FACT/SF Presents 5th Annual FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival

The FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival is part of FACT/SF's Fieldwork, a set of programs that provide resources and opportunities to contemporary dance artists.

By: Jun. 03, 2024
FACT/SF Presents 5th Annual FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival
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FACT/SF has announced its 5th Annual Summer Dance Festival bringing together an array of contemporary dance works by choreographers from the Bay Area and beyond.

FACT/SF Artistic Director Charles Slender-White, explains, "The purpose of the Festival is to juxtapose a variety of works to spur dialogue, support artists and artistic growth, and present to audiences a range of perspectives." The 5th annual Summer Dance Festival contains two programs, seven artists/companies and a total of nine premiers.

Program One, which runs August 16, 17 and 18, features the world premiere of Half Time, Full Out by FACT/SF and the West Coast premiere of Varvara by Jenna Riegel (Amherst, MA). Program Two runs August 23, 24 and 25 featuring seven world premiere works by the Bay Area's FACT/SF, Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş, Zoe Huey, and Erin Yen alongside visiting artists Sophie Allen (Chicago, IL) and Summation Dance / LA (Los Angeles, CA).

Performances of Program One are Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17 at 8pm, and Sunday, August 18 at 3pm. Performances of Program Two are Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24 at 8pm and Sunday, August 25 at 3pm. Tickets are $15-$35 and are available at https://factsf.org/

The FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival is part of FACT/SF's Fieldwork, a set of programs that provide resources and opportunities to contemporary dance artists from the Bay Area and beyond. All artists in Program Two were curated by an eight-person panel via an open application process. FACT/SF received applications from 50 artists, and all were paid to apply. In its inaugural year, Heather Desaulniers of DanceTabs calls the FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival, "a very strong debut and a great addition to the SF dance festival circuit."

Program One - August 16-18

Performed by a cast of eight performers and directed by Charles Slender-White, Half Time, Full Out is a non-stop dance routine inspired by halftime shows, aerobic gymnastics competitions, cheerleading, pop music, and sparkles. The work is the culmination of Slender-White's larger project, QAF (Queer Athletic Futurity), which imagines athletic spaces that celebrate queer identity. The piece is informed by Slender-White's own experience as a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, and former member of the UC Berkeley Men's Diving Team. Slender-White was one of only two out athletes while competing for Cal from 2002-2004.

Previous iterations of QAF have been produced at the Presidio's Tunnel Tops Park, in collaboration with the Presidio Trust, CHEER SF, and SF Gay Softball League, with support from the Presidio Trust, National Park Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the California Arts Council.

Varvara, a solo work by Jenna Riegel, is inspired by the life and creative work of Russian Constructivist artist, Varvara Stepanova. Konstantin Rudnitsky wrote, "The human body was perceived as a machine: man had to learn to control that machine. It was the theatre's function to demonstrate the fine-tuning of the human 'mechanisms.'" Varvara comments on this Constructivist view of theatre's function by exploring the body's reaction to considering it as a mechanization versus allowing it to be its own chaotic mess of expression. The work weaves together the worlds of Stepanova and Riegel through an interplay of what is real and what is imagined.

Program Two - August 23-25

The fruits of your labour (world premiere) performed by a multi-generational cast of Summation Dance / LA (Los Angeles, CA) investigates how capitalism lives in our bodies, from the intrusive thought patterns that consume us to the ways we conform to the systems in place.

Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş's duet the ends of Axis (world premiere) highlights the experience of mental illness from two perspectives: to witness and be witnessed within the complexities of a crisis, and the sense of loss that results when there are few directions to turn. With original sound by Panamanian composer David Caparó, projection design by New York-based video artist Cameron Surh, and performance by local dancers Tamara Chu and Maddy Bullard, the work explores how the incorporation of visual art in performance can enhance the audience's understanding of the internal conflict of the performer.

Erin Yen's contemporary solo Run-On (world premiere) draws inspiration from her late grandmother, Honey Heaney, who was known to weave a tale at the kitchen table. Run-On invites audiences to view storytelling from multiple perspectives as they go on a journey that meanders, backtracks, and has a clear point... eventually.

The solo Hot, live and otherwise (world premiere) by Sophie Allen (Chicago, IL) is inspired by the 1981-2000 anti-nuclear protests of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp in Berkshire, England and is catalyzed by divergent familial tracings and other unsettled life fragments that get stuck between rocks and hard places.

In the duet Sister Score (world premiere) Zoe Huey engages performance as a site of dialogue between drawing and dance.

FACT/SF will premiere two works directed by Slender- White: Transform, a solo performed by Slender-White, and Extra, a quartet performed by Keanu Brady, Katherine Neumann, LizAnne Roman Roberts, and Slender-White. Both are works about birth, death, desire, and rebirth.


FACT/SF is a San Francisco-based contemporary dance company, founded in 2008 by Charles Slender-White as a platform for organizing collaborators, building community, and creating choreography. FACT/SF regularly performs in the San Francisco Bay Area, maintains a core group of local collaborators, and has developed an extensive international network of partners. FACT/SF has premiered 42 works, with tours throughout the US, across Russia, and to Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Macedonia. The US Department of State has twice supported FACT/SF's tours abroad. In 2024, FACT/SF became one of ODC Theater's five Home Companies.

The FACT/SF Summer Dance Festival is part of FACT/SF Fieldwork, a set of programs that nourish the contemporary dance ecology by providing opportunities, support, and material resources to fellow artists. In addition to the Festival, Fieldwork currently includes Production Support Grants, Fiscal Sponsorship, Summer Dance Lab Scholarships, and a touring platform, PORT (Peer Organized Reciprocal Touring). In 2022, FACT/SF became the first dance company in the US to pay artists to apply to its programs.

Charles Slender-White (he/him/any) is a contemporary dance artist, educator, instigator, organizer, and the Artistic Director of FACT/SF. Slender-White believes that artists deserve a living wage and that artists' labor should be recognized, and he utilizes FACT/SF as a framework to realize these values, make art, and engage community. His work has been funded by the Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Fund for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the SF Arts Commission, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and numerous others. He is one of 52 Countertechnique Teachers worldwide, works on faculty at the American Dance Festival, and recently served as a Guest Curator and Resident Strategist at ODC Theater from 2021-2023. Slender-White spent 2012 in mentorship with Elizabeth Streb via MJDC's CHIME Across Borders and has been mentored by Dutch choreographer and Countertechnique founder, Anouk van Dijk, since 2005. He began his career with Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with degrees in Dance & Performance Studies and English Literature.

FACT/SF's 2024 season, including the Festival and the premiere of Half Time, Full Out, is made possible with support from the Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Fund for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, QAF Co-Producers, and ODC Theater.


Jenna Riegel, originally from Fairfield, Iowa, is a dance artist and movement educator. Jenna holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Maharishi International University. During her 11-year performing career in New York City, Riegel toured and performed nationally and internationally with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, Alexandra Beller/ Dances and Bill Young/ Colleen Thomas & Company. She also danced with Daara Dance (choreographer Michel Kouakou), Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Shaneeka Harrell, Tania Isaac Dance and johannes weiland. She has been on faculty in the dance departments of Barnard College, The Juilliard School and Virginia Commonwealth University and at the American Dance Festival and the Bates Dance Festival. Riegel is currently an Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance at Amherst College.

Sophie Minouche Allen performs, choreographs, and teaches throughout Chicago and nationally. Notably, she performs with Fever Dream Dance Collective; was selected as a Midwest RAD Fest 2024 Alternative Spaces Choreographer/Performer, DanceWorks Chicago/Thodos Dance Chicago's New Dances 2024 Choreographer, and FACT/SF 2024 Summer Dance Festival Artist; teaches at The Joffrey Academy of Dance, The Rooted Space and co-facilitates the Chicago Countertechnique Community class-series. Her work is shaped by cycles of care between her Oma, Mom and herself, grounding her artistry in shades of love, womanhood and vulnerability. Sophie holds a B.F.A. in Dance and B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Michigan, and is a certified Countertechnique Teacher.

Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş is a Turkish-American poet, dance artist, and filmmaker engaging with the disciplines of choreography and visual art as tools for grasping poetic language. She has or will serve as a resident artist at Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Stapleton School for the Performing Arts, Center at Eagle Hill (MA), Surel's Place (ID), and Tofte Lake Center (MN). She has been commissioned by Sadler's Wells (UK) for her dance writing and by World Stage Design (Canada) and 92NY's Future Dance Festival (New York) for her choreography. Maxine received a B.F.A. in Dance (magna cum laude) from NYU Tisch and an M.A. in Dance Philosophy (with distinction) from University of Roehampton London as a US-UK Fulbright Finalist. She currently dances with MovingGround and pateldanceworks, teaches as a poet in the schools for CalPoets and Gallery Route One, and directs youth dance company, Body Language at Roco Dance.

Zoe Huey is a multidisciplinary artist and a dance educator born, raised, and currently residing on unceded Ohlone land aka Oakland. They explore ways that visual practice (drawing & painting), dance improvisation, and performance inform one another - in process and final form. Their approach to making is deeply influenced by their work with kids. Huey is mixed-race Chinese American, currently living in-between genders, dog-mom to Sesame, and hopefully an oak or redwood in another life.

Taryn Vander Hoop (she/her), Director of Summation Dance / LA is a dancer, choreographer, educator and producer. She received a B.S. in Dance with additional majors in English Literature and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is the co-founder of Summation Dance, an NYC/LA based modern dance company, called "full of energy and creativity" by The New York Times. Summation has performed at Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Judson Memorial Church, Jacob's Pillow, and more, and received commissions from numerous venues and universities across the country. Taryn is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and mother of two.

Erin Yen is a mixed-race professional dancer and choreographer currently residing in San Mateo, CA. Yen has performed as part of Margaret Jenkin's 50th Anniversary Show and Trolley Dances SF, and at venues including Dance Mission Theater, Oakland Theater Project, CounterPulse, the Green Room, and Glenn Park. Most recently, Yen has begun to teach Contemporary, Contemporary Fusion, Contemporary Floor Work and other movement workshops for adult dancers in the Bay Area. Yen's choreography has been featured at SAFEhouse, Levy Salon, Performance Primers, RAWdance's Concept Series, ODC's State of Play, ODC's Pilot Program 73, and ODC Theater. Yen is the founder of contemporary dance company Dragons Dance.


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