Since 1979 Joanna has been creating work that uses natural, architectural and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Her stages have included grain terminals, a clock tower, the pope’s palace, military forts, and a mile of urban neighborhood streets in the South Bronx. Her work has been commissioned by many arts institutions, including Dancing in the Streets, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Walker Arts Center, the Exploratorium Museum, the National Black Arts Festival, and Festival d'Avignon. She has also been honored with the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cal/Alpert Award in Dance, the US Artist Fellowship, and a New York Bessie Award. Most recently, Haigood was a recipient of the esteemed Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Joanna has had the privilege to mentor many extraordinary young artists internationally at the National École des Arts du Cirque in France, the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in England, Spelman College, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, the San Francisco Circus Center and at Zaccho Studio.
Goldie and Izzie Award winner Shakiri has been a performer and choreographer in the San Francisco Bay Area for over thirty years. Her improvisational style developed by performing to live music and by working with the great Ed Mock helped her to become one of the Bay Area’s most exciting and energetic performers. 4’7 Shakiri learned her stature would not allow her to go the traditional route. As a result Shakiri, who has studied African Haitian, various styles of African, modern, and jazz has performed in all genres, and used her experience to develop work of her own. Shakiri has written, directed, and choreographed several dance and theater pieces including, With My Face On Their Face, Breathe, Barnstormin’, and And Their Children’s Children. Her work has a reputation for confronting difficult issues and has been listed twice on the “Best Ten” of the year by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Shakiri is a member of the internationally acclaimed Zaccho Dance Theater Company touring around the country and abroad since 1988. Shakiri has choreographed for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, danced and toured with Dance Brigade, Ellen Sebastian, Hassan Al Falak, and with her own company Shakiri/Rootworkers. She was a principle performer in famed Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie, and enjoyed dancing the part of Nutcracker for several years.
Shakiri is proud to be an arts educator and has taught kindergarten age children to adults at recreation centers schools, Colleges and Universities. She’s also a visual artist and has shown in local galleries, as a part of Art in Public Places, and taught at the Crocker Art Gallery this past summer. As a writer she has short stories published in Zica anthologies, and her latest novel 14 Years Later can be purchased from Amazon. She continues to work on her one woman show Lottie’s Ghosts premiered at Brava For Women in the Arts in San Francisco, and a piece dear to her heart titled Crazy Black Women addressing grief over murdered children. Shakiri is presently collaborating with Bay Area dance company NAKA on a project titled RACE, and an audio book in collaboration with singer composer Melanie Demore.
Azraa Muhammad is an emerging aerial artist, dancer and performer. She received her training from artistic director of Zaccho Dance Theatre, Joanna Haigood, and began flying with the Zaccho Youth Company at the age of 7. After 10 years of training she began apprenticing as a member of Zaccho Dance Theatre. A native of San Francisco, Azraa believes in drawing inspiration from current social and political issues, such as racial profiling, poverty, identity, and ancestry as a way of expression in her choreography. As a member of the Zaccho Youth Company, she has collaborated with and performed for Flyaway Productions, Baycat, Dance Vision Series Festival, California Youth Circus Center Festival, Circus for Arts in the Schools and much more. Her most recent projects include performing for the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) 2016 New Strands Festival and being featured in a promotional video for the Golden State Warriors honoring Black History Month. Apart from creating and performing, Azraa also enjoys teaching at Zaccho for the Youth Program of Center for Dance and Aerial Arts with a class of Aerial Dance technique for beginners.
Jo Kreiter is a nationally recognized choreographer and site artist with a background in political science. She engages physical innovation and the political conflicts we live within. Kreiter’s tools include community collaboration, a masterful use of place, an intersectional feminist lens and a body-based push against the constraints of gravity. She makes large scale public art via apparatus-based dance. Her work democratizes public space. Jo has spent 25 years building coalitions with women marginalized by race, class, gender and workplace inequities. Noted partners include Essie Justice Group, UC Hastings Center for Work-life Law, Tenderloin Museum, Code Tenderloin, Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center, and Tradeswomen, Inc. Her work has been supported by Guggenheim and Rauschenberg Fellowships, New England Foundation for the Arts, the and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Work Fund, Wattis and Rainin Foundations, the CA Arts Council, SF Arts Commission, and by seven IZZY awards. She is currently creating The Decarceration Trilogy: Dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex One Dance at a Time.
Jarrel Phillips is a Capoeira performer and instructor from San Francisco. Recently, he’s been featured in When We Move, a short film by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Picture Bayview Hunters Point, a production by choreographer Joanna Haigood. Phillips believes that through movement we embody, explore and share our stories; enriched with information, feelings and experiences.
Meche is a native San Franciscan, singer-songwriter, music educator, aerialist, and aerial instructor. She feels fortunate to have been trained in aerial dance since she was 12 years old with Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Joanna Haigood and is an alumna member of the Zaccho Youth Company. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2018, Meche has also been a teaching assistant with Zaccho’s youth education programs. Meche has a multidisciplinary approach to her artistic work. As a performer, Meche has collaborated with and performed for Flyaway Productions, Youth Circus Center Festival, and BAYCAT. She is also co-founder of The Humxn Collective, a creative consulting company for queer and BIPOC musicians. Over the years, Meche has contributed her songwriting, singing, and acting talents to Zaccho performances. She especially loves working with Zaccho because of the social justice aspects of their work. Through dance, choreography, and music, Meche hopes to inspire youth to learn more about themselves and their communities.
Lydia Clinton, a Bay Area native, went to Point Park University receiving a BA in Dance (Modern). During college, she attended the American Dance Festival on scholarship and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance’s summer program. Since returning home, she has worked with AXIS Dance Company, Garrett+Moulton Productions, Cali & Co, Capacitor, PUSH Dance Company, and Zaccho Dance Theatre.
Flo is a Hip Hop dance teacher and professional dancer currently based in San Francisco, CA. Starting her training at age seven, Flo has studied all forms of dance, including Ballet, Modern and Jazz. At age fifteen, she began her Hip Hop dance training with well-renowned choreographer and director of Mind Over Matter dance company, Allan Frias. She proceeded to dance with his company for six years. After earning her high school diploma at Gateway High School, Flo dove straight into her career as a performing artist and at age eighteen she began teaching in the youth program at Dance Mission Theater and Chinese American International School. During those years, Flo performed nationally and traveled as far as China for the NBA China Tour. In addition, she began to pursue a career as a recording artist and secured performances on live television shows like BET’s 106th & Park and opened up for major artists such as Carl Cox, LLOYD and J Holiday. Following her successes as an independently driven artist, Flo continued her studies in Music Business at the Berklee College of Music in Boston receiving her professional certificate in music business. Currently, Flo is expanding her skill set to develop a routine that will inspire others to live healthy and balanced lives. She is passionate about living at one's full potential and believes through artistic and physical expressions such as dance, there is opportunity to learn more about oneself whilst simultaneously developing mind and body awareness.
Terrence Paschal has been dancing professionally since 2011. His main influences in dance are Turfing, Bruk Up, and Flexing. More recently he has started training in House Dance as well as ballet and modern to experience other more traditional dance forms. He enjoys incorporating freestyle elements and the history of street dance culture into his classes. Terrence has appeared in the works of PUSH Dance Company and the Embodiment Project and is an arts educator teaching in both San Francisco and Oakland.