Tuesday, May 29, 2012

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

I don't attend dance performances very often, and when they do, it's because of the music, as often as not: my last was Petrouchka at SF Ballet. Just over the horizon is the S.F. Ethnic Dance Festival, and if you're into dance, you'll find lots of interest on their schedule, which is below the cut.

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival 2012 Schedule

The World United Through Dance

Weekend 1 at Fort Mason Center

World Premiere
Gamelan Sekar Jaya with Pusaka Sunda
Saturday, June 2 at 4pm and 8pm
Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center
Praised as the finest ensemble outside of Indonesia, Gamelan Sekar Jaya presents the thrilling world premiere of Bayangan Jiwa in collaboration with the Sundanese gamelan Pusaka Sunda. Created and led by I Dewa Putu Berata and Emiko Saraswati Susilo,Bayangan Jiwa evokes "the imagination of the spirit." 
This innovative choreography explores the depths of Balinese dance while showcasing shadow-light technology alongside the rich, melodic sounds of the traditional Semarandana instruments: metallaphones, gongs, and seven-toned flutes.

Tickets: $12-$20 
www.fortmason.org or (415) 345-7575

This event is in partnership with the Fort Mason Presents Series.

ARTIST DIALOGUE with Lily CaiSunday, June 3 at 4 pm
The Firehouse, Fort Mason Center

Since arriving in San Francisco over 25 years ago, Lily Cai has been a passionate dance innovator, working both within traditional Chinese dance forms and blazing new territory in the contemporary dance realm with her Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company. Join us for a dialogue with Lily about her artistic process and vision, and her fascinating life in dance.

Tickets: $15  www.fortmason.org or (415) 345-7575

Festival Weekend Two at San Francisco Museums

ARTIST DIALOGUE with Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance

DE YOUNG MUSEUMSaturday, June 9 at 2pm

Tickets: $25 
www.fortmason.org or (415) 345-7575
Carolena Nericcio is a dance maverick and founder of a dance style called American Tribal Style Belly Dance, which is performed in majestic costuming incorporating textiles and ethnic jewelry from around the world. She has inspired many thousands of dancers who embody her vision of women dancing together as one entity. The dialogue with Carolena will be followed by a performance with members of her dance company, FatChanceBellyDance. 
FESTIVAL DANCE PERFORMANCE for “Phantoms of Asia Exhibit”
Sunday, June 10 at 2pm
There will be a special Festival performance in conjunction with a site-specific Sun K. Kwak artwork meditating on the spiritual and cosmological themes of the museum’s “Phantoms of Asia” exhibit. More information coming soon.

Festival Weekends Three, Four, and Five at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Novellus Theater Program 1
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Saturday, June 16, 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, June 17, 3pm

Dance from China, Cuba, Hawai’i, Hungary, India, Korea, Native America, Peru, Spain, and Transylvania.

Tickets: $18-$58 at 
http://tickets.ybca.org or 415-978-2787

El Tunante, Peru
Marinera, a Peruvian courtship dance, features spontaneous romantic interplay between three couples, marked by elegant spins, swirling handkerchiefs, and sensual, sinuous movement

Sewam Dance - Eddie Madril, Native American Plains, US
Many hoops are masterfully shaped into butterflies, eagles, and much more in this Native American hoop dance symbolizing the never-ending cycle of life

Chhandam Youth Dance Company, India
Intricate footwork and lightning fast chakkars, or spins, punctuate this dynamic Indian kathak dance entitled Uttarakaala, or Future

La Tania, Spain
Alas al Viento, or Wings to the Wind, is an alegrías style of flamenco dance from southern Spain that evokes unspoken narratives where every movement unleashes intense and serious beauty punctuated by sharp and joyous outbursts

Hālau o Keikiali’i, Hawai’i
The pahu drum, a symbol of change and new beginnings, calls to the heavens as this popular thirty-member dance company performs a quartet of dances in the hula kahiko style, done close to the ground and honoring Hawaiian gods, chiefs, and sacred places

OngDance Company, Korea
A contemporary piece with highly synchronized percussion, the Shadow of Cheoyong is a prayer for the good of humanity that combines myth with concepts from Confucianism and Buddhism Shadow of Cheoyong is a contemporary representation of a peaceful 1,100 year old dance that combines myth with Confusionism, Buddism, and the concept of moral duties. What started as a mythical hero that defeated a demon spirit through dance, is now a prayer for a modern society. The dance hopes for a peaceful world, teaches the virtues of generosity, and prays for the good of humanityexploring the virtues of generosityShadow of Cheoyong is a contemporary representation of a peaceful 1,100 year old dance that combines myth with Confusionism, Buddism, and the concept of moral duties. What started as a mythical hero that defeated a demon spirit through dance, is now a prayer for a modern society. The dance hopes for a peaceful world, teaches the virtues of generosity, and prays for the good of humanity Shadow of Cheoyong is a contemporary representation of a peaceful 1,100 year old dance that combines myth with Confusionism, Buddism, and the concept of moral duties. What started as a mythical hero that defeated a demon spirit through dance, is now a prayer for a modern society. The dance hopes for a peaceful world, teaches the virtues of generosity, and prays for the good of humanity
China Dance School and Theatre, China
Energetic young girls show off their colorful garments and a variety of coy and proud guises in a game of show and chase, inviting the audience into their endearing and playful world

Collage Dance Ensemble, Hungary and Transylvania
Roma people and elements of their travelling culture are reflected in this dance incorporating traditional movements from Hungary and Transylvania (Romania) with spirited, contemporary styling
Las Que Son Son, Cuba
Recounting the rich story of Cuba’s past and present through a yambú, a highly ritualized dance of fast-paced guaguancó, with a highly competitive columbia serving as the peak of three cycles of rumba dances with musical accompaniment featuring accomplished singer and percussionist, Bobi Céspedes

Novellus Theater Program 2
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Saturday, June 23, 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, June 24, 3pm

Dance from Appalachia (US), China, Hungary, India, Mexico, the Middle East, Peru, Tahiti, and Zimbabwe.

Tickets: $18-$58  
http://tickets.ybca.org or (415) 978-2787

Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco, Mexico      
A joyous trio of dances narrates the rhythms of village life from working in the fields with dynamic unfurling skirts to a town square celebration with a percussive all-male dance ontarimas, or platforms

Vishwa Shanthi Dance Academy, India
In a moving bharatanatyam piece, Queen Shantala Devi’s devotion and passion for dance magically give life to sculptures in an abandoned temple and completes it when her own image joins them for eternity

Barbary Coast Cloggers, Appalachia, US
A medley of boisterous Appalachian clogging captures the spirit of early American settlers’ camaraderie and showmanship with a confluence of movements from the Irish jig, to English country-dances, to traditional African steps and rhythms

Shabnam, Middle East and US
Quiver, glimmer, flutter, and shimmer!  An innovative baladi belly dance inspired by the undulating swells of the Red Sea features fluid, rippling movements reflecting the grace and power of the sea

Te Mana O Te Ra, Tahiti
Highlighting female strength and determination, Vahines de Tahiti represents how Tahitian women embody Queen Pomare IV, Madeline Moua (Queen of the Heiva, or Festival), Hina (goddess of love and the moon), and Pele (goddess of fire, rage, and passionate love)
Chinyakare Ensemble, Zimbabwe
This harvest dance from the Shona people of Zimbabwe teaches the importance of family and community through a cautionary tale danced while balancing seed-filled baskets on their heads, as ancestral spirits are invited to visit and share their wisdom
Chinese Performing Artists of America, China
In honor of the Year of the Dragon, black light technology highlights this symbolic dragon dance, creating a hypnotizing and powerful performance where only the dragon can be seen in the darkness, whirling and twisting ten feet off the floor
Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble, Hungary
From the Sárköz region in southwest Hungary comes Sárközyi Ugrós, or Jumping Dance, showcasing joyful, high steps in a jubilant mens’ stick dance paired with an all-female bottle dance, performed in intricate handmade, full-skirted costumes native to the village of Decs

De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association, Peru        
Paying tribute to the legacy left in Peru by women of African descent, this dynamic Afro-Peruvian zamacueca has spawned a multitude of dance styles throughout the Americas and has been a unifying force in Latin America, mixing African, indigenous, and Spanish cultures
Novellus Theater Program 3
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Saturday, June 30, 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, July 1, 3pm

Dance from Hawai’i, India, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan

Tickets: $18-$58  
http://tickets.ybca.org or 415-978-2787

Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose and San Jose Taiko, India and Japan
Synergy is created when bharatanatyam, a classical dance from Southern India, meets taiko, Japanese drumming and dance, resulting in a high-energy, lively interplay between two ancient art forms

Miriam Gaibova and Abbos Kosimov, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
A magnificent duet between a master Uzbek percussionist playing the doira, a ceremonial frame drum, and a deeply expressive Tajik dancer demonstrates the unifying possibilities of a dancer and musician in sync

LIKHA - Pilipino Folk Ensemble, The Philippines
Dried palm leaves and bamboo poles are featured prominently in Semba, a nomadic Batak tribal ritual accompanied by live music intended to appease the spirits of nature, warding off evil and seeking blessings for hunting, planting, and harvesting

Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, Hawai'i
Under the direction of Kumu Hula Patrick Makuakāne, this breathtaking hula performance honors Kumulipo, the epic Hawaiian creation chant, and Māui, the sun-catcher

Gadung Kasturi, Bali, Indonesia
Flower petals cast from ceremonial bowls and the trains of beautifully patterned sarongs offer blessings and prayers in this ethereal dance inspired by traditional temple ceremony from the Balinese village of Ngis, calling for health, safety and peace throughout the world

Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, Spain
San Francisco’s second oldest dance company performs an intimate, barefoot milonga style of flamenco from Spain, with quiet, dream-like choreography utilizing the bata de cola(long train skirts), and exploring essential characteristics of identity and being
Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno, Mexico
Three folk dances from the southern Sotavento region of Veracruz, Mexico – La Carretilla, La Iguana and El Zapateado – demonstrate Spanish-influenced intricate footwork, with playful teasing amidst the competitive spirit

Diamano Coura West African Dance Company, Liberia
A rite of passage dance for Lorma girls of Liberia at the close of their schooling in the Sande Society, a school that has existed since the Crusades and maintains total secrecy from men. As the girls display skills taught to them by their elders, the cow horn and saasaa gourd call masked dancers who bless the girls before returning to their parents.

Festival Annual Benefit
Yerba Buena ForumSaturday, June 30, 6:00 – 7:45pm

The Festival’s annual Benefit reception filled with great food, wine, music, and a silent auction featuring many one-of-a-kind dance opportunities. All Benefit attendees are encouraged to attend the 8pm show inside the Novellus Theater.


Flamenco After Party at Thirsty Bear
Sunday, July 1, 6pm

Join accomplished Festival flamenco performers at the culmination of the 34th Annual Festival Season at The Flamenco Room at Thirsty Bear, located one block from the Novellus Theater. Admission is free.

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