SFDanceworks' Inaugural Season at ODC Theater Set for June

SFDanceworks, a repertory dance company founded by San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko, is proud to announce its inaugural season, co-presented in association with ODC Theater. Featured are three world premieres, including works by Dana Genshaft, Penny Saunders and Sofranko, with two additional pieces by Lar Lubovitch and Alejandro Cerrudo. SFDanceworks' inaugural season runs Thursday to Saturday, June 23 - 25 at ODC Theater. All performances start at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $45, and may be purchased online at odcdance.org/tickets.

"SFDanceworks aims to fill a specific need in the Bay Area dance scene," says Sofranko. "As a contemporary repertory company, it doesn't represent just one choreographer. Rather its mission is to showcase masterworks alongside new works from emerging dance makers, within a wide range of styles."

To that end, Sofranko has curated a season with a mix of the classic and the new. Lubovitch, one of the most highly regarded choreographers of his generation, accepted the invitation to reprise an excerpt from one of his best known dances, Concerto Six Twenty-Two, which premiered in 1986 to great acclaim. SFDanceworks presents the Concerto's adagio movement, featuring a duet for Tobin Del Cuore and Garrett Anderson.

Among the emerging choreographers represented in the program is Saunders, who danced with the American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Arizona, MOMIX Dance Theater and Cedar Lake Ensemble, before joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2004. In conjunction with Grand Rapids Ballet, SFDanceworks will present the world premiere of Saunders' Joe & Ida, a sextet to be performed by Anderson, Genshaft, Ben Needham-Wood, Amber Neumann, Kendall Teague and Anne Zivolich.

"Joe & Ida is a light-hearted take on some themes of romantic love," says Saunders. "It's about three couples at various stages of maturity. Sometimes they flirt, sometimes argue -- it's been a really fun piece to make."

Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street the year after Saunders, becoming the company's first resident choreographer in 2009. The Spanish native has since moved on to work with companies around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, earning a raft of honors along the way. SFDanceworks will present one of his earlier choreographic works, Lickety Split, created for Hubbard Street in 2006. A playful dance for three couples, Lickety Split is set to songs of Devendra Banhart.

Genshaft and Sofranko, both joined San Francisco Ballet in 2000, and SFDanceworks will premiere solos by each of them. Neumann will perform Genshaft's Portrait, a work which draws inspiration from the life of Georges Sand, a French novelist known for her romantic links to the composer Frédéric Chopin as well as her preference for men's clothes. "I'm interested in the way Sand challenged the way a woman could define herself," said Genshaft. Portrait is set to music by Max Richter.

During his tenure at the San Francisco Ballet, Sofranko has distinguished himself as a performer "of wit and flair," and as a budding choreographer of works that are "elegantly wrought and intensely musical" (San Francisco Chronicle). He has choreographed for San Francisco Ballet's Trainee Program, as well as the Long Beach Ballet, Marin Dance Theater and Contra Costa Ballet. For SFDanceworks, he created a new solo, Z, named for dancer Zivolich, who recently ended her 12-year career with ODC/Dance. Zivolich and Sofranko have known one another since they were classmates together at the Juilliard School. Z is set to music of Bob Crosby.

For more information about SFDanceworks' inaugural season at ODC Theater visit sfdanceworks.org.

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