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San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley: Dance

San Francisco is known the world over for its cultural diversity, and its dance offerings reflect the city’s rich mix of nationalities, races, physical abilities and gender orientation. The dance consumer can readily sample fare from Balinese, Indonesian, Indian and Japanese traditions. African, Middle Eastern, Central American and Spanish forms are also well represented. San Francisco’s yearly Ethnic Dance Festival, presented at a selection of venues, allows for a glimpse into a broad range of world cultures.

The world-class San Francisco Ballet heads a list of classical troupes that includes Smuin Ballet and Lines Ballet, all critically acclaimed nationwide. If your taste runs more to the modern, ODC Dance, Axis Dance and Robert Moses’ Kin are scene stalwarts, ever-surprising, always innovative. Relative newcomer Sean Dorsey and his company are recognized internationally as a choreographer and troupe to watch.

Dance is a universal language that is always evolving, ever-involving and, best of all, entertaining. Whatever your preference, the City by the Bay is sure to offer a dance experience to suit. (Daphne O’Neal)

San Francisco Dance: Dance Around San Francisco

Below are our San Francisco Dance recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, company/venue history and other points of interest in San Francisco Art.

Alonzo King/LINES Ballet

One of the most visionary choreographers of our time, Alonso King founded his company in 1982; since then, Lines has changed the way we think about ballet. King calls his work “thought structures,” and it in these structures that we see and feel the poetry and wonder so consistently apparent in his dances.

As a result of their training with King, Lines dancers are able to express the finest and …more…

Axis Dance

The original idea for AXIS Dance evolved in 1987, when then-Artistic Director Thais Mazur created a company where special needs dancers could explore the artistic elements of dance. The company premiered in 1988 to standing ovations and soon expanded to offer educational programs that opened the minds of aspiring dancers. The company displayed a specific movement vocabulary for expressing what is known as “physically integrated” dance, allowing dancers with and …more…

Dandelion Dancetheater

Founded in 1996 by Kimiko Guthrie and Eric Kupers, Dandelion Dancetheater demonstrates the perfect intersection between dance, acting, experimentation, and community activism. With risk-taking and exploration at the root of all they do, the company demonstrates the possibilities of corporal expression by breaking rules and concepts to change the timeworn aesthetic of dance.

Dandelion thrives on diversity: in the size of its dancers, their abilities and disabilities, their cultural backgrounds, …more…

ODC Dance (ODC)

Though currently based in San Francisco, ODC stands for Oberlin Dance Collective, named for the Ohio college where it began in 1971. Founded by Brenda Way, ODC began as a collective of dancers, painters, writers, photographers, and musicians who all piled into a yellow bus in 1976 and drove to the West Coast; the company has flourished there ever since.

The first modern dance company in the US to create …more…

Robert Moses’ Kin

Widely considered one of the most renowned artistic entities in Northern California, RMK was created in 1995 by namesake and current Artistic Director Robert Moses. With its ability to corporally express a wide diversity of themes, styles, and ideas, the company speaks to communities by expressing what is unique and common in the human experience through vivid, intelligent, and perfectly honed corporal expression.

Robert Moses has a brilliant …more…

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet is proud to be America’s oldest professional ballet company, dating back to 1933. What started as a regional ballet company is now one of the three largest ballet companies in the country and undoubtedly one of the most diverse. Under the direction of current artistic director, Helgi Tomassaon, this company has become an international success story.

The …more…

Smuin Ballet

The late Michael Smuin had an extremely prolific career as a dancer, choreographer and theater director, beginning in 1953 with the San Francisco Ballet (where he later served as co-artistic director.) On Broadway, he choreographed shows such as Sophisticated Ladies and Anything Goes, for which he won a Tony, as well as for films, including The Cotton Club and A Walk in the Clouds. Smuin won an Emmy for Outstanding …more…