ODC's Walking Distance Dance Festival Returns May 12-19

ODC's Walking Distance Dance Festival Returns May 12-19

ODC Theater announces the eighth annual Walking Distance Dance Festival, May 12 - 19, featuring artists from Los Angeles and the Bay Area in three programs based in and around ODC's two-building Mission district campus. Tickets, $15 - $60, are now on sale at odc.dance/wddf or by phone at 415-863-9834.

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; Barak Marshall, the former house choreographer of Batsheva Dance Company, now artist in residence at the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance; and ODC/Dance Associate Choreographer and ODC School Director Kimi Okada.

"This year's Festival invites deep listening both within the body and across landscapes and public space," said ODC Theater Director Julie Potter. "It offers opportunities to dip into the speculative future, consider biorhythms of the heart and to enjoy a playful appearance by a cast of canines.


Mary Armentrout Dance Theater | listening creates an opening

May 12 - 14, 2019

Sunday to Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Mary Armentrout Dance Theater kicks off the Walking Distance Dance Festival, Sunday, May 12 to Tuesday, May 14, with three performances of listening creates an opening, a roving "technology/embodiment puzzle," that will lead audiences on a circuitous path into and out of ODC Theater with stops at Blackbird Guitars on Folsom Street and Chan Kaajal Park at Folsom and Shotwell Streets. Listening creates an opening "asks how we listen and what we hear - and what we do next once we have started to hear." Based in San Francisco, Mary Armentrout Dance Theater is the collaborative team of Mary Armentrout (performance/video), Evelyn Ficarra(sound/installation) and Ian Winters (video/installation). Listening creates started as a commissioned project of EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performance Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.


I. Kinetech Arts | Resonant Frequencies

II. USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance | MONGER by Barak Marshall

May 16 - 17, 2019

Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.

The Walking Distance Dance Festival continues Thursday and Friday, May 16 - 17, with a double bill featuring Kinetech Arts and the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Founded in 2013 by Daiane Lopes da Silva and Weidong Yang, Kinetech Arts creates performances at the intersection of dance and technology. For Walking Distance, ODC Theater will present Kinetech's Resonant Frequencies, an immersive performance combining biometric data from dancers' hearts in real time with dance, poetry and music. "We strive to illuminate information on the essence of our beings, our need for intimacy, connection, trust and our most current state as individuals and as a community," said Yang. Resonant Frequencies will take place in ODC Theater.

Across the street in Studio B. at ODC Dance Commons, ten male dancers from USC Kaufman will perform MONGER choreographed by Barak Marshall. Since welcoming its inaugural class in fall 2015, USC Kaufman has hosted some of the leading artistic voices in dance, and Artist-in-Residence Marshall will set his work on the students and travel with them to San Francisco. MONGER tells the story of a group of servants trapped in the basement of the house of an abusive mistress. With elements from Gypsy, Balkan, rock and Western classical music, this physical theater piece explores the compromises one makes in order to survive. MONGER premiered October 25, 2008 in Tel Aviv.


I. ODC/Dance | Canine Comfort

II. d. Sabela grimes | ELECTROGYNOUS

May 18 - 19, 2019

Saturday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

USC Kaufman will also be represented on the final weekend of Walking Distance, May 18 - 19, with performances by d. Sabela grimes in a double bill with ODC/Dance. An assistant professor of practice at USC Kaufman, with specialties in hip hop, dance history and improvisation, grimes has been described as "the Los Angeles dance world's best-kept secret" and "one of a mere handful of artists who make up the vanguard of hip-hop fusion" (Los Angeles Times). In its Bay Area premiere, ELECTROGYNOUS marries Afrofuturistic soundscapes, video projection and movement. "Black gender spectrums are infinite, multi-dimensional and distinct manifestations of wombniversal consciousness," writes grimes. ELECTROGYNOUSwill take place inside ODC Theater.

Audiences will cross the street to Chan Kaajal Park for the final performance of the Festival. ODC/Dance returns with an expanded version of Canine Comfort, Kimi Okada's love letter to her dog in a time of personal loss. A 12-minute version of Canine Comfort, titled Gifts of Solace, premiered at last year's San Francisco Trolley Dances. The full company piece, which required a cast of 15 dogs, was Okada's first foray in choreographing animals.

Additional offerings of the Festival this year include several master classes as part of the ODC School Hotspot featuring Walking Distance artists, as well as a DIY heart rate monitor workshop with Kinetech Arts and a Theater member after-party. For more information, please visit odc.dance/wddf.

The Walking Distance Dance Festival is made possible with generous support from the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Artistic Venture Fund at ODC, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Photo credits clockwise from top left: Gema Galiana, Michael Valiquette, Weidong Yang, Yvonne M. Portra and Rose Eichenbaum.

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