Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Estrada’

Showman Matthew Bouvier performs one of his many sideshow acts, sword-swallowing, at his Oakland studio.

Sideshow Performer on the Main Stage

By xpressmagazine

Showman Matthew Bouvier performs one of his many sideshow acts, sword-swallowing, at his Oakland studio.

Written by Erika Maldonado
Photos by Nelson Estrada

Men with piled up pompadours and ladies in vintage animal-print dresses and high-heeled shoes swing dance across the floor to local band Lost Dog Found at Oakland’s Uptown Nightclub on a Saturday night.  Shortly after their opening set, pasties and tassels gyrate as women strip down to just enough to leave something to the imagination as part of the “Hubba Hubba Revue,” a burlesque variety show.

Some of the women watch, with arms crossed and blank expressions while most of the men loudly cheer and raise their beers. Burlesque dancing, once entertainment of the past, is experiencing a revival in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Dixie DeLish, a blonde Marilyn Monroe-esque, five-year veteran and her new partner Molotov offer a fresh act in between the solo burlesque dances with an ode to classic Americana.

Molotov, who has been working in sideshow acts since 2000, lays on a bed of nails for their second act. He has been teaching DeLish the ropes to mesh their individual acts into more of a partnership.  Trick rope, bull whips, knife-throwing, sword-swallowing and fire-breathing are all acts Molotov performs throughout the Bay Area.

Soul Singers

By xpressmagazine

The 90-member SF State Gospel choir rehearses before the end of semester concert at the Herbst Theatre. Photo by Mihail Matikov

Written by Erika Maldonado
Photos by Nelson Estrada & Mihail Matikov

What draws ninety students from different cultures, majors, religious backgrounds and sexual orientations to a stuffy classroom at San Francisco State University every Monday night?  Some say it’s the safe, familial atmosphere.  Others enjoy the idea of being a part of something greater than them.  To others still, these meetings are a spiritual experience.

The SF State Gospel Choir, held in Room 146 of the Creative Arts Building, a one-unit course offered every regular semester, is more than just a class.

“It’s about singing from the heart with a strong emphasis on emotion,” says alto and veteran member Mariam Saaed.  “Singing helps heal ourselves and others and sends a message of love, peace and forgiveness.”

Her involvement in the choir for the past five years helps her deal with depression and anger, helps her become more responsible and has helped establish some lasting friendships.

Blurring the Lines of Hierarchy

By xpressmagazine

Kelly Corwin leads the Student activism class of the experimental college.

Written by Victor Manuel Rodriguez
Photos by Nelson Estrada

Will Nelson sits at a table and watches the students come in and wait for the day’s lesson to begin. As he pulls up his sleeves, his laid-back hiker’s appearance does not exactly scream professor and revolutionary. As is customary, he greets the students when they come in and jokes with them, displaying a strong sense of rapport from teacher to students — but teacher is an inaccurate title.

Behind Nelson is Kelly Corwin, also one of the teachers of the class. With a marker in hand, he shows his obvious knowledge and effective communication skills — a contrast to the stereotypes anyone might have about long-haired skaters.

This duo is a part of San Francisco State University’s “experimental college.” The college seeks to completely reorganize the ways in which education is taught — in essence, they eliminate the boundaries between teachers and students. Though it might appear as just another group discussion or debate, both Nelson and Corwin view it as a way to expand ground for knowledge.

In this particular class, hands-on lectures and discussions are part of a wider experiment that Nelson and Corwin have had in mind since 2010. They serve as the current frontrunners for the student activism class, which is just one part of the experimental college. This particular class encourages students to become a part of the societal movements they learn from history, take action against the plight of the environment, and address current issues on campus.

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