From the Castro to the East Cut with site-specific performances by Babatunji & Charmaine, Epiphany Dance Theater, Joe Landini & Dancers and more.

By: Aug. 02, 2021

Epiphany Dance Theater has announced the program for the 18th annual San Francisco Trolley Dances, which will be offered both as an in-person as well as a virtual event over the weekend of October 16 - 17. This year's route begins at Rikki Streicher Field in the Castro before heading to one of San Francisco's newest neighborhoods, the East Cut. Participating artists include Babatunji & Charmaine, Joe Landini & Dancers, La Mezcla, Parangal Dance Company and Rising Rhythm, in addition to Epiphany Dance Theater. A total of 10 tours are scheduled over the weekend, five each day starting at 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. Each tour runs approximately two hours. Admission to SFTD is free, but reservations for the in-person tours will be limited. Starting in mid-August, reservations will be available at

Each year Epiphany Dance Theater matches Bay Area-based artists and ensembles with specific sites, inviting them to create an 8- to 12-minute piece in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area. This year's roster of artists includes the pair of Babatunji & Charmaine, otherwise known as Babatunji Johnson and Charmaine Butcher, two of the most electrifying freelance dancers in the region, performing with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Post:Ballet and SFDanceworks, among others.

Joe Landini is the founder and executive director of SAFEhouse Arts, an essential venue for emerging and experimental dance and performing artists based in the Tenderloin. He will direct a team of affiliated artists for SFTD.

La Mezcla is a dance and music ensemble rooted in Chicana, Latina and Indigenous traditions and the values of social justice. Founded in 2014 by Vanessa Sanchez, La Mezcla combines tap dance, Son Jarocho and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to bring to light the histories and experiences of communities of color.

Parangal is a Philippine folk dance company under the artistic direction of Eric Solano. With a mission to foster awareness and appreciation of Philippine culture, the company, based in South of Market since 2008, sponsors research in the Southeast Asian archipelago, returning to California with performances combining traditional clothing and crafts, live music and dance.

Established in 2014 by Jessica Maria Recinos, Rising Rhythm is a performing arts organization based out of the Excelsior district. The company specializes in the performance of a wide range of hip hop and street dance styles with the goal of empowering the Bay Area's Black and brown communities.

Finally, Epiphany Dance Theater, founded by Kim Epifano in 1997, through its performance and educational initiatives reaches about 10,000 people each year. SFTD is the company's signature annual event. Joining Epifano as co-curator this year is Epiphany Managing Director Jes DeVille.

"SFTD spotlights those corners and communities of San Francisco which have proudly retained their unique aesthetics and identities," said DeVille. "At the same time, it showcases the city in flux, and perhaps no neighborhood is seeing as rapid change as the East Cut, formerly known as Rincon Hill. In the Castro, we're partnering with the GLBT Historical Society to uncover stories of resilience, and in the East Cut we're partnering with local businesses to witness progress toward sustainability - and with a global groove."

At each site, trained volunteers greet audience members, while professional theater artists act as tour guides leading audiences along the performance journey. In addition to taking public transit, attendees have the option to walk or bike to the performance sites on their own. Route maps will be available on site and online at


San Francisco Trolley Dances (SFTD) is produced by Epiphany Dance Theater. An annual event now in its 18th year, SFTD is presented free to the public over one weekend every October. Artistic Director Kim Epifano curates the large-scale, site-specific event, working to sustain a public-private partnership that involves the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority, multiple professional Bay Area artists and ensembles, and the neighborhoods and community sites where the route is placed each year. SFTD aims to introduce audiences to new neighborhoods and new dance companies that reflect an array of sensibilities, cultures and styles. The unpredictable sounds and sights of San Francisco intermingle with the spontaneity of public response to ensure a dynamic, meaningful experience for audiences and performers.

"Kids on Track" is the educational programming arm of SFTD that has served Bay Area elementary through college students through in-school lecture demonstrations and workshops led by teaching artists. On October 15, Kids on Track students and their teachers are invited to experience SFTD performances on reserved tours culminating in a conversation with the featured artists. For more information, visit