirkarimi said.
He told the crowd that if the article opposing the sale of KUSF's FCC license to broadcast on 90.3 FM did not go through in City Hall, the fight would not be over.
"If we go down, we go down as warriors of public access," Mirkarimi said.
Former USF student and volunteer disc jockey Edna Barron also said the efforts against commercialism taking over community radio was not going to soon falter.
"This doesn't end today, tomorrow, or at the FCC," Barron said. "We aren't dead. We are like a ghost with unfinished business."
Protesters spoke during the supervisors' weekly meeting. A volunteer disc jockey of more than 20 years who goes by Jet began by saying to the board: "Thank you for letting me use your microphone today. Please help us get our microphone back to help serve the community."
The online station for KUSF, kusf.org, has only 15 online listeners as opposed to the 50,000 listeners that the radio broadcast circulated, said Jet. "We have been forsaken. Our radio voices have been silenced," Jet said.
The Board of Supervisors agreed to extend the vote on the article that opposes the radio sale until next Tuesday, Feb. 8.
As millions of Egyptians flooded Tahrir Square in Cairo, SF State faculty and students took part in a teach-in to spread information and promote conversation over the volatile situation.
"We are at the junction," Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, associate professor in the race and resistance studies department, said to a packed room. "The Egyptians don't need us (the U.S.) to do this for them, they are doing this themselves."
Attendees sat on the floor and stood in the hall of the Ethnic Studies and Psychology Building Tuesday night to hear the panel discussion, organized by the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Initiative.
Six panelists discussed aspects of the unrest they felt were not widely disseminated in mainstream media. Topics included a history of events leading up to the uprising, and the role of social media in spreading it.
Panelists also shared examples of self-organization on the part of the Egyptian citizens and possible replacements for the Mubarak regime.
"It's part of the democratic process," panelist Yasmeen Daifallah said of the protests. "There is no consensus on the streets of one person to represent the uprising. There is a pluralism of forces on the ground."
Daifallah, 29, was born in Egypt. She currently studies political science at UC Berkeley, and visited her home country last month. The other panelists included an Egyptian SF State student and two Egyptian faculty members.
"Students needed to come to this to engage in dialogue with each other and challenge their knowledge about what's going on," said ethnic studies graduate student Kurt Kaaekauhiwi.
With the protests in Egypt to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime ally of the U.S. government, continuing to build momentum, several Bay Area organizations and community members believe the end of Mubarak's rule is nearing.
"We have faith in the possibility that Mubarak, the iron grip on the nation of Egypt, will be loosened and overcome," said Darah Macaraeg, a 26-year-old creative writing graduate student at SF State and member of the League of Filipino Students.
Macaraeg was one of the demonstrators at a downtown rally in support of the Egyptian people in San Francisco on Saturday. She saw a parallel between the oppressive regime in the Philippines and the regime of Mubarak in Egypt.
Professor Mohammad Salama of the foreign languages and literatures department at SF State left the country in 1999 because of its oppression of democracy and attacks on intellectual freedom.
He said that his reasons for leaving his homeland are the same reasons for the pro-democracy demonstration in Egypt.
"People understand ... this is a struggle for human rights, which is a universal human struggle," said Shiva Bayat, a 22-year-old art major who was born and raised in Egypt.
In response to huge protests in many Egyptian cities, Mubarak fired his entire cabinet this week and announced that he would reform the government.
"It's ironic. He's going after all his ministers rather than resigning, which is the demand of the people," said Omar Ali, a 21-year-old SF State student organizer from the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition.
Ali, a junior history major, said the problem could be solved if Mubarak stepped down to end his 30 years of dictatorship; however, he has so far refused to step down.
Salama, who taught English when he was in Egypt, said that the Egyptians had a built-up momentum. The protest did not happen out of the blue and they demand Mubarak to leave the office.
"Enough is enough. We would not accept anything but to change," said Ahmed Kamel, 35, an Egyptian who supported the demonstration in San Francisco.
Kamel joined the march with his wife and three children but said he wished he could do something more for the people in Egypt.
If Mubarak resigns, Salama sees an opportunity to go back to Egypt to help rebuild.
"I hope, finally, people who leave the country in desperation, all the expatriates of Egypt who live all over the globe, will be able to go back to their country with dignity and contribute to its progress," Salama said. "I think it's time to rely on these people."
Regarding the sort of democracy that Egypt should look up to, Salama was not able to point to a single country but rather said Egypt should invent a new type of democracy.
"Egypt should look back to itself, to what it is capable of doing in this global world and it should create a system that would respect the law to prevent the creation a disaster of the Mubarak sort again," Salama said. "Whatever democratic system has to be there. It's the system that respects the rights and will of the people."
In the midst of the most recent state budget reductions and rising student fees, one organization is providing an important service on campus for which students and faculty will not have to pay.
Members of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program kicked off the unofficial start of tax season at SF State Monday, beginning their 10-week project in assisting fellow Gators with their income tax returns - all completely free of charge.
VITA, a program provided for by the Internal Revenue Service and sponsored by international business fraternity Beta Alpha Psi, operates chapters nationwide; this year, more than 200 SF State students are contributing their time as volunteers.
"(The volunteers) do a very good and professional job," said University technician Anthony Kelly, who utilized the tax help service for the fourth consecutive year. "And best of all, it's free."
Each volunteer in the VITA program has completed IRS-certified training sessions and must work at least two hours every week, according to site manager Brittany Dea, a 21-year-old accounting and information systems major and member of BAP-Beta Chi, SF State's chapter of the international organization.
Working out of Room 205 of the Science building, many of the volunteers had one thing in common: their love for helping people.
"I enjoy helping people who would otherwise pay a professional," said 24-year-old first-time volunteer John Nie, an SF State finance senior.
Unfortunately, only ten students and faculty took advantage of the program's free services on Monday, according to VITA coordinator and accounting major Christina Latief.
Latief, 21, who is in her second year with VITA, said that despite the first day's low turnout, she expects the traffic to pick up again closer to April 18, the day income taxes are due.
"More than 1,000 people utilized the free services in 2010, but we're hoping for more of a turnout this year," Latief said. "We hope for a ten percent increase in enrollment for 2011."
To increase turnout in the coming weeks VITA volunteers plan on taking a classic approach to spreading the word across campus.
"The Facebook and Internet thing didn't work last time, so this year, we just want to blanket the whole school with flyers," Latief said.
While turnout was initially low, volunteers were still able to coax some students and SF State employees to enter the small room in the Science building by mentioning that the services were free and offered to those earning less than $49,000 annually.
"Basically I just wanted to get my taxes done for free," said senior microbiology major Justin Papa, 24. "Last year, I had to pay $60 at H&R Block."
Veronica Crawford, 22, anthropology major, saw convenience as more of a driving factor.
"It's on campus and it saves more time than going to the IRS," Crawford said.
The service will run through April 18, Monday through Saturday from 12:30 to 6 p.m. in Room 205 of the Science building.
For the first time in nearly a decade, SF State men's wrestling team can finally say that they beat Stanford University.
"It was awesome," said graduating senior Pierre Bondoc. "We haven't beaten them in the years that I have been wrestling here, although we've wrestled them tough before."
The much anticipated match-up favored the Gators with an 18-16 win over the Division 1 Cardinals at Stanford's Burnham Pavilion this past Sunday.
However, the Gators' win did not come easily.
The Gators lost their first three bouts in the 184 and 197-pound and heavyweight divisions, giving the Cardinals a 10-0 lead.
Bondoc's 5-3 decision over the Cardinals' Matt Sencenbaugh in the 125-pound division sparked some much needed life in the Gators who followed with two more wins by seniors Brian Tharp (133) and Naveed Bagheri (141), pushing the Gators to a 12-10 lead.
"It was a very back and forth meet," assistant wrestling coach Mauricio Wright said.
The Cardinals went on to win two more bouts by decision forcing a 16-12 lead over the Gators. With only minutes left in the meet, sophomore Isaiah Jimenez (165) was able to pull off a 4-3 decision over the Cardinals' Garret Schaner, only to intensify the final bout between senior Gene Choi (174) and Stanford's Kyler Hasson.
Within the last few seconds of the third and final period, Choi won a 4-0 decision, giving the Gators a victory that the team had yet to experience.
"It felt great," Choi said. "I received a lot of acknowledgement from friends."
In years past, the Stanford Meet has always been scheduled earlier in the season; this time around, the meet came somewhat later than usual. However, assistant coach Wright was confident that the team would be perfectly matched against Stanford as they had more time to train and condition.
The Gators' win on Sunday is their fourth win this season. They will host California Baptist University this Friday at 1p.m., and host the California Collegiate Invitational on Saturday.
Recently approved general education requirements at SF State promise to better align the campus with its goal of sustainability and educate students on how to live a greener
life both in and out of the classroom.
Undergrads entering the University as early as fall 2012 will follow a new GE path that requires students to take at least three units in classes concerning environmental sustainability.
The new requirement is among the first of its kind in the nation.
"I think it will increase student exposure to environmental sustainability and I would expect it might help students apply a consciousness of environmental sustainability within
other disciplinary contexts," said Academic Senate Chair Shawn Whalen. "It also creates
a curricular emphasis that resonates well with our institutional commitment to environmental sustainability."
The senate passed the requirement May of last year and in the fall, President Robert A. Corrigan approved it. The change is limited to the SF State campus and not set to go into effect throughout the CSU system in the near future.
"Faculty on this campus were interested in adding sustainability to the GE requirements, because sustainability is one of the most important issues of the 21st century," said Carlos Davidson, director of the environmental studies program at SF State. "Graduates are going to have to make important personal and political decisions on sustainability issues."
It is uncertain how many classes will satisfy the requirement as dozens of courses across multiple disciplines potentially meet the standard. The Academic Senate is currently forming committees to review proposals and determine which courses they will accept. They anticipate beginning the review process sometime this month.
The amended GE path falls in line with the University's history of sustainable operation that has been nationally recognized.
SF State even earned a Green Star award for best-maintained grounds of an urban university in 2006.
"I think it's really important because people do need to learn to live more sustainably," said biology major Andrew Neisess. "That should be just as important as anything else we're required to learn about."
Though on the surface the new requirement appears to add three more units to a student's course load, the new GE path will actually save students time by allowing
them to take fewer classes in the long run.
"The sustainability requirement is part of a complete overhaul of baccalaureate degree requirements that actually reduced GE requirements from 57-60 (units) to 48," Whalen said. "The new policy also allows unlimited double counting that could further reduce the actual unit count for students by as much as nine more units to a total of 41."
However, some students were less than enthused about the requirement making its way through the approval process and believed it would only add to the already heavy financial and mental burden of earning a degree.
"It's almost like more pressure than we've already got in order to graduate," said Emily Steffensen, a junior international relations major. "I'm not trying to be down on the environmental thing, but adding more classes is just stupid."
Despite how students may feel about the upcoming changes, the administration saw the additional requirement as necessary in preparing students for their future, regardless of what they plan to do with their education.
"These issues are not just for those interested in the environment, but for all citizens," Davidson said. "This ensures that all SF State graduates will have some basic knowledge of sustainability issues."
SF State wrapped up its homestand Friday and Saturday with back-to-back nail biting wins over the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes and the defending 2010 NCAA Division II National Champions, the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.
As a result, the Gators snapped the Broncos six-game winning streak and also increased their own winning streak to four games.
"We talk about creating an identity here at SF State," said head coach Paul Trevor. "We want to make sure that everyone knows we have a good basketball program and that we can compete with the rest of the teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association."
The Gators got off to a rocky start on Saturday as they trailed the Broncos for the first 28 minutes of the game and were plagued with foul trouble.
However, there were two key plays in the first half that turned the game around for the home team.
At the 12-minute mark, momentum shifted for the Gators as sophomore guard Nefi Perdomo tied the game by sinking his second 30-foot three-pointer from the right side of the court.
"Nefi Perdomo is the most valuable player in the CCAA," said senior guard Marquel Hoskins. Hoskins ran into the team's locker room at the end of the game after learning that Perdomo shot 8-12 from the field, scored 22 points and collected six rebounds in 38 minutes.
The other huge play came courtesy of freshmen center and forward Max Fodor. Fodor played like a man possessed, scoring a season-high 10 points on 5-5 shooting and being a big presence inside for the Gators. He scored two baskets and grabbed two defensive rebounds in only six minutes during the first half of the game.
"I thought I played well," Fodor said. "I got assists from my teammates and I couldn't have done it without them. Cal Poly is a big team, but we accepted their challenge and gave it to them."
According to senior guard Phoenix O'Rourke, who scored 15 points and shot 5-7 from the three-point line, the Gators' 68-66 win on Saturday over the Broncos took a total team effort.
"We did real well tonight," O'Rourke said. "We didn't turn the ball over as much and had quite a lot of assists. Overall, it was a great performance by our bench."
O'Rourke, described by Trevor as a player who is unselfish, is one of the Gators' captains this season.
In addition, the San Mateo native is well on his way to breaking two all-time SF State records. O'Rourke has 156 career three-pointers and 126 career steals. He needs 12 more three-pointers and just five steals to break both records.
"This year, defenders have been closing out on me," O'Rourke said. "Cal Poly played great zone defense. But I couldn't have made my shots without the help of all of our bigs. They just did a great job and I can't say enough about the way they played today."
Uninviting, barren, cement structures are currently the norm for most of the BART system's stations. A new plan recently approved by the BART Board of Directors hopes to change that, bringing new food kiosks and other shops to the transit hubs in an effort to raise revenue and increase traffic throughout the rail system.
"This can help with our budget," said BART Director Robert Raburn. "It also will make our stations a more vibrant area."
Partnering with San Francisco-based company TranSmart, the board will begin considering proposals for individual agreements with vendors after the completion of reports on station capacities, utility access and interference with transit operations. TranSmart's role will be to find interested vendors and present them to BART.
"We want to make sure this isn't going to interfere with our business," said BART President Bob Franklin. "Our primary business is transportation."
Franklin emphasized that they will be looking primarily for locally-based businesses. Raburn also noted that the system they have in place with TranSmart "allows us, on a station-by-station basis, to look at small businesses that complement the needs in a given area."
While many BART riders would welcome the additions, it also forces some questions about modifying current BART policy regarding food and beverage consumption on the trains.
"It's a little confusing," said SF State junior Eileen Miranda, a family and consumer studies major. "People might assume you can take your coffee, muffin or whatever on the train."
Franklin said that, given the current upgrades to train car floors, the board might revisit food and beverage consumption on trains in the future.
"We're replacing floors, so they're not carpet, and we're getting a new fleet in 2016, so that's up to the board at the time," he said.
Raburn also raised the issue of restrooms.
Currently, restrooms are closed at all underground BART stations for security reasons.
"This pushes us to reassess the bathroom closure," Raburn said.
Despite the current ban on food or drink on BART, the number of citations issued throughout the system during the last two years has been relatively small given the number of daily riders.
According to BART Police Crime Analyst Officer Ken Dam, in 2009 there were 97 citations issued for violating the code that prohibited smoking, eating and drinking in restricted areas of the transit system.
In 2010, that number rose to 205.
"For us to be able to move forward with this new venture gives me a lot of optimism about the future," Raburn said. "This is the first baby step toward transit-oriented planning."
The SF State women's basketball team fell short of a victory at home against Cal State San Bernardino Friday despite a strong start in the first half.
In spite of a 17-point lead in the first period and stellar performances by senior center Dominique Hunter and sophomore guard Nicole Hicks, the visiting team bounced back, landing 16 of their 27 field goal attempts in the second half.
The 64-54 loss was due in part to a number of small errors the Gators made late in the second half.
"We struggled with the small stuff, with the little shots under the basket and things like that," said assistant coach Nichole Schutte. "At first, we got every shot we wanted, we just have to learn to finish."
Despite only hitting 11-31 shots in the first half at just 35.5 percent from the field, the Gators prospered at the free-throw line, sinking 12 of their first 13 foul shots.
Hunter, who had her 10th double-double of the season with 16 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, was a huge contributor and an unstoppable force under the basket, with 11 boards in the first half alone. Hicks was also a factor for the Gators, finishing with 13 points.
"We were scoring, and I think we did well on defense," Hunter said of the team's explosive first half. "We knew what sets they were running, and we were taking them out of their rhythm."
The Coyotes struggled to connect at the onset of the game, sinking only 8 of their 30 field goal attempts and leading only once in the first half. Twelve straight points from the Gators solidified their biggest lead of the match at 33-16 with three minutes left in the first half.
Back-to-back baskets by CSUSB's Danielle Shows and Eisha Sheppard, separated by a Hunter free throw, narrowed the deficit to 34-20 to close out the half.
It was at the beginning of the second half that the Gators began to decline. The Gators led 38-22 until a three-pointer by CSUSB's Angela Streets set the Coyotes in motion. San Bernardino would proceed to force seven turnovers in the minutes following, and reclaimed the lead 46-47 after Streets hit a crucial jump shot with 8:14 left to play.
Hunter temporarily reclaimed a 48-47 lead with two successful free throws with 6:54 left, but it was the last time the Gators would lead the game. Another Coyote three-pointer by Sabrina Gonzalez would set the CSUSB team in motion to a victory.
A 10-2 Coyote run in the final minutes of play sealed the Gators fate with a 64-54 loss.
Nichole Schutte credits CSUSB's success to their experience and skill at the point guard position.
"They're a veteran team, and they hit shots at the end," Schutte said. "They have a point guard who led their team. She's their go-to, and at the end she did what she had to do."
The Gators struggled the following day as they traveled to Pomona, where they came up short against Cal Poly Pomona 72-59.
Despite another tough loss, the lady Gators had standout performances from star players. Hunter claimed her 11th double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Hicks contributed a career high 16 points. Sophomore guard Michaela Booker added nine.
The Gators will travel to La Jolla Thursday, Feb. 3 for their next CCAA match-up against UC San Diego.
The Associated Students Inc. Board of Directors hit the ground running this semester with talk of big change at their first meeting.
The board is reviewing its lawspeaker position, which has judiciary and parliamentary duties and also acts as elections commissioner, to ensure the three duties do not create a conflict of interest.
"It's just good practice. The position was created only six months ago," said Travis Northup, vice president of External Affairs. "We're doing a review to make sure everything is OK."
The lawspeaker position consolidated chief justice, parliamentarian and elections commissioner, giving all three positions to one person.
"The position is necessary," said current Lawspeaker Frankie Griffen in an email. "Prior to the consolidation of these positions, we had a normal board member also serve as Chief Justice, and another as Parliamentarian, and we hired an outside person October-May as the Commissioner, resulting in a total lack of consistency and continuity with regard to rule enforcement."
ASI President Cynthia Ashton could not be reached for comment.
Possible revision of the position, however, is only one of two major items on the board's agenda to start the spring semester; allocation of funds to student organizations is the other.
The financial board met on Monday to discuss allocating funds to the first wave of campus organizations that presented proposals for events during the semester.
The financial board is allotted $3 million, with 5 percent of that going toward student organizations - leaving $125,000 for dispersal.
Organizations seeking funds are divided into three categories: first-time clubs looking for funding may receive up to $500; clubs who are reapplying for funding and have a good track record may receive up to $1,500; cultural and historical clubs may receive up to $5,000.
While some club members believe funding is effective, they do not see it as equal.
"Last year, we got what we needed efficiently enough, but I don't think (distribution) is equal," said Alyssa Wood, Eco Students member. "We definitely don't get as much funding as bigger, more popular clubs."
The financial approvals process is expected to continue until March.
The financial board is also looking to find ways to give all clubs an equal opportunity to receive funding by considering a ballot initiative to have students vote on which clubs will receive money.
So far, this process has been successful at Sacramento State and Chico State universities.
"We want to expand on ways to distribute funds based on membership and support," said Vice President of Finance Emily Switzer. "Allowing students to vote gives a direct representation about membership and how easily a club can mobilize students."
Although it is said that the process can give students more of a voice over their fees, it is also argued that this change could prove problematic for organizations.
"The debate is whether this will make it easier or more difficult," Switzer said. "It could become another hoop organizations would have to jump through and it could be a financial burden to go through an elections process."
While some believe this is effective from a student perspective, club members worry about being overshadowed by the election process.
"If (voting on funds) were to happen, all the small clubs would get less of a chance and wouldn't get the chance to be as noticed," Wood said.
Surrounded by a circle of cheering fans, drenched in sweat and exhausted, a dancer stood before a gauntlet of seven others hungry to topple him from his position.
In an effort to reach out to the community, SF State's Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor collaborated with b-boy dance crew Jive Core Legion and many others to organize last Friday's "Ca$ino Royale", a dance competition inside Jack Adams Hall. Judges encouraged competitors to go all in.
However, the casino-themed event was more than just a dance competition; its intent was to encourage self-expression and give attendees another perspective of hip-hop culture.
"Our core team is really into hip-hop, so we were excited to help put this together," said PACE's History Coordinator Lauren Daus. "It's a good turning point (for PACE), it shows how much we've networked, reaching out to other people, schools and the community."
Break dancing - also known as "b-boying" - is the style of dance most commonly affiliated with hip-hop music and encompasses various styles of hip-hop dance.
Different dance maneuvers such as "power moves" consist of full body spins and rotations, while "toprocking" refers to upright footwork and shuffles. Dancers were judged on their skill and technique, as well as on personal style.
The event itself consisted of three contests. The two-versus-two all styles competition in which teams of two dancers battled for a $200 prize.
The night's main event, "The King of the Hill", was an endurance test, as two dancers would face off with the judges deciding who was best. The "king" would then face consecutive dancers in a cycle where the challenger would put his own $10 chip on the line in hopes of dethroning the king and taking his spot.
This casino-style competitive twist was the hook for the event, since it gave competitors the ability to rake in more cash than just the $100 prize.
King of the Hill judge Edwin "B-boy Black" Johnson praised the effort to change up the competition this year. "I like how they switched it up; it's cool," he said. "It's always a plus in b-boying when there's a chance to win some money."
The King of the Hill winner, Joshua "Josh Shinobi" Peri, ended up taking home $30 in chips in addition to his $100 grand prize.
"This was the first competition I won," he said.
David Chan, one of the event's organizers, felt it was a success.
"It's good, PACE helped us a lot, they got us the venue, helped organize, etc.," said Chan.
And although events like this may be rare, the dancers did not seem too concerned, preferring to just enjoy dancing.
"There hasn't been a big competition in San Francisco in a while, so it was fun just to put this together," Chan said.