31st Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
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The last date listed for 31st Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival was Saturday June 6, 2009 / 8:00pm.
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On Christmas Eve 1944, Nutcracker made its American debut in San Francisco and instantly became a… More
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From the temples of India to the village squares of Mexico, the 31st Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is your first class ticket to an unforgettable journey around the world! This June, San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts comes to vivid life in a swirl of breathtaking beauty and explosive energy as thirty six companies representing dance traditions from more than 20 cultures and featuring more than five hundred of Northern California’s most acclaimed dancers and musicians take to the stage. The Festival is the largest and most prestigious gathering of its kind in the country with four weekends of performances and a different line up of performers each week. So come once or come four times, just don’t miss this extraordinary annual celebration of our global artistic heritage.
Weekend One (June 6-7, 2009)
Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes
The beginning of a new season for the cultivation of corn in Tabasco is represented through a blessing dance and a celebration of the crop’s vibrant colors in Fiesta Tabasquena, accompanied by tambores drums and flutes specific to the region.
Athira Pratap Ohm Kaara! depicts two forms of Shakthi, the Hindu Goddess—the Goddess of Knowledge and the Goddess of Power—in a struggle between good and evil portrayed in the swift rhythmic steps (Nritta) and expressions (Natya) of the South Indian classical dance form bharatanatyam.
Presidio Dance Theatre
From the floral headpieces down to the traditional boots, artists and designers of the Kirov Ballet and Mariinsky Theatre (formerly Kirov Ballet) created costumes for this company of young dancers for Ukrainian Suite, a showcase of the traditional girls dance and the popular national Hopak.
Jaipong Tablo tells the poignant story of a woman mourning her beloved in the style of Sundanese Jaipongan—a contrast to better known Indonesian dance forms said to have been influenced by the West’s introduction of rock ‘n roll to Indonesia.
Murphy Irish Dancers
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mary Jo Feeney presents Tir Na No’g, a suite based on an Irish fairy tale, featuring wee dancers as fairies, lots of Murphy’s famous footwork and a battle between a warrior and a prince.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Devi Sri, the rice goddess, is honored in this Balinese dance accompanied by the magnificent gamelan jegog, an ensemble of giant bamboo marimbas so large that the musicians must climb them to play—one of the few existing outside of Bali.
The traditional mantón de Manila, a large Spanish shawl, adds a dramatic flair to Encuentro—a caña cante grande duet, featuring the repeated cries of ‘ay’ accompanied by evocative guitar playing and rhythmic palmas.
Barbary Coast Cloggers
Steamerlane Breakdown, Cripple Creek and the brand-new Gone But Not Forgotten showcase buck-style clog dancing, complex rhythms and the raucous country-western music of the Appalachian Mountain region.
Te Mana O Te Ra
Accompanied by the golden resounding tone of the standing bass skin drum, and created specially for this year’s Festival, Tani e Pahu expresses the Heartbeat of Tahiti—colorful, playful, powerful, potentially destructive, and, most importantly, limitless.