ODC kicks off summer with State Of Play Festival Of Dance in June

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ODC Theater has announced the full schedule for its tenth annual Summer Dance Festival, June 2-11. State of Play offers two weeks of activities on the two buildings of the ODC campus, including nine world or regional premieres, seven works in progress by performing artists from across the country as well as an array of free activities. Single-event tickets, starting at $15, and Festival packages, starting at $32, are on sale now at odc.dance/state of play.

As part of a series of events in honor of its 50th anniversary, ODC is inaugurating a new format for its signature summer festival this year with programming from guest curators amara tabor-smith and Charles Slender-White. Formerly known as the Walking Distance Dance Festival, which featured nightly doubleheaders, this year’s festival highlights the interplay of works by artists at different stages of their careers. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience performances ranging from fully staged evening-length events to early works in progress.

“State of Play marks a significant shift towards curating as a collaboration,” Tabor-Smith and Slender-White said in a joint statement. “Together we talked about racism and privilege in dance, and wanting to raise the profile of powerful queer and BIPOC artists who we believe were making incredibly important art. If there’s a unifying theme in our curation is that these artists create works that we believe will provide much-needed breath, hope and inspiration to get through this moment in time in which we all find ourselves .”

Companies presenting one-night premieres include Portland, Maine’s Little House Dance, Virginia’s MKArts, and currently Los Angeles-based SAMMAY. The companies and individual artists creating shorter-lived works are, in all but one case, based in the Bay Area: Blind Tiger Society under the direction of Bianca Cabrera; Dragons Dance under the direction of Erin Yen; KRIMM’S DANCE PARTY under the direction of Kim Ip; Megan Lowe dances; Nicole Peisl. Rosanna Tavarez / LA DANSA DANSA is visiting from Los Angeles.

Finally, companies showcasing work in progress include DANCE MONKS / Mirah Kellc Esteva & Rodrigo Esteva; Detour with lead artist Kat Cole; James Graham Dance Theatre; Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble; Liv Schaffer and the Dance Generators; Nina Haft & Company; and OYSTERKNIFE, the artistic partnership of Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch.

“Whether it’s for confirmed dance fans or newcomers to the genre, we’ve categorized the activities into three groups,” said Chloë L. Zimberg, Creative Director of ODC Theater. “For those primarily interested in completed and fully produced works, check out our list of premieres. For those interested in the creative process, there is a series of works in progress that will invite audiences more intimately into the development of performance. And for audiences who want to deepen ideas and discussions in the field of dance today, join us at one of our free community events.”

“We are also delighted to offer digital broadcasts of premieres for those unable to attend in person. The density of this year’s festival offerings is an exciting step as we grow and build a festival that stands alongside the Bay Area’s beloved day on the sidelines of theater, film and music festivals.”

Among the free activities scheduled throughout the festival are a panel discussion on June 2 titled “Ephemeral and Permanence: Legacy, Lineage and Letting Go”; a picnic with games for the whole family on June 5; a long table discussion titled “Envisioning the Future of Dance” on June 6; a live debate on how best to allocate limited resources to arts professionals on June 8; and on June 11, “Re-imagining Araw ng Kalayaan”, a conversation about the struggle for independence in the Filipino diaspora.

“I’m full of anticipation for State of Play,” said former ODC Theater artist-in-residence Monique Jenkinson aka Fauxnique. “From training here as a young dancer, to creating and re-staged the work of a mature artist, for decades I have seen the ODC grow and deepen its commitment to dance artists. I’m excited about this next phase of growth for ODC, especially its adoption of the concept of play as its driving theme.Although we dance artists take our work more seriously than most people. don’t think so, ultimately it’s a sense of play – on stage, in the studio, in conversation – that frees us to move the culture forward.

Here is a detailed program of events listed in chronological order. For more information on these and other events taking place during the festival visit odc.dance/state of play.

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