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Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest
ChoreoFest highlights the spectacular strength, diversity, and vibrancy of the Bay Area contemporary dance scene through a two-day mini festival of site specific work. Curated by RAWdance’s Artistic Directors, the third annual ChoreoFest features nine local companies in a weekend of extraordinary performances throughout the Gardens’ lawns and architecture.
Please note that this program takes place in multiple areas of the Gardens and requires the audience to change location. Comfortable footwear recommended. Persons needing assistance should seek Festival staff in orange Festival caps.
Saturday July 13 / Day 1 of 2
Click here for Day 2 information.
Order of performances subject to change.
Collaboration by Raisa Punkki and Alice Malia
Raisa Punkki is a San Francisco-based dance artist who was born and raised in Finland. After moving to San Francisco in 2003, she founded her dance company punkkiCo in 2005. Raisa Punkki’s artistic exploration happens through different forms of movement and dance, theatrical work and through collaboration with artists from different disciplines. She has gotten awards and grants both in Europe and USA and has toured internationally. “The purpose of my creative work is to shake the unconscious mind and tap in to empathy and connections between people for deeper understanding.”
Alice Malia is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in theatre and performance. Her designs for the stage have been shown in across San Francisco, London, the UK and internationally. Alice is also an accomplished artist and illustrator, with an extensive portfolio of illustration and mural work for both commercial and private clients.“I believe in the power of stories to provoke change and in the community created around a shared vision, embracing the fruitfulness that collaboration brings.”
Aaron M. Gold creates visceral music that moves. Born in California and grown in the Czech Republic, he received his BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies from the University of Michigan. The resident composer for Kristin Damrow and Company, he’s also been commissioned by punkkiCo, Dance Brigade with Sara Shelton Mann, Sonoma State University and Jennifer Meek, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Nol Simonse and Christy Funsch, Twisted Oak Dance Theater, Fall Fast Dance, Human Creature Dance Theater, and Coventry and Kaluza.
Liv Schaffer received her Bachelor’s degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University of California in 2013, and has spent subsequent seasons performing with AXIS Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, and Robert Moses’ Kin. Liv is an Artist and Educator with The Dance Exchange, Jacob’s Pillow, and LINES Dance Center. Liv teaches contemporary dance and directs the University of San Francisco’s intergenerational dance company; the Dance Generators. Liv is a Shawl Anderson Dance Center 2019 Artist in Residence, and her choreography has been presented by DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceMoves Choreographic Competition, Jacob’s Pillow Lab In Process Series, the JUNTOS Collective, The Big Muddy Dance Company, LINES BFA & Summer Programs, Western Michigan University, and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival ChoreoFest.
Fog Beast is a Bay Area live art organization. Lead by Melecio Estrella and Andrew Ward, Fog Beast uses live music and dance theater tactics to illuminate the modern trappings of the human animal. Since 2010, they have been making performance works and educational events in a variety of settings, amplifying playful physicality, humor, song and story. Their work has been commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Dancers’ Group and various Universities.
David Herrera Performance Co.
David Herrera Performance Company prides itself in providing visibility, agency, & exposure of a diverse Latinx American experience via modern dance. Rich in theatricality and immersed in visceral physical movement, the company makes its statement by weaving dance, story telling, music, and media into a textured conversation between Latino cultures and a multicultural audience. The company is centered on equity practice for POC peoples as performers, choreographers, audience, curators, scholars, policy makers, teachers, and students.
Ryan T. Smith, Wendy Rein, and Katerina Wong
RAWdance, an award-winning, contemporary dance company, is known for transforming theaters and public spaces with intellectually and emotionally-layered performance. Under the direction of Co-Founders Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, and Associate Artistic Director Katerina Wong, the company’s dances pose questions ranging from the broadly social to the intimately personal. RAWdance has performed through commissions and festivals in Asia and across the U.S. and has screened short dance films at festivals in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. In addition to theatrical performances, the company prioritizes increasing access to the art by bringing dance directly into the public sphere. This has inspired performances in SF’s art galleries, UN Plaza, Yerba Buena Gardens, various restaurants, City Hall, SF’s Westfield mall, a boat house, and many more.