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San Francisco Trolley Dances Returns in October

San Francisco Trolley Dances Returns in October

The festival runs October 22 - 23.

San Francisco Trolley Dances Returns in October

Epiphany Dance Theater has announced the program for the 19th annual San Francisco Trolley Dances (SFTD) October 22 - 23. Under the direction of Epiphany Artistic Director Kim Epifano and Managing Director Zoë Klein, this year's route connects San Francisco's South of Market to Chinatown along the city's new Central Subway, the Muni T-Line extension.

Participating artists include Ballet22, Charya Burt, Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company, Grrrl Brigade and Megan Lowe Dances, in addition to Epiphany Dance Theater. A total of 10 tours are scheduled over the weekend starting at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. Each South of Market to Chinatown tour runs approximately two hours.

In addition, audiences have the option of attending just the second half of the tour starting at Woh Hei Yuen Park located at 1 John St in Chinatown. Half-tour start times are 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Half tours run 45 minutes to one hour, and conclude at Portsmouth Bridge at the Chinese Cultural Center.

Admission to SFTD is free with RSVP. Reservations will become available at epiphanydance.net/san-francisco-trolley-dances starting in early September.

"This year, we're proud to honor the grand opening of Muni's new Central Subway T-Line extension from SoMa to Chinatown," said Epifano. "This extension recognizes the importance of San Francisco's Asian and immigrant communities who have contributed so much vibrancy and economic growth to the city," added Klein.

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. The first performance on this year's tour will take place at the East Garden at Yerba Buena Gardens, located directly across from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Ballet22, founded by Roberto Vega Ortiz and Theresa Knudson, was chosen for this site. The two-year-old company has drawn national attention for its ensemble of cis-male, trans and non-binary dancers performing en pointe. Named to Dance Magazine's 2022 list of dancemakers to watch, "Ballet22 is overturning ballet's rules about who gets to dance, what they get to dance and how they get to dance," (Dance Magazine). For SFTD, Ballet22 is working with Durante Verzola, a freelance choreographer who has made ballets on Miami City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Joffrey Studio Company and Ballet Chicago, among many others.

From the East Garden, attendees will walk to the Oche Wat Te Ou Reflection Garden at Yerba Buena Gardens, an area intended for poetry readings, storytelling and other events in the oral tradition, as well as a memorial to the Ohlone Indian burial ground that at one time existed in this area. Charya Burt, a renowned performer and vocalist in Cambodian classical dance, will perform at this site. The Dance/USA Fellow and Izzie award-winner has been performing throughout the United States since 1993.

Next on the tour is Grrrl Brigade performing at the Children's Creativity Museum. Grrrl Brigade is a dance leadership program that fosters female empowerment through dance. With members between the ages of 9 and 18, the program offers instruction in modern dance, taiko drumming, hip hop, belly dance and social justice rooted in feminist thought.

From the Children's Creativity Museum the tour then moves to Chinatown. Attendees will enter the brand new Yerba Buena / Moscone Center Station at 4th and Folsom Streets, and get off at the new Chinatown / Rose Pak Station at Stockton and Washington Streets.

The Flying Angels has been based in San Francisco for more than 30 years. Under the leadership of Kim Toriumi-Quon, the company will perform a new work choreographed by company member Kevin Wong who blends traditional Chinese dance technique with a range of other styles including hip hop, ballet and capoeira. The Flying Angels will perform at Woh Hei Yuen Park located between John and Powell Streets.

As a self-described "fierce female dancer of Chinese and Irish descent," Megan Lowe has performed with numerous dance companies locally including Flyaway Productions, Lenora Lee Dance, Lizz Roman & Dancers, as well as Epiphany Dance Theater. Under the banner of Megan Lowe Dances, she explores her own movement aesthetic, an explosive mix of contact improvisation, partnering and vocalization. For SFTD this year, Lowe will be joined by performers Brenton Cheng, Shira Yaziv, Sonsherée Giles, among others, at the Willy "Woo Woo" Wong Playground.

Finally, Epiphany Dance Theater will perform along the Portsmouth Bridge at the Chinese Cultural Center. For this year's performance, Epifano has invited Joey Chang aka Cello Joe to collaborate. Chang's signature style combines classical cello with beatboxing, looping and singing.

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 epiphanydance.net/san-francisco-trolley-dances. As in the past, on demand video of this year's tour will be available to the public starting November 5.

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO TROLLEY DANCES

San Francisco Trolley Dances (SFTD) is produced by Epiphany Dance Theater, founded by Kim Epifano in 1997. An annual event now in its 19th year, SFTD is presented free to the public over one weekend every October. Epifano and Managing Director Zoë Klein curate 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, and the event functions as a creative lab for groups of six to seven choreographers each year. 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," directed by Kayla May Paz Suarez, is the educational programming arm of SFTD that has served Bay Area students, elementary school to college, through in-school lecture demonstrations and workshops led by teaching artists. On October 21, 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 epiphanydance.net/san-francisco-trolley-dances.

 




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