Dance-Performance

Roots of Reggaeton

When: April 23-24, 8 p.m. and Sun., April 25, 3 & 7 p.m. 2010

Jacinta Vlach is the new "it" girl in San Francisco's dance scene, especially since founding her company, Liberation Dance Theater, in 2007. While it's mainly preoccupied with linking contemporary and folkloric forms from the Afro-Latin diaspora, the company has a variety of ways to make good on its name. Many of Vlach's pieces explore themes of gender, race, and the disparities of urban life. Some, like her historical piece the Fillmore Project -- developed in collaboration with saxophonist Howard Wiley -- use a fine-tuned and rigorous style of choreography to advance an important social narrative. (The Fillmore Project traces a seventy-year timeline of the Fillmore, from its jazz renaissance to the present.) This weekend, dancers from Liberation will appear at the annual Cuba Caribe Festival, where they'll present a vibrant Latin piece called "Roots of Reggaeton." This time, Vlach chose Guatemalen-born DJ Erick Santero as her main accessory, which makes for another intriguing collaboration -- and a pan-genre pastiche, to boot. Using Raquel Z. Rivera's anthology Reggaetonas source material, "Roots" combines elements of Puerto Rican, Panamanian, and Jamaican dance to show how they inform contemporary pop music. The concept is fascinating. Vlach has surely found new ways to animate it. Friday-Saturday, Apr. 23-24 (8 p.m.) & Sunday, Apr. 25 (3 & 7 p.m.) at Dance Mission Theater (3316 24th St., San Francisco). $10-$18.50. JacintaVlach.com or CubaCaribe.org

Rachel Swan

Price: $10-$18.50

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