San Francisco Trolley Dances Announces 16th Annual Season

By: Jun. 12, 2019
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San Francisco Trolley Dances Announces 16th Annual Season

Epiphany Dance Theater has announced the program for the 16th annual San Francisco Trolley Dances (SFTD), October 19 to 20. This year's route travels along the J-Church Muni Metro light rail line, from the mid-Market/Tenderloin to Noe Valley. Participating companies include dawnsondancesf, GERALDCASELDANCE, Guillermo Galindo, Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, MoToR/dance, SoulForce, plus a preview of Epiphany Dance Theater's evening-length Rock & Mortar, premiering at Z Space in December.

A total of 12 tours are scheduled over the weekend, six each day starting at 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Each tour runs approximately two hours. Admission to SFTD is free with the cost of a Muni ticket.

Each year Kim Epifano, artistic director of Epiphany Dance Theater, matches artists and ensembles with specific sites, inviting them to create an 8- to 15-minute piece in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area.

"The 101-year-old J-Church line connects San Francisco's downtown to Noe Valley and beyond, passing by Dolores Park and through the hills with beautiful views of the city, said Epifano. This route brings back the feeling of old San Francisco. It is a ride not to be missed!"

This year's event will begin performance tours at the International Art Museum of America at 1023 Market Street. The nonprofit museum was founded in 2011 with a loan of approximately 100 works by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, growing to include an international collection of traditional calligraphy, Western oil paintings, modern ink brush landscapes, sculptures and portraits. This fall will mark the museum's first set of live performances, with an installation by Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, a group with more than 30 years of history in San Francisco.

The next stop on the tour is The Luggage Store. A veteran arts organization at 1007 Market Street, The Luggage Store has presented programs in music, film, the performing and visual arts since 1987. SoulForce, a hip hop dance company under the direction of Micaya, who also produces the San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest, will perform at this site.

Audiences will then travel one block, crossing Market Street, to the Center for New Music, a multipurpose venue offering musical performances, music-related exhibits and workshops. Gerald Casel and Guillermo Galindo will collaborate on a new piece at this site. Galindo's work explores sonic archetypes, time perception and music notation with an output across various disciplines, including chamber composition, graphic scores and sculpture alongside live performance art. Born in the Philippines and raised in California, Casel is a Bessie award-winning dancer and choreographer whose work explores race, identity and structures of power.

Audiences will then hop on the J-Church line at Powell Street en route to Noe Valley. Gregory Dawson, who first made a name for himself as one of the original members of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, formed his own award-winning contemporary ballet company, dawsondancesf, in 2007. Dawsondancesf will perform in Noe Valley Town Square.

The next stop is Doggy Style, Inc., a retail store and dog daycare on 24th Street, where Evie Ladin's all-female percussive dance company MoToR/dance will perform. The Oakland-based company harmonizes interlocking, percussive dance arrangements with Appalachian songs and African-diasporic rhythmic systems.
The 16th annual San Francisco Trolley Dances will culminate at the Bethany United Methodist Church on Sanchez Street. There, Epiphany Dance Theater will present a preview of Rock & Mortar, scheduled to premiere at Z Space in December. The project's international cast includes Epifano joined by women from Europe to Colombia, Iran and the United States. While on a visit to her ancestral home in Italy, Epifano began research for Rock & Mortar, which explores female archetypes as a way to heal matrilineal trauma.

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

Kids on Track is the educational programming arm of SFTD that since 2007 has served Bay Area elementary through college students through in-school lecture demonstrations and workshops led by teaching artists. On October 18, Kids on Track students and their teachers are invited to experience SFTD performances on reserved tours culminating in a conversation with the featured artists.

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