April 24 – May 3 throughout San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay and South Bay
Bay Area Dance Week (BADW) invites the public to explore the vibrant world of the Bay Area dance community through more than 400 free events for the dance lover, casual dancer and those curious to learn. From dance studio to proscenium stage, city park to street corner, dance is everywhere during this fun-filled 10-day festival.
Completely free of charge, hundreds of dance organizations, companies, schools and artists open up their doors welcoming the public to attend an event during Bay Area Dance Week. Presented during and as part of the nationwide festival National Dance Week, the Bay Area’s edition has grown to be the nation’s largest celebration. BADW draws more than 20,000 attendees each year to events in San Francisco, the East Bay, North Bay and South Bay.
This year’s festival runs April 24-May 3, 2015, kicking off with the now traditional One Dance led by the Rhythm & Motion Dance Workout Program at Union Square on Friday, April 24 at 12noon. Anyone can participate in One Dance, learning a short dance sequence featuring iconic dances to pop songs from the 1970s to today. The public can go online to preview the steps at www.bayareadance.org, attend a live rehearsal, or just show up at Union Square and wing it.
The Union Square opening event will also honor the recipients of the 2015 Dancers Choice Award and the Della Davidson Prize.
The 8th annual Dancers Choice Award goes to the Oakland-based bellydance duo Etang Inyang and Tammy Johnson, of Raks Africa. Specializing in Egyptian style bellydance, the duo have performed together for over a decade, produced award-winning work, and collectively have over 35 years of experience working with youth and communities of color. Dancers’ Group awards the Dancers Choice Award to individuals and organizations that are finding effective and creative models that impact dance. The community recommends recipients through an open call for nominations each year – past award winners include Danica Sena (2014), Sarah Crowell (2013), Della Davidson & Ernesto Sopprani (2012), Antoine Hunter (2011), AXIS Dance Company (2010), Alleluia Panis (2009) and Jessica Robinson Love (2008).
The Della Davidson Prize honors the life and work of Bay Area dance luminary Della Davidson, who passed away in 2012. An annual prize of $1,220 (in honor of Della’s birthday 12/20) is awarded to a choreographer/dance-maker producing work in the spirit of Ms. Davidson. This year’s recipient is Deborah Slater. A Bay Area native, Slater’s body of work lies in the intersection of performance, cultural studies and social change. Slater is the founder/Artistic Director of Deborah Slater Dance Theater, a company dedicated to the production of evening-length works exploring timely social issues. Past Della Davidson Prize award winners include Debby Kajiyama (2014), Randee Paufve and Monique Jenkinson (2013).
With over 400 events to choose from, there is something for everyone at BADW. The public can pick up a free event guide or visit www.bayareadance.org to explore free events including dance classes, open rehearsals, performances and more. A few festival highlights include:
EVENTS FOR FIRST-TIMERS
• A Brazilian Carnaval – dance to live percussion exploring the rhythms of Samba, Afro-Brazilian and more; Friday, April 24 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco
• A high energy teen hip hop class where beginners can learn pop-locking, breaking and freestyling, presented by ODC School & Rhythm and Motion; Friday, April 24 in San Francisco
• An introduction to International Folk Dance led by the Santa Rosa International Folk Dancers – no partner necessary; Thursday, April 30 in Santa Rosa
• An all-ages Freestyle Community Dance celebrating free expression and a spirit of generosity presented by Soul Sanctuary Dance; Sunday, May 3 in Berkeley
FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENTS
• The Blossom Festival, featuring fun, participatory folk dances from around the world, hosted by the Folk Federation of CA; Sunday, April 26 in San Francisco
• A performance by Kathy Mata Ballet featuring live accompaniment and multiple dance styles including musical theater, traditional Chinese dance, lyrical fusion, and more; Sunday, April 26 in San Francisco
• A dance along class for children ages 3-7 at Ballet San Jose followed by an inside look at an open rehearsal of Ballet San Jose’s Cinderella; Tuesday, April 28, Wednesday, April 29 and Thursday, May 1 in San Jose
• An all-ages class covering basic capoeira moves and traditional Portuguese music led by ABADÁ-Capoeira; Thursday, April 30 in San Francisco
DANCE FROM AROUND THE WORLD
• An Afro-Columbian dance class with Adriana Sanchez of Colombian Soul, featuring traditional dances from the Pacific Coast of Colombia; Saturday, April 25 in San Francisco
• A West African Funk dance class led by Dimensions Dance Theater; Wednesday, April 29 in Oakland
• A workshop of International Folk dance by the Stanford International Dancers, featuring a dance party and live music; Friday, May 1 in Palo Alto
• A one-hour class focusing on traditional Nordic Folk Dances followed by a dance party with live music, hosted by the Nordic Footnotes; Saturday, May 2 in Menlo Park
DANCE FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS
• A Modern Essentials Dance Workout – learn the fundamentals of contemporary dance, breaking down a few favorite routines at ODC School & Rhythm and Motion; Friday, May 1 in San Francisco
• A series of classes at the Breema Center geared towards basic sensing, focusing and consciously experiencing the meaning of personal breath movement; Saturday, April 25, Monday, April 29, Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 in Oakland
• Lessons in Biodanza®, a practice aimed to reconnect to your inner joy and awaken your desire to be fully alive; Saturday, April 25, Monday, April 27, Tuesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 30 in Berkeley, Oakland and San Rafael
• Dance on the Brain – a conversation presented by ODC with dance artists and medical professionals exploring the amazing physiological and psychological benefits of dance; Sunday, May 3 in San Francisco
• sjDANCEco Festival- a showcase of the wealth and diversity of South Bay dance artists. Over 60 groups from all across the Bay Area will gather for a day-long outdoor performance; Sun, Apr 26 in San Jose
• Rotunda Dance Series – A prelude performance to 95 RITUALS, to premiere in July by inkBoat and guests, dedicated to Anna Halprin for her 95th birthday; Fri, May 1 at City Hall in San Francisco
INSIDE THE DANCER’S STUDIO
• SF Ballet Company Class – A behind the scenes look at San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America. Sat, May 2 in San Francisco
• Dance & Interactive Technology Playground – A playground for dancers, visual designers, film makers, computer geeks and all people with curious minds interested in exploring connections between art and interactive technology hosted by Kinetech Arts Open Lab; Tue, Apr 28 in San Francisco
WILD AND PLAYFUL DANCE
• Move to the Now – Hosted by Amy Seiwert’s Imagery and Post:Ballet this intimate evening of exhilarating dance, music and art explores performance in the non-traditional setting of 111 Minna; Fri, Apr 24 in San Francisco
• Free to Fly – Aerial company BANDALOOP takes a wide range of contemporary dance styles into the air with rock climbing technology and rigging; Sun, Apr 26 in Oakland
• Awaken Your Inner Carnaval Showgirl – Awakening movements with Showgirl Shaman & Carnaval Queen Kellita. Wed, Apr 29 in San Francisco
Full details, including exact times and locations are available online at www.bayareadance.org