Flyaway Productions. Photo by RJ Muna, Courtesy Flyaway Productions.

NorCal Takeover

San Francisco is crawling with unexpected dance events over the next month. Here are seven on our radar.


The Right to be Believed

Jo Kreiter's gravity-defying, site-specific dance work taking place on UC Hastings College of the Law's Outdoor Wall probes the credibility of women in society through Flyaway Productions' signature cocktail of social justice and acrobatic spectacle. May 25–27, June 1–3. flyawayproductions.com.

San Francisco International Arts Festival

This festival takes the "international" part of its name seriously: The dance lineup alone has 26 different groups hailing from 10 countries, with equally wide-ranging styles and inspirations running the gamut from capoeira to shadow theater and traditional bharatanatyam to postmodernism. May 25–June 4. sfiaf.org.

Last Blue Couch in the Sky

Epiphany Productions' Hien Huynh and Nuria Bowart. Photo by Andy Mogg, Courtesy YBCA.

Kim Epifano's community-informed work explores the gentrification of San Francisco's South of Market district, beginning with a walk of the neighborhood before concluding with a black-box performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. June 2–4. ybca.org.

Walking Distance Dance Festival

Still from Deep South. Photo by Alex Ketley, Courtesy John Hill PR.

This year's iteration of ODC Theater's annual event includes world premieres from FACT/SF, Monique Jenkinson and Maurya Kerr's tinypistol, as well as Deep South, the final part of a film trilogy exploring what dance means to people in the rural U.S., with a performance by The Foundry. June 2–3, 9–10. odc.dance.

Precarious

Hope Mohr Dance on site at Klockar's. Photo by Margo Moritz, Courtesy Hope Mohr Dance.

Inspired by the closing of the historic Klockar's Blacksmith shop, Hope Mohr Dance celebrates its 10th anniversary with this new work, which begins with a tour (created in collaboration with Shaping SF Walking Tours) exploring the labor history of the Mid-Market neighborhood and ends with a performance at CounterPulse. June 1–3. hopemohr.org.

Nobody Lives Here Now

As part of a celebration of three decades of dance theater, Joe Goode Performance Group premieres a fantastical story using contemporary dance, text and video to confront aging and the fluidity of gender identity. At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, June 22–24. joegoode.org.

SFDanceworks

San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko's rep company returns for a second season with works by Alejandro Cerrudo, José Limón, Danielle Rowe and Penny Saunders, as well as a world premiere by James Graham and the U.S. premiere of Christopher Bruce's Shadows. June 22–24. sfdanceworks.org.

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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