ODC Theater Announces 2017 Season

ODC, the most active center for contemporary dance on the West Coast, has announced the program for its 2017 Theater Season. Highlights include world premieres by David Gordon, FACT/SF, Monique Jenkinson, tinypistol, Laura Elaine Ellis and Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts, and West Coast premieres by Kate Weare Company and The Foundry. Additional season highlights include remounts of seminal works by Joanna Haigood and RAWdance.

ODC Theater's 2017 Season also marks the arrival of Julie Potter as its new Theater Director. Previously the Creative Ecosystem Senior Program Manager at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Potter succeeds Christy Bolingbroke in the position. "I'm thrilled to begin my first year at ODC Theater with a mission to cultivate ways to look, to give attention, to be in community and to make meaning through performance," said Potter.

"This season, a year of leadership transition for this performance space, and tectonic political movement in the world, the Theater traces shifting perspectives, inviting our publics to renew their perspectives through encounters with art. At a time of changing demographics, we are invested in cultivating both communities of affirmation, those in which we find belonging, as well as communities of dissonance, those in which we encounter difference, new perspectives and zones for discovery."

"One example of an artist shifting perspectives this season is choreographer and director David Gordon's Live Archiveography. Tackling a prolific legacy, Gordon has assembled and annotated his own archive for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and as a companion piece to the archive he also created a performance work that reconsiders conventional archival methodology. How do you archive the ephemeral?"

"The performance as well as artifacts and ephemera from the exhibition make their way to ODC Theater in April. ODC is proud to have hosTEd Gordon's last visit to the Bay Area in 2007 in a production of his critically acclaimed Dancing Henry Five."

"Gordon's visit to the Bay Area this year also prompts inquiry around how artists who participated in Judson Dance Theater shaped West Coast dance. Gordon, part of the Grand Union which evolved from Judson in New York, spent time at Oberlin College during the 1970s when ODC's Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kimi Okada were making work there."

"This season at ODC Theater I look forward to nurturing that which is vital and embedded in this live art, with a commitment to expressions of the body, cultural discourse and public engagement around the work of Gordon and all of the other artists programmed for this season."

A chronological list of ODC Theater's 2017 Season follows. For more information, visit odc.dance.

* * *

March 26
Sunday @ 7 p.m.

ODC Theater Unplugged is a recurring platform offering a rare and candid look into the creative process. In this edition, Kim Epifano will share her work-in-progress, Last Blue Couch in the Sky, slated to premiere at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in June. Marking the 20th anniversary of Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater, Epifano's eponymous company acclaimed for its interdisciplinary, site-specific works, Last Blue Couch pays tribute to the seminal places that influenced the artist's work, while also acknowledging other locations significant to the survival of artists within this rapidly changing city.

April 20 - 22
Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

David Gordon, a founding artist of the Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s, looks back on his long and varied career in the world premiere of Live Archiveography. The retrospective includes storytelling interlaced with projected collage and live performance. Photographs, videos and interviews with collaborators capture five decades of Gordon's work in movement and theater art - from his early days with choreographers Trisha Brown and Yvonne Rainer, to his work with his wife, dancer and actress Valda Setterfield, one of five performers in Live Archiveography, and his son, theater director Ain Gordon.

June 2 - 10
Fridays and Saturdays
Saturday afternoon performances off-site in the Mission, free admission

ODC Theater's signature summer dance festival returns for two weekends of live performance featuring a West Coast premiere by The Foundry, and world premieres by FACT/SF, Monique Jenkinson and tinypistol.

In the festival's first weekend, FACT/SF's Charles Slender-White and Liane Burns present Platform, a duet commissioned by ODC Theater and inspired by Holly Herndon's electronic album of the same name. Performed in the round, Platform investigates ideas of homogeneity, social media echo chambers and extreme unison. FACT/SF performs Platform twice each evening, June 2 - 3.

A film with live performance by The Foundry completes the program for the first weekend, June 2 - 3. Deep South is the final work in a trilogy exploring what dance and performance means to people living in the rural United States. Research for the project was led by Alex Ketley in collaboration with Miguel Gutierrez, Sarah Dionne Woods and Michelle Boulé. Deep South uses conversation and impromptu performance to yield intimate portraits of place.

The second weekend of the festival, June 9 - 10, features two performances each running twice nightly. In the world premiere of Delicate Material, Jenkinson summons her drag queen alter ego Fauxnique into the realm of contemporary dance as she "explores feminist rage, reads critical theory as high camp, and confronts the ruptures caused by the stress of difference."

Maurya Kerr's tinypistol Dance Company will premiere a trilogy of three dances inspired by literary texts and "the belief that telling truths in public is a form of protest."

In keeping with the spirit of the festival, each Saturday of the two-weekend event will feature off-site performances in walking distance of ODC's campus in the Mission. The Joe Goode Annex, located at 499 Alabama Street, will host a double bill featuring Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joanna Haigood in the remount of excerpts from her 2013 performance installation Between Me and the Other World, exploring the relevance of W. E. B. Du Bois' concept of "double consciousness" to the experience of people of color in the United States today.

Sharing the bill with Haigood are artists from the Black Choreographers Festival performing a new work conceived and directed by Laura Elaine Ellis, executive director of the African & African American Performing Arts Coalition and co-director of the Black Choreographers Festival. Titled Soul to Soul: An Artistic Response to Baldwin and Coates, this collaborative work draws on the writings of James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates to illuminate contemporary issues related to race and social justice.

Soul to Soul and Between Me and the Other World will rotate in performance each Saturday afternoon during the festival. Admission is free.

October 5 - 7
Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

Marksman is a new sextet by New York-based choreographer Kate Weare, featuring an original score from composer Curtis Robert Macdonald and set design by artist Clifford Ross. "Marksman acknowledges the beauty and futility of our own willfulness," writes Weare. "Marksman looks at the precision we use to intuit one another with senses remote from modern consciousness yet imperative to survival. Through peripheral awareness, reflex, synchrony, magnetism and repulsion we must reckon with the sheer forcefulness and fragility of our own formation." Weare draws inspiration from Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery: "The [master] marksman aims at himself."

October 26 - 28
Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

After their sold-out, critically acclaimed world premiere at ODC Theater last summer, RAWdance returns for an encore presentation of Double Exposure. "An epic production that is greater than the sum of its parts," raved Claudia Bauer in DanceTabs. A "smart movement experiment that...calls on us to broaden our viewpoint and think more deeply about what's happening on stage," wrote Jenny Thompson reviewing a presentation last month at The Joyce Theater in New York.

A series of 12 duets each choreographed by a different West Coast choreographer or choreographic team, Double Exposure offers a snapshot of the contemporary dance landscape in the U.S. RAWdance founders and artistic directors Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith are the sole performers, shifting rapidly to interpret the distinct aesthetics of Amy O'Neal, Amy Seiwert, Ann Carlson, casebolt and smith, David Roussève, Holly Johnston, Joe Goode, Kate Wallich, KT Nelson, Monique Jenkinson, Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga, and Tahni Holt.

November 30 - December 2
Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

Six Degrees of Freedom is a new evening-length work created by ShelDon Smith and Lisa Wymore, artistic directors of Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. Featuring six performers in a tightly confined space, this physical theater work continues the company's ongoing interest in creating technologically augmented live performance. Most of the performance will take place in what appears to be a deconstructed virtual reality cave akin to the infamous holodeck of Star Trek fame. The space will be enlivened by multiple video projections, live feed cameras and a computer system that dictates various aspects of the work in real-time.


ODC Theater participates in the creation of new works through commissioning, presenting, mentorship and space access; it develops informed, engaged and committed audiences; and it advocates for the performing arts as an essential component to the region's economic and cultural development. The Theater is the site of over 120 performances a year involving nearly 1,000 local, regional, national and International Artists.

Since 1976, ODC Theater has been the mobilizing force behind countless San Francisco artists and the foothold for national and international touring artists seeking debut in the Bay Area. The Theater, founded by Brenda Way and currently under the direction of Julie Potter, has earned its place as a cultural incubator by dedicating itself to creative change-makers, those leaders who give the Bay Area its unmistakable definition and flare. Nationally known artists Spaulding Gray, Diamanda Galas, Bill T. Jones, Eiko & Koma, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Karole Armitage, Sarah Michelson, Brian Brooks and John Heginbotham are among those whose first San Francisco appearance occurred at ODC Theater.

Related Articles View More Dance Stories

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram