ODC Theater Announces 2019 Season

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ODC Theater Announces 2019 Season

ODC Theater, part of the most active center for contemporary dance on the West Coast, has announced its 2019 Season, a program demonstrating the organization's commitment to fostering new performance and to introducing the work of esteemed artists from across the globe to new audiences.

Highlights of next year's season include new works by Bay Area veterans KatieFaulkner and Risa Jaroslow, as well as West Coast premieres of major projects by New York-based artists Adia Whitaker and Tere O'Connor. Larry Arrington, a member of ODC Theater's new cohort of Resident Artists, will take audiences behind the scenes of a work-in-process in ODC's Theater Unplugged series. And this May, the annual Walking Distance Dance Festival features West Coast choreographers including Mary Armentrout, d. Sabela grimes, Kinetech Arts, Barak Marshall and ODC's flagship dance company, ODC/Dance.

"This edition of the Walking Distance Dance Festival, with outdoor and roving performances, as well as dance presentations across ODC's two-building campus, invites deep listening both within the body and across landscapes and public space," said ODC Theater Director Julie Potter. "More broadly, the 2019 Theater Season proposes imaginative worlds and strategies for our times: rituals for navigating uncertainty, perspectives on labor and dignity, embodied song for healing and undoing habits, and dance as a way of knowing."

In 2019, ODC Theater is also proud to partner with Hope Mohr Dance's Bridge Project, the Merce Cunningham Trust and SFMOMA's Open Space in celebration of the centennial of Cunningham's birth. Considered among the most important choreographers of all time, Cunningham was active for over 70 years. ODC Theater joins numerous theaters and organizations around the world in a yearlong series of events in honor of Cunningham and his legacy. Under the direction of Mohr's Bridge Project, 10 Bay Area artists will create new work in response to Cunningham's repertory.

A chronological list of ODC Theater's 2019 Season follows. For more information, visit odc.dance.

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February 1

Friday @ 7:30 p.m.

Studio B, ODC Dance Commons

ODC's Unplugged series is a recurring platform offering a rare and candid look into the creative process. In this edition, ODC's flagship company, ODC/Dance, will focus on Path of Miracles, choreographed by ODC/Dance Co-Director KT Nelson. The work was created in collaboration with San Francisco-based choral group Volti, and this behind-the-scenes showing will unearth the process of making dance on non-dancers.

Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC/Dance was one of the first American companies to incorporate a postmodern sensibility, with an appreciation for pedestrian movement, into a virtuosic contemporary dance technique, and to commit major resources to interdisciplinary collaboration and musical commissions for the repertory.


Divining (world premiere)

February 14 - 16

Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

Katie Faulkner founded little seismic dance company in 2006 as a vehicle for her own choreographic inventions. A former Resident Artist at ODC Theater, Faulkner has also held prestigious residencies at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, the Rauschenberg Residency and the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, among others. Her latest project, Divining, draws inspiration from rituals from around the world, examining "the state of insecurity that compels us to ritualize behavior, as well as the various states that emerge in response to ritual itself: meditation or prayer; connections felt to the past and to the future; and degrees of assurance from the belief that these practices provide answers." Divining features a quartet of dancers including Alex Carrington, Chin-chin Hsu, Tara McArthur and Suzette Sagisi.


At Your Service (world premiere)

February 21 - 23

Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

At Your Service is Risa Jaroslow & Dancers' third presentation at ODC Theater since Jaroslow moved to the Bay Area from New York in 2013. Her debut at ODC in 2015 included the West Coast premiere of Resist/Surrender, a production which was later nominated for an Izzy Award for Best Revival. For her newest project, a collaboration with vocalist and composer Amy X Neuburg, Jaroslow shines a light on "the underappreciated among us" - the teachers, nurses, firefighters, home caregivers and restaurant waitstaff - asking, How do we all serve one another? Performers include Emily Daly, Sydney Franz, Anna Greenberg, Kevin Lopez and Scott Marlowe.


May 12 - 19

ODC Theater's signature dance festival returns with a week of performances featuring works by West Coast choreographers including ODC's own Kimi Okada, who returns with Canine Comfort, which features a cast of dogs alongside ODC's dancers. With events occupying ODC's two-building campus and the surrounding neighborhood, the Festival's eclectic programming includes works from a range of influences - Gaga, physical theater, street dance, biometrics and site-specific "technology / embodiment puzzles." Featured artists include the San Francisco-based intermedia collective Mary Armentrout Dance Theater; 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow d. Sabela grimes; Kinetech Arts, a member of ODC Theater's newest cohort of resident artists; and Barak Marshall, the former house choreographer of Batsheva Dance Company.


SKETCH 9 (world premieres)

July 18 - 21

Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

This summer brings the ninth iteration of ODC Home Company Amy Seiwert's Imagery's celebrated SKETCH Series, an annual creative laboratory providing a safe place for risk-taking in ballet-based choreography. During an intensive five-week rehearsal period, three choreographers will each create a new ballet for the company. Original works by Amy Seiwert, Artistic Fellow Ben Needham-Wood and Chicago-based choreographer Stephanie Martinez explore new potentials on using projection as a theatrical lighting source, stepping out of the traditional mindset of how to light a ballet. SKETCH 9 is co-presented by Amy Seiwert's Imagery and ODC Theater.



July 25 - 27, August 1 - 3

Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

Delight in the exuberance of summer with a selection of spirited ODC/Dance repertory works - and one world premiere - representing all four of ODC's choreographers: Brenda Way, KT Nelson, Kimi Okada and Kate Weare.


August 29

Thursday @ 8 p.m.

ODC's Unplugged series is a recurring platform offering a rare and candid look into the creative process. This edition features a work-in-progress by ODC Theater Resident Artist Larry Arrington titled No Quarter. A folk dance, No Quarter explores "the shadow side and spiritual underpinnings of Eurocentric cultural tenets through a long lens of time."


Have K(NO!)w Fear, A Bluessical (West Coast premiere)

October 17 - 19

Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

À?? Dance Theatre Collective is a neo-folkloric performance ensemble drawing on traditions of the African diaspora. Under the direction of Adia Tamar Whitaker, originally from San Francisco, the Brooklyn-based company has performed throughout the New York region and toured several times to the Bay Area over the last 18 years. Whitaker, who has traveled and studied extensively throughout the Caribbean, Brazil and West Africa, teaches Afro-Haitian dance workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad. Next fall ODC Theater will present the West Coast premiere of Whitaker's Have K(NO!)w Fear: A Bluessical, a performance of ritual dance theater that the artist calls an "undoing spell to untie all the knots that choke the future" including "natural disasters, systematic oppression and forced migration." The evening will also screen an original film by Whitaker addressing the problem of police brutality.


Bay Area Artists in Conversation with Merce at 100 (world premieres)

November 8 - 9

Friday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

The Bridge Project is the curatorial arm of ODC Home Company Hope Mohr Dance, which approaches curating as a form of community organizing to facilitate equity-driven cultural conversations that cross discipline, geography and perspective. Next year The Bridge Project presents Bay Area Artists in Conversation with Merce at 100, a collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Trust, ODC Theater and SFMOMA's Open Space as part of the international celebration of the Cunningham centennial. The Bay Area Merce project has commissioned 10 Bay Area artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to study with former Cunningham dancers Rashaun Mitchell and SilasRiener, creating new works of art in response. These works will be presented alongside excerpts of Cunningham repertory by Bay Area dancers. The commissioned artists are Sofia Cordova, Maxe Crandall, Alex Escalante, Christy Funsch, Julie Moon, Jenny Odell, Nicole Peisl, Danishta Rivero, Dazaun Soleyn and Sophia Wang. SFMOMA's Open Space will commission an online series, and convene discursive events in conjunction with the workshops and performances.


Long Run (West Coast premiere)

November 14 - 16

Thursday - Saturday @ 8 p.m.

Tere O'Connor has been making dances for 35 years, touring nationally and internationally. The award-winning choreographer has also created numerous works for other dance companies including the Lyon Opera Ballet and White Oak Dance Project, and a solo for Mikhail Baryshnikov, titled Indoor Man. His many honors include a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a 2009 United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship and a 1999 Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2014 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

ODC Theater will present the West Coast premiere of O'Connor's Long Run (2017), a major new work which "pushes the emotional content of O'Connor's movement to new physical extremes, allowing time-based elements like polyrhythms, velocity and duration to become critical forces, overtaking the eight performers as they struggle to bring their bodies into a state of calm."

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. For more information about ODC Theater and all its programs visit www.odc.dance.

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