Centenial Celebration in the Sky

The walls are center stage for this free high flying act in San Francisco.

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Free aerialist performances continue through the weekend, Thursday to Saturday, at the Women's Building to celebrate 100 years of community service.
Josh Keppel
Last weekend aerialists with Flyaway Productions performed their piece "Singing Praises" on the side of the Women's Building at 18th and Lapidge Street in San Francisco.
Josh Keppel
The performances are free and were choreographed by Jo Kreiter who said, "In 'Singing Praises', I want to celebrate without apology the Mission District's landmark Women's Building for dedicating itself so fiercely to the noble goods (justice, equality, opportunity) that all women deserve."
According to Kreiter, the Women's Building has been a community space for the entire 100 years of existence.
For two weekends, people gather at the Women's Building on the Lapidge Street side to watch shows, complete with cool lighting and music, at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
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On Thursday, September 16, 2010, a special celebration will take place inside the building at 6:30 p.m. marking 100 years.
Foto: US National Weather Service Flagstaff
There will also be a bonus matinee at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 17.
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The performances have been fun for neighbors who live on the street, and wisely bring out chairs for the 30 minute show, as well as for unsuspecting people who surprisingly happen upon the show and stop for a viewing.
Josh Keppel
Choreographer Jo Kreiter has been winning awards for her female focused, off-the-ground, dance shows for 15 years now, but it wasn’t until she saw that Barack Obama picked the Women’s Building for a campaign stop in January 2008 that she thought, “Why have I never chosen the Women’s Building?”
Josh Keppel
After two years of planning, “Singing Praises: Centennial Dances for The Women’s Building” is now in full swing with five dancers (Mary Ann Brooks, Caitlin Beard, Jennifer Chien, Kelly Kemp and Alayna Stroud) floating above the passing tourists and Mission hipsters.
Josh Keppel
The lighting is very cool for the show, where dancers sometimes swing in and out of view.
Josh Keppel
"The swell," as Kreiter puts it, is fun to watch as the crowd doubles, triples or even quadruples from the beginning of the performance to the end.
Flyaway Productions also offers classes at ODC School in SF where people (youths to adults) can learn to release their inner Spiderman/woman. http://www.flyawayproductions.com/
Josh Keppel
"For some reason this little alley has brought a lot of creativity to it," Kreiter said about Lapidge Street. "A lot of the history of the building informs the [dance] piece."
Josh Keppel
The Women's Building is a five-story building that is covered in one of the city's most photographed murals.
Josh Keppel
In 1979 the Women's Building became the first woman-owned and operated community center in the country.
Josh Keppel
The mural, called "MaestraPeace, was painted in 1994 for Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez with many helpers. It is worth checking out with or without the dancing ladies dangling in front of it.
Josh Keppel
But if you can make it out, seeing the way the dancers interact with the building and how it appears that the figures in the painting are watching the aerialists is very cool, and there are only a few more times to see it so don't miss out.
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