10 Days to Celebrate Your Favorite Moves: Bay Area Dance Week

By In Dance


This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Bay Area Dance Week festival presented by Dancers’ Group, which is part of a national and international celebration of dance. This year’s celebration of dance in the Bay Area offers an enormous range of free events—a perfect opportunity for dance-lovers of all ages and experiences to participate.

Bay Area Dance Week’s offerings to the public have always been extraordinarily diverse, with free events representing all genres of dance: Argentine tango, classical Indian, jazz, hip hop, ballet, traditional hula, fire dance, Samba, modern, Chinese classical, belly dance, queer-focused, Greek folk, capoeira, aerial dance, West African, contact improvisation and many more. Activities will once again include classes, lecture demonstrations, open rehearsals, works in progress showings, performances, workshops and others. Venues typically are dance studios, theaters, galleries, community centers, museums and outdoor spaces.

Framing the 10 days of all dance, all week, all free is the signature opening event, One Dance, in Union Square. One Dance is produced by Dancers’ Group in partnership with Rhythm & Motion and Union Square Live, and will be held on Friday, April 26 at noon. Intended to attract people of all ages and dance abilities to take part in the festival, generate publicity and visibility, and reflect Bay Area Dance Week’s vision to showcase the amazing diversity of dance in the region, One Dance will be an eight-minute dance performed by a variety of groups, both in their own style and in unison. Designed to incorporate the many different stylistic variations of the participants, One Dance can be learned from an online tutorial and can be found on BayAreaDance.org or by attending a class at Rhythm & Motion.

At the One Dance event Dancers’ Group will announce the recipients of two special awards. The sixth annual Dancers’ Choice Award will be presented to the artistic director of Destiny Arts Center, Sarah Crowell. You can read more about Sarah and her work on page 5. A new prize was developed this past year to honor the work of Della Davidson, a pioneering local choreographer and teacher who passed away only a few weeks prior to the 2012 celebration, where she was a Dancers’ Choice Award winner. In an article by Shelly Gilbrid on pages 3-4 you can read about Della’s work and the recipients of the inaugural Della Davidson Prize, which supports innovative dance and dance/theater artists producing work in the spirit of Della Davidson.

Many events that are organized during the festival are part of the regular programming for the hundreds of artists, teachers and organizations that present events. The Rotunda Dance Series is a perfect example of a regular event that will be taking place during Bay Area Dance Week. On Friday, May 3 at 12noon you can enjoy a performance by Chitresh Das Dance Company set amidst the grandeur of San Francisco City Hall.

For the second year, the closing event for Bay Area Dance Week will also be a participatory event. On Sunday, May 5 at 2pm Anna Halprin will lead her Planetary Dance at Yerba Buena Gardens, which will invite people of all ages and abilities to participate in a simple circle dance, a symbol of and commitment to peace.

To whet your appetite for the range of free events taking place and ways for you to participate, we’ve identified six samplers that showcase the variety of Bay Area dance.

View the full list of sampler events in the Bay Area Dance Week event guide, and find hundreds of other events at BayAreaDance.org. Details about the times for all events listed below—and details for signing up—are online.

Bring A Friend
Dance is something to share with others.

15th Annual Dance-A-Rama
Sun, Apr 28, Berkeley; Terrain
Come join the fun and experience some of the East Bay’s most exciting choreographers in two studios at the vibrant Eighth Street Artists’ Center, as Terrain Performance Collective presents an informal performance marathon.

World Dance Circle
Wed, May 1, San Francisco; San Francisco
Dance Circle
Learn a variety of folk dances from many parts of the world at this weekly class. All levels are welcome.

Fun With The Family
Get your whole family into the groove with these performances.

sjDANCEco Festival @ Santana Row
Sun, Apr 28, San Jose; sjDANCEco
Sharing the wealth and diversity of dance from the Bay Area. Featuring over 50 dance groups including studios, universities, cultural groups, pre-professional and professional companies.

Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Youth Company
Aerial Showcase
Wed, May 1, San Francisco; Zaccho Studio
Experience new works and join them in the air Participants will have a chance to fly on Zaccho Dance Theatre’s original and unique apparatus.

Western Ballet Performances
Sat, Apr 27, Mountain View; Western Ballet
Local schools & companies come together to share their love for dance with the community.

A World Of Dance
Travel the globe with cultural dance forms found here in the Bay Area, home to over 400 cultural dance companies and artists.

Hawai’ian Hula
Sun, Apr 28, Berkeley; Mahea Uchiyama Center
for International Dance
This class will introduce you to Hawai’i’s national dance. Tied to spirituality and nature, the hula of ancient Hawai’i celebrates life’s mysteries.

Bollywood with Bella Qureshi
Mon, Apr 29, Fairfax; Roco Dance
Have fun learning Bollywood dance moves and choreography. From Indian films, Bollywood dance combines Classical Indian, Jazz, Hip Hop, and contemporary dance.

Introduction to Kathak- Classical Dance
from Northern India
Sun, May 5, Mountain View; Chhandam School of Kathak
Experience this rhythmic and improvisational art form through footwork, hand movements and storytelling, while gaining insight to the history, philosophy and mathematics of Kathak and Indian culture. No Experience Necessary!

Dance For Health and Fitness
Discover new concepts about the moving body.

Breema: Presence in Movement
Mon, Apr 29, Oakland; The Breema Center
When you are present, you receive energy from your interactions. The more you are present, the more you can connect with others, and with all life. No prior bodywork experience is necessary.

Biodanza: The Dance Of Life
Wed, May 1, Cotati; San Francisco School of Biodanza
Biodanza is a celebration of life through collective joy, play, dance, and ritual. Enjoy eclectic music, movement, and non-verbal communication. Find genuine expression and heartfelt connections.

Inside The Dancer’s Studio
Glimpse the inner workings of the creative process and meet innovative and dance artists working in the Bay Area.

AXIS Up Close
Mon, Apr 29, Oakland; AXIS Dance Company
Come watch the AXIS dancers rehearse and perform some of their current repertory. This open rehearsal will be followed by a movement class.

Book Reading
Sun, Apr 28, San Francisco; Hope Mohr Dance
Susan Rethorst reads from her new book, A Choreographic Mind: Autobodygraphical Writing. Both an intimate memoir and artist’s manual, Rethorst’s book thoughtfully articulates the creative process and offers ideas for evaluating dance.

The Wild & Playful Side of Dance
Let loose and discover something new!

2013 Fire Dancing Expo
Sat, Apr 27, San Francisco; Temple of Poi
Bring a blanket, chair, ear muffs, hot drink and join artists from around the world for a fire dancing extravaganza! Enjoy a 2-hour family-friendly program featuring artists of all ages and skill levels.

Sultry Pole
Sat, Apr 27, Redwood City; Poletential
Learn slow, controlled movements that flow together with feminine fierceness. Find your inner diva, dancer and poised, beautiful self. No dance or pole experience needed.

This article appeared in the April 2013 issue of In Dance.

In Dance is a publication of Dancers' Group.