Dance of the Oyster Boy

Once upon a time, a man named Tim Burton wrote a story about a boy who was part oyster. Now, the Inbal Pinto Dance Company has brought Burton’s unique Ed Gory-esque tale to the stage. If you happen to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might want to check it out.

Described by The Village Voice as “Part surreal vaudeville, part circus, and part toy store after midnight”, “Oyster”  will premier at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco tomorrow and play through Sunday.

Burton’s “The Melancholic Death of Oyster Boy” is a rhyming (think Dr. Seuss) children’s story of a bivalve boy who meets a terrible end. You can read the story and see Burton’s drawings for it at

Choreographer and designer Inbal Pinto was inspired by this tale to create “Oyster” with artistic director Avshalom Pollak. According to UC Davis’s website, the one-hour show is like something Burton would create if he “directed a Cirque du Soleil show starring a modern dance company.” Oyster is a series of circus-like vignettes “at once comical, grotesque and strangely beautiful,” the website continues. “Each skit is perverse in its own way, featuring a crazed, red-headed ballerina with a stool fastened to her posterior, armless dancers in tuxedos, an aerial pas de deux, bodyless dancing legs, performers on strings, and plenty of bizarre clowns and mimes.” A video clip of the performance is available at

Pinto is a former member of Batsheva Dance Company and has received numerous dance awards since she began choreographing in 1990. Her company of 12 performers is based in Isreal and is currently on a U.S. tour. They performed “Oyster” in Washington, DC, in April, and in Portland, Ore., yesterday.

Fri, May 5, 2006: 8pm
Sat, May 6, 2006: 8pm
Sun, May 7, 2006: 2pm
The May 6 performance is followed by a a post-performance discussion, Q&A and reception hosted by the Israel Center.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
700 Howard Street, San Francisco

Fri, May 12, 2006: 8pm
Sat, May 13, 2006: 8pm
Each performance is followed by a post performance artist Q&A.
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue


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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.