Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest
This program continues at 1pm Sunday, July 14, 2019. Order of performances TBA.
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.
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.
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.
Chris Black Dance
Chris Black (Choreographer) has been choreographing and performing in San Francisco for over 25 years. She has won an Izzie and two BATCC awards for her choreography and been in residence at ODC Theater, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the California Academy of Sciences. She has been making and performing in site work in various spaces across San Francisco since 2005. She is currently developing Baroness/Mutt, a multi-tentacled project about art, femaleness, and who gets the credit.
Lenora Lee Dance
For the last 12 years, Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia, and immersive dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history and human rights issues. The company creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and at the same time large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. It integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration and global conflict. LLD’s work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming.
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.
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.
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.
Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
Margaret Jenkins (Margaret Jenkins Dance Company) is a choreographer, educator, and dance community leader designing unique programs supporting mentorship and community engagement within the dance field. Jenkins began her early training in San Francisco before moving to New York to dance with Gus Solomons Jr, Twyla Tharp, Viola Farber, and Merce Cunningham, for whom she assisted in restaging his works in this country and around the world. Since its founding in 1973, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company has been a rich part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco—dedicated to the making and touring of new work and international exchange and collaboration. Jenkins has created over 85 works which have been seen throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, Middle East, and Asia. She has been acknowledged with numerous commissions and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bernard Osher Cultural Award, setting work for the San Francisco Ballet’s 75th anniversary, and a residency in Bellagio, Italy at the Rockefeller Foundation. The Company, having recently returned from tour in Sweden, looks forward to performances this Fall in San Francisco and to their 45th anniversary season in 2020.
Natasha Adorlee’s Concept o4
Natasha Adorlee Johnson is from Overland Park, Kansas and graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English. She has trained with American Ballet Theatre and was an inaugural member of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet training program. She performs with ODC/Dance, the San Francisco Symphony, is a former member of Robert Moses’ KIN, and is a guest artist with Kate Weare Company (New York). In 2018, Natasha received an Emmy for her work in the TV special Baseballet 2: Into the Game, as a composer and performer. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for her performance in Two if by Sea, choreographed by Kimi Okada. Natasha is the Founder and Artistic Director of Concept o4. Through Co4, she directed, choreographed, and danced in the film Take Your Time (2017), which became an official selection of the Mill Valley Film Festival and the recipient of six awards including “Best Short” by the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Red Rock Film Festival, and Valley Film Festival.