Happening in the Studio
Welcome to Zaccho Studio's AiR Blog! Here we highlight some of our past Resident Companies and the work they created at Zaccho.
Antic in a Drain (Ross Travis)
Antic in a Drain (Ross Travis) presents the West Coast Tour of 'Tempting Fate' at Little Boxes Theatre!

Originally developed at Zaccho Studio in 2019, Tempting Fate is a satirical sideshow entertainment reflecting the house of mirrors called climate change. Balk at the science, bemoan the social impacts, and scream in horror at the political divide. You’ll find yourself laughing at the grotesque hyperbole, and the fantastically fecund characters bedecked in disdain and hubris. See Mother Earth talk trash to those who bite her tit while suckling her life-giving abundance.

Where: Little Boxes Theater, 1661 Tennessee Street, Suite #2, San Francisco, CA, 94107

When: May 17 - 21st, 2023 (90 minutes)
6 performances at 8:00 pm nightly
Additional matinee on May 21st at 5:00 pm)

Tickets: $25-$50
Website to Buy Tickets: temptingfate.brownpapertickets.com
Amplify: An Intimate Interdisciplinary Exhibition & Celebration with Dazaun Soleyn
On May 13, 2023, Black Futures resident artist Dazaun Soleyn celebrated his artistic works and graduation from California College of the Arts with a Master in Architecture.

For one night, Zaccho Studio was transformed into an immersive interdisciplinary exhibition displaying both solo and collaborative works that Dazaun created during his pursuit of a graduate degree. This intimate container also featured Julien James, Reshad Brown, a duet between Dazaun Soleyn and Jordan Dapney, and an artist talk facilitated by Laura E. Ellis.

This event was presented by Zaccho Dance Theatre's Black Futures Artist-in-Residence Program, with funding provided by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative and Office of Economic & Workforce Development.

Credit: Video by Milaad Seresht
BlaQyard / Homebodies — a three-month residency
BlaQyard, a collective of Black + Queer (BlaQ) artists based in Oakland, is planting its first Artist Residency to support their vision of rooting a community arts venue on Chochenyo Ohlone land (also known as Fruitvale/East Oakland) called Homebodies — a three-month residency with the option to live in and shape this home and the land surrounding it.

Homebodies is releasing its open call in synergy with a fundraising effort to support three emerging artists with free rent, workspace, mentorship, and stipend.

Learn more about the Homebodies Artist Residency and apply here!
Application deadline has been extended to April 7th, 2023.

BlaQyard’s fundraising efforts have reached $2,947 with a total goal of $13,000.

You can get involved and support these efforts here on GoFundMe!

To inquire and connect, follow: BlaQyard (Instagram)

BlaQyard’s rotating members include Kalima Amilak, Naomi Lee, Ariana Hall, marlo magdalene, and Zaccho Dance Theatre’s former Black Futures Resident Artist Gabriele Christian of Rupture.
Deaf-lead Celebration of Black History Month with Antoine Hunter, Purple Crow

Credit: Video by Edward Miller

Black Futures artist Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow led this special deaf-lead celebration of Black History Month at the Zaccho Studio on February 11, 2023.

* Afro-Haitian Workshop presented by Shawn Roberts
* Live Performances by:
Fred Beam, Outreach Coordinator of Sunshine 2.0
Harold Foxx
Ashlea B Hayes
Noah James II
Urban Jazz Dance Company

This event was presented by Urban Jazz Dance Company and Zaccho Dance Theatre's Black Futures Artist-in-Residence Program, with funding provided by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative and Office of Economic & Workforce Development.
HART Showcase 2023

Come groove and find joy as the 6 Resident Artists of the Hip Hop Artist Residency & Training (HART) Program present their original Hip Hop dance, visual art, and music in this one of a kind collaboration. Each performance invites guests to join the HART Artists in a community cipher/cypher and DJ after-party.

The HART Program is a collaborative partnership between PUSH Dance Company and Zaccho Dance Theatre and is funded by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative.

A 4-month artist residency at the Zaccho Studio in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point, HART offers free studio space, mentorship and marketing support, training and performance opportunities for Bay Area Black transitional youth with aspirations of advancing their careers in Hip Hop and the performing arts. The 2022-2023 residency culminates in this one-of-a-kind collaborative performance with live DJ and cypher after-party at the Bayview Opera House on February 11, 2023, at 5:00pm and 8:00pm.

Space is limited. Reserve your free ticket today!

February 11, 2023

5pm & 8pm

Bayview Opera House, Ruth Williams Memorial Theater

Free Admission
2022-2023 Black Futures Artists - Round 2
Zaccho Dance Theatre is thrilled to announce the 2nd Round of Black Futures residencies awarded to four outstanding San Francisco and Bay Area performing artists. The Black Futures Artists in Residence Program offers a monetary stipend, free studio space, production and marketing support, mentorship, and community engagement opportunities. Performing artists in the fields of dance, theater and music are recognized at all stages of their careers.

Antoine Hunter

Website: www.realurbanjazzdance.com
Instagram: @thegreatdancerah
Twitter: @thegreatdancer

Oakland native, Antoine Hunter aka Purple Fire Crow is an award-winning and internationally known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer, and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf, and hearing artists, produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013. Awards have included the 2021 Dance Teacher Award, 2019 National Dance/USA fellowship recognized by the Mayor of Oakland, 2018 inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Humanity Arts Award, and 2017 Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for BAIDDF.

Toni Jean Cannon

Instagram: @Acrocannon

Toni Jean Cannon is a black trans masculine person who has dedicated his body to performing circus arts, using the Chinese pole act as one of his instruments in reconciling his gender identity. Toni started his circus career later in life; however, this hasn’t stopped him from diving deep into his new found love and passion — consistently finding new ways to express himself through acrobatics. The first years of his career were spent with Master Lu Yi learning disciplines like acrobatics, duo’s / trio’s acrobatics, and Chinese pole. Performances have included Aerial Animations, Topsy Turvy Circus, This is Acrosanct, Witchtech, Circus Bella, and the San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival.

Susana Arenas Pedroso

Website: www.arenasdancecompany.com
Facebook: @ArenasDanceCompany
Instagram: @arenas.dance

Susana Arenas Pedroso is an internationally recognized AfroCuban folkloric and popular dancer. Born in Havana, Cuba, Pedroso began her career in dance at age twelve at La Casa de Cultura de Matanzas. She danced professionally for 17 years in Cuba with popular, folkloric, and theatrical performing groups, including Havana’s famed Raíces Profundas. Since her arrival in the United States in 1998, Pedroso has performed and choreographed works that have been exhibited throughout the USA, Mexico, Cuba, and Hong Kong, including with Richard O'Neal’s Jarocho, a work that looked at Mexico’s African roots. Pedroso formed Arenas Dance Company in 2004 to preserve and promote culturally-rooted, ever evolving folkloric and popular (i.e. social) Cuban dance traditions, while also embracing creative innovation and hybridity.

Dazaun Alvin Soleyn

Instagram: @dazaun_s

Dazaun Soleyn is the Artistic Director of dazaun.dance. He graduated as the University of South Florida’s Outstanding Graduate with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance and Choreography. Upon graduation, Dazaun was accepted as a Trainee at the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program (LBTP). With an intention to create holistic art that aims to illuminate the dynamic fullness of the human experience, Dazaun has been actively presenting work in the Bay Area since Fall 2014. His teaching credits include the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program, University of South Florida, Cal State University East Bay, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program, Dance Mission Theater, and ODC Commons.
Black Futures Community Events
Black Futures Artist: Martin Luther McCoy
Event: Saturday AM Wake-Up: An Artist Talk With Martin Luther McCoy
Venue: Cafe Alma, 888 Innes Ave, San Francisco
Date & Time: September 17, 2022
Facebook RSVP Requested; FREE

More Information:

Join us for a unique look into the artistry of Black Futures resident artist Martin Luther as he performs and speaks about his influences and their impact on his new works and shares post pandemic strategies to KEEP THE MUSIC COMING.
Artist Website: martianluther.com

Black Futures Artist: amara tabor-smith
Event: House/Full of Blackwomen
Venue: Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd St, San Francisco
Date & Time: October 1, 2022 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
No RSVP Required; FREE

More Information:

Join Black Futures artist amara tabor-smith for a special presentation of House/Full of Blackwomen’s Episode 15: Stirring the Memory of our BONES: A Ritual Session towards Black Homefullness and Belonging in the Bay Area and BEYOND.

This dance/spoken word/story circle gathering will bring us together to reflect on our past as a way towards our collective future NOW. Come join us in an act of re/membering. House/Full of Blackwomen invites you to an open process prior to our culminating Oakland episode: "this too shall pass" in March 2023.

Black Futures Artist: jose e. abad
Event: RUPTURE work-in-progress event
Venue: Zaccho Studio, 1777 Yosemite Ave, San Francisco
Date & Time: September 11, 2022 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
RSVP Requested; FREE

More Information:

RUPTURE is a Bay Area-based party of resistance, revelry, and tactical rest. Instigated by five BlaQ waymakers jose e. abad, Styles Alexander, Gabriele Christian, Clarissa Dyas, and Stephanie Hewett; RUPTURE positions the improvisatory nature of Black life, experimentation, and movement as techniques for future crafting.

Join us on Sunday, September 11th at 6:00 PM in transmuting space, crossing trajectories, kicking back over spades*, and a free work-in-progress performance and function featuring DJ sets by Madre Guía and Ori Diwata.
Session 1 of Haus Sounds: A Live Interactive Audio Experience with Tossie Long
On October 8, 2022, Black Futures resident Tossie Long presented "Session 1 of Haus Sounds: a live interactive audio experience", submerging attendees in the creative process of her latest project Red Clay Sound Haus.

Hosted at Pablo Sound Studio in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point, collaborators created an intimate interactive performance featuring BIPOC Artists, Sound Designers, Filmmakers, Vocalists, Music Makers, Audiovisualists, Architects, Interior Designers, Set Designers, Chefs, Movement specialists, a Biologist, Scientist, Economist, and more.

Performers included:
Haus Creator Tossie Long
Haus Artist: Jamil Nasim
Haus Band: NTB Trio of the NTB Collective

This event was presented by Zaccho Dance Theatre's Black Futures Artist-in-Residence Program, with funding provided by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative and Office of Economic & Workforce Development.

Credit: Video by VIVD Creations
House/Full of Blackwomen with amara tabor-smith
On October 1, 2022, Black Futures artist amara tabor-smith hosted a special presentation of House/Full of Blackwomen at the Bayview Opera House.

Episode 15: Stirring the Memory of our BONES:
A Ritual Session towards Black Homefullness and Belonging in the bay area and BEYOND

House/Full of Blackwomen is a multi-site specific ritual dance theater project that for the past 7 years has addressed the displacement, well-being, and sex-trafficking of Black women and girls in Oakland. Co-created by amara tabor-smith and Ellen Sebastian Chang, House/Full is driven by the core question, “How do we as Black women and girls find space to rest, breathe, and be well within a stable home?”

This event was presented by Zaccho Dance Theatre's Black Futures Artist-in-Residence Program, with funding provided by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative and Office of Economic & Workforce Development.

Credit: Video by VIVD Creations
Zaccho Dance Theatre & Rebel Soul Media Present: SATURDAY AM WAKE-UP - An Artist Talk With MARTIN LUTHER MCCOY
On September 17, 2022, Black Futures resident artist Martin Luther McCoy hosted a performance and up-close and personal discussion on his influences and their impact on his music as well as post pandemic strategies to KEEP THE MUSIC COMING.

Held at Cafe Alma in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point, this event was presented by Zaccho Dance Theatre's Black Futures Artist-in-Residence Program, with funding provided by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative and Office of Economic & Workforce Development.

Credit: Video by VIVD Creations

Artist Website: martianluther.com
RUPTURE with jose e. abad
On September 11, 2022, Black Futures resident artist jose e. abad and RUPTURE presented a special work-in-progress event at the Zaccho Studio. This free work-in-progress performance and function also featured DJ sets by Madre Guía and Ori Diwata

RUPTURE is a Bay Area-based party of resistance, revelry, and tactical rest. Instigated by five BlaQ waymakers jose e. abad, Styles Alexander, Gabriele Christian, Clarissa Dyas, and Stephanie Hewett; RUPTURE positions the improvisatory nature of Black life, experimentation, and movement as techniques for future crafting.

This event was presented by Zaccho Dance Theatre's Black Futures Artist-in-Residence Program, with funding provided by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative and Office of Economic & Workforce Development.

Credit: Video by VIVD Creations
Our Spring 2022 HART Resident Artists
Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith (she/her) is an Oakland-based multidisciplinary hip hop artist and educator from “the 216,” better known as Cleveland. Her credits include performing for Major Hammy at Princess Drag at Oasis, Oghodo General at New Karibbean City, and BamB the Man at Zanzi among others. Danielle holds a B.A. in dance and social justice from the University of San Francisco. Her choreography has been presented at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Massachusetts since 2019. As an administrator, she serves as manager of Marketing & Communications at the Bay Area Children's Theatre. Danielle is thrilled to be presenting her work as part of the Hip Hop Artist Residency & Training program with PUSH Dance Company & Zaccho Dance Theatre.

Jamey Williams

Jamey Williams (he/him) is an award-winning spoken word poet, actor, and educator. While actively engaging in his artistic career, he is also a community organizer who teaches spoken word poetry workshops in K-12 schools. His poetry has gained him international attention, especially for his complex lyricism and work on socio-political awareness. Williams is co-founder of Rich Oak Alchemy Open Mic as well as the Slam Poetry Club. His awards include being dubbed “the nicest poet in the country” after winning the 2017 Compliment Death Match at the National Poetry Slam and runner up at America’s Best College Poet competition in 2020. As an actor, his television commercial work includes the “Truth Anti Tobacco,” which aired nationally and for the 2018 Grammys.

Randal (Ran de Casa) Seriguchi Jr

Ran de Casa (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist based in San Francisco working at the intersection of music and visual media art. Ran de Casa mixes various musical genres with Hip Hop music. At the same time, he has collaborated with artists ranging from gospel, rock and R&B soul to jazz music and Afropop. He is dedicated to documenting visual memories and real life through his media and film. Early on, Ran de Casa was exposed to artists who blend visual and music elements such as the Funkadelics. While pursuing his music and film career, he also received degrees from American University Washington College of Law and University of Michigan.

Khissa Sano

Khissa Sano (she/her) is a Bronx-born interdisciplinary hip hop dancer and cultural practitioner who grew up in Oakland. Under the lineage of Sano, she is a principal dancer of traditional West African Guinean dance and music. She has trained at Destiny Arts for 11 years, while studying at the Oakland School of the Arts and ODC Dance School. Sano has been a member of Future Shock Dance Company and in various music videos. She is currently a dance major at Cal State Long Beach.

jamil nasim

Jamil Nasim (he/him/they/them) is a post-disciplinary musician and visual artist who moves between media and soundscape ecology. Nasim shifts recorded sounds from symbolic Black life and linguistics into hip hop music primarily through sampling technology and electronic processing. Nasim has exhibited at the 1506 Haight Gallery and is part of the inaugural cohort of the Hip Hop Artist Residency & Training program with Zaccho Dance Theatre and PUSH Dance Company. He has been featured by Cosmo Records and he has been producing an ongoing series of electronic, house, and hip hop music events.

Cameron (Honest) McGowan

Honest (he/him) is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer. His rap lyricism draws upon precise description of his environment along with socially conscious and mental health advocacy. Early on Honest was exposed to such inspirations as his mom & dad; and influential rappers like j Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and drake. As a community activist, Honest continues to work and produce music in his Bay Area hometown and is co-founder of OTS recording studios.

Rama Mahesh Hall

Rama Mahesh Hall (he/him) is a dancer, choreographer and educator of hip hop, house dance, locking, and waacking. He also trains in capoeira, West African, and Afro-Haitian dance, and has performed in works by Eric Fenn of Loose Change. As an educator, Rama teaches meditation to youth in a San Francisco middle school. Rama is part of the inaugural cohort of the Hip Hop Artist Residency & Training program with Zaccho Dance Theatre and PUSH Dance Company. He has toured and taught nationally and internationally, most notably with the Embodiment Project.

Aleja Cobarruviaz

Aleja Cobarruviaz (she/her/they/them) is a multidisciplinary poet, singer/songwriter, lyricist, and dancer. As a writer, she draws upon her own experience as a jumping off point for honest discourse on realities of the Black experience. In her own personal life, Aleja is a follower of Christ whose family has a long line of those who see visions and receive words and messages through dreams. Professionally, she is a visionary and business woman who produces vibrant life behind her own unique sound. Her music inspirations include Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Doja Cat, and Kanye West. Her work is about community-driven power and carving out unique spaces for uncomfortable truths to be heard and explored.
2022 Black Futures Artists - Round 1

jose esteban abad

Instagram: @ori.diwata
Facebook: @jabad720

jose esteban abad (they/them) is a multidisciplinary choreographer, DJ, and curator based in unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory (San Francisco, CA). Born in Olongapo City, Philippines to a Filipina Mother and an Afro-Carribean U.S. Naval Officer, their work explores the complexities of cultural identity at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, and race in the United States. Through dance theater, surrealist video, and sonic experimentation, their work unearths lost histories that reside in the body, that the mind has forgotten, and dominant culture has erased.

Their choreography is rooted in collaboration and improvisation as tools of resistance and liberation. Their work centers QTBIPOC experimental collective process-based practices of becoming and re-membering, ushering a metamorphosis through emergent performances that listen to the most intelligent technologies that exist in this world - our bodies, ancestral wisdom, and nature.

They are a cofounder and core member of several QTBIPOC centered dance and performance projects that promote healing, community networking, and leadership capacity building including Lxs Dxs, the Hive, to be like the river residency, and SCHEME. They have also held residencies and produced work with organizations including CounterPulse, the Joe Goode Annex, Paul Dresher Studio, Highways Performance Space and Hope Mohr Dance.

abad has performed and taught nationally and internationally in the Philippines, Mexico, Canada, and Europe, and has collaborated with established choreographers, including Anne Bluethenthal, Alleluia Panis, Joanna Haigood, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Keith Hennessey, Sara Shelton Mann, Brontez Purnell, BANDALOOP, Erika Chong Shuch, Sherwood Chen, and many others. Through this legacy abad is committed to continuing the Bay Area’s tradition of radically queer, experimental, politically engaged dance.

Tossie Long

Website(s): www.redclaysoundhaus.com www.tossielong.com
Instagram: @tossielong

San Francisco native with the incarnations of Mississippi, Tossie (she/her) is named after her father, fathers father, fathers father father, making her the first woman in her lineage with the name. She is a mother, multidisciplinary performing artist, sound sculptress, facilitator, producer and director that speaks to the intersections of culture, personal identity and sociopolitical issues. Nicknamed "Bone Rattler '' Tossie uses art, culture, and explorations in intimacy as her tools to rattle actuality. A practitioner of ceremonial music from around the world with a focus on diasporic cosmology, Tossie has voyaged to Haiti, Cuba and Benin tracing the migration of Vodou studying the culture through music. Tossie is currently excavating the inner workings of her mind via her multi-part project ‘Red Clay: A Romance Primer: The Preservation of Landmarks: Body, Architecture and Desire’ interpreted through sound, film, stage and movement. The last Black woman of San Francisco; Tossie is a connoisseur of Brussel Sprouts, loves heavy weightlifting and dirty chais all wrapped up by nature walks with her French bulldog Charlie. Tossie does not perform for the sake of performing, but to push her perceived limits.

Martin Luther McCoy

Twitter: @martianluther
Facebook/Instagram/Spotify: @martinluthermccoy

Martin Luther (he/him) refuses to confine himself to any one creative pursuit. An ambassador for hip hop soul and current SFJazz Collective member, he continues to serve as a conduit for black funk and rock music. On the cusp of releasing his fourth full length studio album, a self-titled LP of original material, Luther, having always been a fan of the musical styles of Marvin Gaye, has dedicated a suite of songs for the commemoration of the release of Marvin’s most popular album, ‘What’s Going On’. Luther invites listeners to 'enjoy this funky ride.’ Feb 1, 2022 where he will perform at Yoshi's Oakland. It's a trip worth taking, fueled by old school, power-to-the-peeps politics and more soul than a Sunday revival meeting.
—San Francisco Chronicle

In some circles Martin Luther is best known for his work with the seminal hip hop collective The Roots. Many others discovered him through his incendiary performance starring in Julie Taymor’s 2007 film Across the Universe. He was cast in the role of Musician, a griot sage, in Yale Repertory Theatre/ American Conservatory Theatre’s production of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). If there’s one thread connecting all of Martin Luther’s endeavors it’s his grounding in the verdant soil of African-American culture, a soul-steeped presence that leaps off of stages, screens, and bandstands.

As a producer, performer and voice talent, McCoy has been featured in commercials, films and on soundtracks like Across The Universe, Chasing Liberty, Dave Chapelle”s Block Party and most recently as part of the soundtrack to The Oracle by visual artist Sanford Biggers.

Before and throughout the pandemic Martin Luther has continued to record and release music like the sizzling rnb “Now” on his own Rebel Soul Records imprint as well as a number of dance floor thumpers like “Back Tonight” produced by longtime collaborator Miguel Migs. He joined the SFJazz Collective for the 2019/2020 season and being the first vocalist after a 14 year run as an instrumental ensemble, his voice was a great fit for the collective as they tackled the music of Sly and the Family Stone. Martin has agreed to perform and record for the current season and will be touring the new release (Mar 22) throughout the spring and summer. “As artists, our work is often the only weapon we have to help heal old wounds or encourage and inspire the discovery of new joys. I like what we are doing to the music. We pay homage but we definitely make it our own.” Some of the bay area's best musicians will be joining Luther so don’t hesitate to get your tickets when he performs in your area.

amara tabor-smith

Website: www.deepwatersdance.com
Facebook: amara t. smith
Instagram: amarat.smith

amara tabor-smith (she/her) was born in SF, and is based in Oakland, CA. She is a choreographer/performance maker and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater. She describes her dance and performance making practice as Conjure Art. Her interdisciplinary site-specific and community responsive performance experiences utilize Yoruba Lukumí spiritual technologies to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity, and belonging. Her work is rooted in Black, queer, Afro futurist/surrealist, and feminist principles, that insist on liberation, joy, home fullness and well-being. In addition to her own work Amara has also performed in the works of artists such as Ed Mock, Joanna Haigood, Ana Deveare Smith, Ronald K. Brown, Julie Tolentino, Adia Tamar Whitaker, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Faustin Linyekula. She is the former associate artistic director and company member with Urban Bush Women, and was the co artistic director of Headmistress, a performance collaboration with Sherwood Chen. She is a 2021 inaugural recipient of the Rainin Fellowship for Artists; a 2020 recipient of the Hewlett 50 grant with East Side Arts Alliance; a 2019 Dance/USA Fellow; a 2018 United States Artist Fellow and a 2018 recipient of KQED’s “Bay Brilliant” award. Her current project, House/Full of Blackwomen in collaboration with director Ellen Sebastian Chang is a site-specific ritual performance project addressing the displacement, well-being and sex trafficking of Black women and girls in Oakland. Rooted in her Oakland community, Amara is a member of the Black Cultural Zone (BCZ) Arts and Culture working group in East Oakland; she is a co-founder of the Oakland Anti-Racist Organizing Committee (OAROC) a collaboration of BIPOC artists, activists and educators that holds space for individuals and organizations to address internalized structural racism, and she is the co-founder of Conjure and Mend, a creative sanctuary for survivors of Sex Trafficking in Oakland in partnership with sex trafficking abolitionist Regina Evans. Amara received her MFA in Dance from Hollins University and is an artist in residence at Stanford University.

2019 Residents

Amy Seiwert

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, a contemporary ballet company in San Francisco, believes that ballet is an expressive and vital voice relevant to our times. Imagery’s artists share the belief that through collaboration & experimentation, vibrant and courageous ideas are expressed and habitual reactions are discouraged. Imagery’s mission is to expand the definition of ballet by exploding preconceptions of what ballet is and can be.


Flyaway Productions

Perform off-the-ground dances that expose the range and power of female physicality. We experiment with height, speed and gravity, dancing on steel objects that are both architectural and fabricated. We dance at the intersection of social justice and acrobatic spectacle. We dance anywhere from two to one hundred feet off the ground. We offer performance as a medium for social commentary and choose projects that advance female empowerment in the public realm. At its core, our work explores the female body– its tumultuous expressions of strength and fragility.

Teach a signature style of apparatus-based dance. We offer year round classes to adults, teens and youth; we offer GIRFLY, an Art & Activism Program, integrating dance-making and activism. Our training with youth offers some remedy for the ways women and girls remain underserved in public culture as a whole. We also offer KIDFLY school residencies that link social justice content, school curriculum and movement innovation, where your young artists are our collaborators.

Advocate and provide the bridge between women in the arts and civic life. We are constantly developing new forms for community engagement and coalition building with activists and non arts partners.


Ross Travis

Founded in 2014, Antic in a Drain combines circus and bouffon to develop extreme characters and tell stories from the fringes, igniting dialogue and change within communities around ignored or taboo social issues. During Ross Travis’s 2019 residency with Zaccho Dance Theatre, Antic in a Drain has developed Tempting Fate, a satirical sideshow entertainment reflecting the house of mirrors called climate change, which then premiered at Little Boxes Theater in 2019. The show was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle by Lily Janiak and was nominated for seven Theatre Bay Area Awards, including Outstanding Solo Production, Outstanding Direction of a Specialty Production, Outstanding Creative Specialties for Mask AND Puppet Design, Outstanding Costume Design, and Outstanding Sound Design. The show won for Outstanding Creative Specialties for Mask Design.


Spring 2018 Artists in Residents

Dan Griffiths
Dan Griffiths is an award winning theatre maker, director, and teacher. He has created and performed numerous original theatrical works in over 45 states and 25 countries since 1988. and has served as faculty for Clown Conservatory San Francisco, The School for Mime Theater, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, Academy of Art University and Indiana University Northwest. Most recently he taught Clown at The Wu Qiao International Circus Festival in Shijiazhuang China and at The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan has studied with Marcel Marceau, Gregg Goldston, Moni Yakim, David Shiner, Stefan Niedzialkowski, at The School for Mime Theatre and The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan holds an M.A. in Experimental Performance from New College of California and an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Preparing to for its 10th anniversary performances, Capacitor is back in residence at Zaccho. Capacitor is a dance, cirque, sculpture company that often works with scientists to create shows and installations about the natural world. Our visually-stunning, auditory experiences are delivered on abstract structures by athletic dancers, acrobats, aerialists, and contortionists. These displays, grounded in scientific understanding, offer many portals into the work for audiences of all ages. capacitor.org

Kim Euell
Playwright Kim Euell will be in residence at Zaccho to present The Dance during the summer of 2019. Kim Euell's plays have been developed and performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Center Theater Group's Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage Company, Plowshares Theater Company, Manhattan's New Perspectives Theater, and Penumbra Theater Company where she's a Company Member. Kim has worked as a dramaturg at the Sundance Theater Lab and has headed play development programs at the Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre and The Robey Theatre where she was the California Arts Council's Playwright in Residence. Kim teaches playwriting for the VONA/Voices Workshop and at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she is currently the Playwright in Residence. She is an alumna of Stanford University and the University of Iowa's Playwrights Workshop.
Dan Griffiths

Zaccho Studio is thrilled to have Dan Griffiths and Clown Lab in residence this fall and through the spring of 2018! Watch for upcoming classes, workshops and amazingness!*

Dan Griffiths is an award winning theatre maker, director, and teacher. He has created and performed numerous original theatrical works in over 45 states and 25 countries since 1988. and has served as faculty for Clown Conservatory San Francisco, The School for Mime Theater, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, Academy of Art University and Indiana University Northwest. Most recently he taught Clown at The Wu Qiao International Circus Festival in Shijiazhuang China and at The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan has studied with Marcel Marceau, Gregg Goldston, Moni Yakim, David Shiner, Stefan Niedzialkowski, at The School for Mime Theatre and The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan holds an M.A. in Experimental Performance from New College of California and an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Choreographer Amy Seiwert Shares What Inspires Her

Thanks for the Zaccho love Amy Seiwert! Zaccho's Resident Company program is alive and well.
Amy Seiwert's Imagery is just one example of the wide range of creation happening here in the Bayview!

Read DANCE SPIRIT's article about Amy Seiwert's work HERE!
Amy Seiwert's new ballet Wandering

Be the first to experience Amy Seiwert's new ballet Wandering. Get an insider's look at Imagery's creation process and see what makes us unique in the Bay Area arts landscape. Hear from Amy and the dancers about this process and join in the conversation. All while sipping a Manhattan or a Cherry Manhattan Mocktail (non-alcoholic).

We are at 75% of raising $40,000 to perform at the Joyce Theater in New York. All proceeds from this event will go towards our tour to the Big Apple.

Participating dancers include Anthony Cannarella, Alysia Chang, James Gilmer, Tina LaForgia, Jackie Nash, Ben Needham-Wood, Shania Rasmussen, and Gabriel Gaffney-Smith.

Tickets: Click here
April at Zaccho Studio
It is always exciting to see what inspires folks when they step inside Zaccho Studios. Here are the fruits of our renters’ labors from photoshoots to dance parties to music videos.

Moody Inspiration Shoot collection by Samantha Kirk Photography:

Rooth - No Place to Rest music video

Rooth - No Place To Rest from films & noises on Vimeo.

A Brazilian Dance Party

GB Films shoot


Zaccho Studio's Artist in Residence program has been thrilled to welcome Ross Travis' Antic in a Drain into the studio for the creation of their latest work Bucko. "A most horrifying summoning! Bringing forth the apparition of a whale boat that floats on land!" Amelia Van Brunt (Collaborating Artist) , Stephen Buescher (Director) and Joan Howard (Set Designer) complete the artistic team "uses the provocative humor of bouffon (a form of grotesque satirical physical theatre where characters on the outskirts of society use subversive humor and ecstatic play to highlight ignored or marginalized issues within society) to investigate religion, natural resource consumption, racism and privilege in maritime history and juxtapose these subjects with our modern times."

Catch the world premiere of Bucko at the San Francisco National Historic Park

A most sensational summoning of scurvy spirits
June 10 - 23, 2017
Tickets: $25-45
Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
9 performances: June 10 - 11, 14 - 18, 22 - 23 at 8:30PM (at sunset)
Spring Artist in Residence
Spring is hopping in the studio with Resident Companies Flyaway Productions and Amy Siewert's Imagery both rehearsing for upcoming productions. Our Spring Artist in Residence, Ross Travis, is busy creating Bucko. Watch for more information on these exciting artists, and the variety of aerial dance workshop offerings from CDAA.
Breathless | Anisha Babbar Choreography | Amit Patel Dance Project | ONE TAKE Video
Filmed at Zaccho Studio!
Amy Seiwert's Imagery Featured on Twixtor

Amy Seiwert’s Contemporary Ballet Company Imagery, was filmed for Twixtor at Zaccho Studio, by RE:Vision Effects' own Peter Litwinowicz. Twixtor, the program that RE;Vision Effects has created allows the movement of dancers to be viewed up to 160x slower than real time!

The effect is utterly spellbinding.

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, at Zaccho Studio:

Amy Seiwert's Imagery, SKETCH 5 | Stirred
Celebrate the fifth SKETCH series with the amazing artists of Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. This year’s program, ‘Stirred’, is all about premieres. Back To and Traveling Alone (West Coast premiere) will be joined by a new collaborative work between Seiwert and ODC Co-Artistic Director KT Nelson. This collaborative world premier is the result of Seiwert’s summer residency at Zaccho Studio, allowing two unique artists to explore new ground.

Rachel Furst of Imagery. Photo by David DeSilva

The SKETCH series was created to foster risk and innovation in ballet based choreography. In 2015, we are mixing it up. Seiwert will be collaborating with ODC Co-Artistic Director KT Nelson on a new work. The artists will be editing each other's work and interrupting each other's process, in hopes of discovering something entirely new. This type of collaboration is extremely rare in ballet. A co-production of ODC Theater. Also on the program, Seiwert's premiere of Back To, set to the recordings of bluegrass artist Gillian Welch, and the West Coast premiere of Traveling Alone, created for Colorado Ballet in 2011.

about SKETCH 5 | STIRRED from Amy Seiwert on Vimeo.

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, a contemporary ballet company in San Francisco, believes that ballet is an expressive and vital voice relevant to our times. Imagery’s artists share the belief that through collaboration & experimentation, vibrant and courageous ideas are expressed and habitual reactions are discouraged. Imagery’s mission is to expand the definition of ballet by exploding preconceptions of what ballet is and can be.

SKETCH 5 | Stirred is co-presented by ODC and supported in part by Zaccho Studio’s Residency Program

SKETCH 5 | Stirred
Thurs-Sat, July 16th-18th at 8:00pm; Sun, July 19th at 7:00pm
Discounted tickets available through July 13th
ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., San Francisco
Zaccho Studio’s Artist In Residence Program is accepting applications
The Artist in Residence Program at Zaccho Studio extends subsidized studio space to outstanding established and emerging artist in the field of contemporary and aerial dance. Our studio is equipped with a 3,200 square foot spring floor, multiple anchoring points for rigging, seating for up to 99 audience members and ample natural and artificial light. The Artist In Residence are also given the opportunity to present affordable master-classes and free works-in-progress showings to our under-resourced community of Bayview Hunters Point, Zaccho’s home base since 1989. These work in progress showings also provide a chance for artists to gain critical feedback on new work from a live audience.

Zaccho Studio is a place where artists can share new ways of thinking and new ways of dancing. By extending partially subsidized rent to you as our Artist In Residence, we strive to provide a platform for you to deeply explore your artistic process, as well as an opportunity to present your own Master Classes and Work-in-Progress showings within our 5,000 ft² studio.

Summer Resident, Amy Seiwert's Imagery
Dancer Rachel Furst, Photo by David DeSilva

Offered Benefits

· 12 week residency, up to 8 hours a week *Artist scheduling is subject to studio availability
· Subsidized Studio Rental of $10 per hour (standard rate $25 per hour) up to 96 hours
· Endorsements of AIR on Zaccho’s website, e-newsletter, residency blog, and social networking
· Discounted performance rental rate

Submission Deadline : 31st December 2015

Residency Time Frame : February 2016 – May 2016
An Interview with RAWdance
Joanna Haigood, Artistic Director of Zaccho Dance Theatre, asks Resident Company RAWdance's own Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith about their upcoming project, Through My Fingers To The Deep, to learn more about their intimate approach to site-specific work.

Wendy Rein directing collaborators Katerina Wong & Kelly Del Rosario, photo: Charline Formenty

Joanna Haigood: Tell us about your new work and about your collaborators.

Ryan & Wendy : What happens when the ground beneath your feet is not what you had imagined? Where does the surface end and the foundation begin? Do we follow the clearly constructed paths designed for us, or invent our own? And how do our fantasies interrupt our tangible reality? We’re launching from these broad questions for Through My Fingers To The Deep, our newest work, being created for the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. We’ve been inspired by the topography of the Gardens landscape, the contrast of organic material and constructed pathways, as well as from the Edgar Allen Poe poem from which the title of the dance was taken, “A Dream Within a Dream.” We are working with two amazing past collaborators for this work. Scenic designer Sean Riley, known for his unexpected interactive designs, will create a 3-dimensional set for the dance, bringing the strange amalgam of the Gardens’ physical underpinnings into the open as an active, visible partner in the work. Composer Joel St. Julien will create three distinct, but interwoven scores for the work, synchronized to start and end at the same time in different locations.

JH: Is this your first site-specific work?

R & W: We create a great deal of site-specific work for RAWdance, and have always split our programming between public spaces and the theater. While we love some of the drama and craft of working in a controlled theatrical environment, it’s important to us to regularly bring dance to new people and places. We all know that the contemporary dance world can feel too insular. For us, sharing work in diverse public spaces combats that insularity and opens access to the art form. Furthermore, there are some projects that really only make sense in a non-theatrical environment. They need to live in the real world to make sense. Our work Per-Verses (2006) took place in multiple gallery rooms as a performance installation at the Belcher Street Studios. A Public Affair (2011) was created for Orson Restaurant, during the middle of dinner service. The Beauty Project (2009) was created for an empty storefront in the Westfield mall. Two by 24: Love on Loop (2012) was created for UN Plaza and To Have and to Hold (2009) and Checkbox (2007) were created for Union Square Park.

Ryan and Wendy directing collaborators, photo: Charline Formenty

JH: What are your primary concerns when beginning a new creation? Are they different when creating a piece for the theater and creating a site-specific work?

R & W: A blank canvas is always the hardest for us. The beginning of a work can be overwhelming, whether creating for the theater or site-specifically. So we start with questions, experiments, vague ideas, a handful of moves and a plan that may only hold up for a couple of weeks (if we’re lucky). We never really know where we are going to end up until we are there. We do always consider the audience as an integral part of the work from the beginning of creation. How (literally) will they see the work? This is definitely different for someone who has “bought in” to a theatrical performance and is seated at a specific angle, than from someone wandering through Yerba Buena Gardens.

There are additional concerns with site-specific work or any work without a fully controlled environment: audience flow, site lines, working with the surrounding environment, making room for the unpredictable. This particular work, with three simultaneous pieces, in three different locations in the Gardens, timed to start and end at the same time, has a slew of extra coordination complications.

RAWdance collaborators, Katerina Wong and Kelly Del Rosario, photo: Charline Formenty

JH: You asked "where does the surface end and the foundation begin?” What does “surface" and “foundation” mean to you?

R & W: In its simplest form, the surface is everything visible. Concrete pathways, grass, and benches throughout Yerba Buena Gardens, even the skin of our dancers are all surfaces that are informing the movement we create. The physical underpinnings of all these structures consist of the foundation. But the foundation in our sense is also our belief system - what we hold to be real and true. How does the ground that supports us feel like it gives way when we suddenly realize our “truths” may be more shared illusion than actual truth? The surface of the idyllic-looking Gardens is a complete illusion. It feels like you’re standing on grassy, solid earth, but really that grass is just the top of a series of layers of rubber, styrofoam, and cement. And beneath all of that is the North Wing of the Moscone Center, housing thousands of conference goers. There’s essentially a giant hole in the earth beneath the site. Does that change the way you feel when you walk around the Gardens, or sit on the ground? Or do you block it out and just focus on the pretty grass? Similarly, do you block out the history of the Gardens, which was constructed only a few dozen years ago by demolishing and/or relocating the homes of the many workers that lived there? As we, together with so many of our artist counterparts, live with a constant fear of eviction from our homes, that history is pretty hard to block out. So in turn, how does this fear shape how we perceive the landscape of the Gardens? How much does an understanding of the “foundation” affect the way we interact with the surface?

JH: What is at the center of your movement research?

R & W: It varies somewhat from piece to piece, but we always start with questions, and usually a lot of reading. The questions described above started us off with this piece exploring images of constant rumbling, building and tearing down, illusions, and unstable ground. Since it’s a site-specific work, we’re also using a lot of the topography of the site itself to derive the movement.

RAWdance, photo: Charline Formenty

JH: Who are your dance collaborators? Company Members?

R & W: For this project, we are working with six amazing dancers, who are all very much active collaborators in the creative process: Tristan Ching Hartmann, Kerry Demme, Amy Foley, Kelly Del Rosario, Maggie Stack, and Katerina Wong. We’ll be bringing in several more dancers in another few weeks, to help with audience flow and transitions from site to site

Pay What you Can Ballet Classes with Amy Seiwert's Imagery

Brandon Freeman and Katherine Wells at Zaccho Studio, photo by David DeSilva

During her 5-week Residency at Zaccho Studio, Amy Seiwert will be providing a "Pay What You Can" ballet class, for professional and pre-professional dancers, Mondays through Saturdays from June 15th thru July 10th.

In practice of her strong belief that "professional dancers should be able to continually train, and that training shouldn't be cost-prohibitive", Amy will be opening the doors to her professional dance company's morning rehearsals.

Please join us at Zaccho Studio for this wonderful opportunity to train at an affordable price with master teachers and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery dancers.

Zaccho Studio, 1777 Yosemite Ave, Studio 330, San Francisco, CA, 94124

WHEN: June 15th thru July 10th
Monday thru Friday 10am to 11:15
Saturday 11am - 12:15

Please follow this link to view Imagery's Class Calender
See who is teaching and stay up to date on any time changes.
(click on clock icon in left column and click on Company Class with Imagery)
Residency Announcement: RAWdance
We are pleased to announce RAWdance as Zaccho’s spring Resident Company!

RAWdance’s Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein. Photo Credit, RJ Muna

During their residency period, RAWdance Co-Artistic Directors Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, in collaboration with Scenic Designer Sean Riley and Composer Joel St. Julien, will be developing material for a new site-specific work commissioned by the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Titled Through My Fingers Deep, this dance will draw inspiration not just from the architecture of the Gardens, but also from the layers beneath the feet of the dancers and audiences. The landscape brings up questions that are intensely personal and emotional, as well as geographic. What happens when the ground beneath your feet is not what you think it is? Where does the surface end and the foundation begin? Do we follow the clearly constructed paths designed for us, or invent our own?

In their own words, “Our primary interest in Zaccho’s residency program is to establish a home for the creation of a new work for the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in July. Being able to create the work at Zaccho would have an unquestionably positive impact on the work; A consistent home for rehearsals, space to work with and store sets, and a studio large enough to create work on the scale of the performance site. We are also interested in connecting to a different community. Our hope is that working at Zaccho would offer more than just space, but also the opportunity to interact with other artists, and reach out to the surrounding audience through an open rehearsal.”

Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein formed RAWdance in 2004 with the mission to reveal an intimate core of our relationships and identities through collaboration and performance. The company makes visually striking, athletic works driven by human interactions, and presents them in unexpected public spaces as well as the theater. SF Weekly dubbed their work “edgy, sexy inventive fare designed to speak to audiences.” Criticaldance hailed it as “experimental work done brilliantly.” The SF Bay Guardian honored RAWdance with a 2014 Goldie Award.

NAKA Dance Theater's Bayview Project
A huge Thank You to all that joined us at Zaccho Studio for NAKA Dance Theater's presentation of The Bayview Project! Artistis Directors, Debbie Kajiyama and Jose Navarrete facilitated the informal gathering that featured youth residents of Bayview Hunter's Point Gabriela Rocha, Michael Turner & Nate Armstrong. Each youth hosted an engaging slideshow about racial inequities within the educational system, the history and future of the "New" Bayview and the very special history of Bay Area gumbo.

NAKA presenters prepare Zaccho Studio for The Bayview Project

Following the youth presentation, racial equity educator Tammy Johnson displayed her interactive and impressively detailed timeline of world, art and political history from the 1800’s to present day, showing how each event has pertained to and influenced the growth and culture of the Bayview.

The presentation was followed by delicious homemade gumbo generously made by long time Bayview resident and Michael Turner’s own grandmother, Pearl Turner. She even shared her secret recipe!

Pearl Turner, Bayview resident and gumbo aficionado

The Bayview Project is supported by: Zaccho Studio and The San Francisco Arts Commission's Arts and Communities: Innovative Partnership Grant.
NAKA Dance Theatre's Community Gathering; The Bayview Project
Navarrete x Kajiyama Dance Theater Presents:

Zaccho's 2015 Residency Announcement
Zaccho Studio is currently accepting applications for our Spring / Summer Artist in Residence and Resident Company Program.

Submission Deadline: March 1st 2015
Residency Period: April - July

Zaccho Studio’s Resident Programming extends support to local emerging and established dance companies for the development, research and facilitation of professional, socially relevant, aerial, contemporary and experimental dance-based performance.

Zaccho Studio is a place where artists can share new ways of thinking and new ways of dancing. By extending partially subsidized rent to a Resident Artist or Company, our purpose is to provide an affordable platform for you to explore your artistic process and work, as well as an opportunity to present your own Master Classes and Work-in-Progress showings in our 3,500 sqft studio.

Resident Artists + Companies receive:

o Partially Subsidized Studio Rental
o Discounted Performance Venue
o Social Media + Online Marketing Support
o Studio Availability - Mornings, Evenings, Weekends
Amy Seiwert's Imagery

Video Created By Kevin Jenkins and Amy Seiwert

Amy Seiwert's Imagery discusses the creative process behind Sketch 4: Music Mirror and the impact of the creative process. Choreographed by Amy Seiwert and Adam Hougland, Music Mirror addresses how the same sound score can be interpreted by two different choreographers.

Check out our previous post here to learn more about Sketch 4: Music Mirror.

Imagery Dancers
Rachel Furst, Brandon Freeman, James Gilmer, Sarah Griffin, Ben Needham-Wood, Weston Krukow, Annali Rose and Katherine Wells.
NAKA Dance Theater, The Anastasio Project

Anastasio Project, Premiers September 19th - 21st, 8pm at The EastSide Arts Alliance

Our Current Resident Company, NAKA Dance Theater along with their longtime partner, EastSide Alliance in Oakland present the Anastasio Project. This multidisciplinary public performance investigates race relations, state brutality and border violence using the stories of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas as a point of departure. Hernandez-Rojas was a Mexican national who was detained at the US-Mexican border in May 2010 and then surrounded by over a dozen Customs and Border Patrol Agents, hog-tied and shot with a stun gun while pleading for help. Anastasio died shortly after.

The Anastasio Project grows out of NAKA's longtime interest in investigating social and environmental issues, and addresses core questions about racial profiling, police brutality, State violence and power structures which are key issues that our community faces on a daily basis.

The response from artists and cultural workers in the Oakland community has been overwhelmingly positive, inspiring NAKA Dance theater to continue to build these relevant issues with young emerging artists from the Bayview Hunters Point Community during their current residency at Zaccho Studio. Jose Navarrete and Debby Kajiyama of NAKA will partner with racial equity educator Tammy Johnson, Bayview dance artist Michael Turner, Jr. and Zaccho to host monthly Racial Equity forums and planning meetings with community members and artists to discuss the current state of the community in Bayview Hunter's Point and brainstorm projects of interest to residents. NAKA has known and collaborated with Joanna Haigood and Zaccho Dance Theatre for many years, and has asked Ms. Haigood to be a consultant for their upcoming project on how to address social issues through performance, stating that "she has a powerful discourse and history of making work about race relations." NAKA Dance Theater's Residency at Zaccho Studio will culminate in a presentation of what they discover through this process in February, 2015.

The Anastasio Project

Friday, September 19, 20, & 21
EastSide Arts Alliance
2277 International Boulevard
Tickets: Sliding scale, $10-40
No one turned away for lack of funds

Navarrete x Kajiyama create interdisciplinary performance work using movement, theater, art installation, multimedia and site-specific environments. Their work has been influenced by ritual, cultural studies and the political and environmental concerns of the world in which we live. In the last eight years, the themes of their work have shifted to address their deepening concern with social and environmental issues. Recent themes include: genetic modification of native crops, the commodification of water, cultural colonization and the human response to overwhelming disaster.

Since 2001, NAKA has created work involving members of the Latino transgender community, the local Mexican-American and Japanese-American communities and San Francisco's community of Argentine Tango dancers. From 2005 - 2008, Navarrete x Kajiyama were Artists in Residence at ODC theater. In 2006, NAKA was named one of the 25 to Watch by Dance Magazine. In 2007, they collaborated with visual artists from EastSide Arts Alliance, an organization of artists and community organizers of color in East Oakland, to create the performance environment for The Revenge of Huitlacoche. That same year, Navarrete x Kajiyama were invited to present their work at the Hemispheric Institution on performance and Politics' Encuentro in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2008 and 2014, they were chosen to be the San Francisco representative for SCUBA Touring Network performances in Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle. In 2010/11 NAKA Dance Theater were Irvine Fellows at the Lucas Artist Residency Program at Montalvo Arts Center. Their work has been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Theatre, the Queer Arts Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church (NYC), the Yerba Buena Choreographers Festival, California State University East Bay, the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center Performance Series, the Oakland Museum of California and the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

For more information, visit: www.nkdancetheater.com and www.facebook.com/navarretexkajiyama
Flyaway Productions

Photo Credit: Rapt Productions

The recent recipient of two Isadora Duncan Awards, Resident Company Flyaway Productions is proud to announce the world premiere of Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane, an aerial dance about the experience of older homeless women created by Choreographer Jo Kreiter in collaboration with award-winning composer Pamela Z and journalist Rose Aguilar. In this unusually arresting aerial dance set on an 80 foot wall in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane offers a riveting portrait of the nature of housing security and how it eludes so many older women in San Francisco.

The work aims not only to make visible "old ladies" who live on the street, but to nurture a connection between them and the available resources - including women's shelters and family based SROs - that the company's community partner, Episcopal Community Services, has to offer. The site of the performance is located at the edge of the Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods, where the city's extremes of privilege and deprivation crash into each other. UC Hastings College of the Law, an institution that for decades has supported a project focusing on the needs of homeless people terminated from General Assistance Welfare, has generously donated it's wall at 333 Golden Gate Avenue to Flyaway's production. The premiere of Multiple Mary represents the second in a trilogy of large-scale pieces created by Flyaway for performance in the Central Market area of San Francisco. Like Niagara Falling, the first in the series, Multiple Mary focuses on urban poverty. While Niagara offered a national perspective on the problem, Multiple Mary provides a distinctly feminist lens. The piece has its roots in "Old, Female and Homeless", an article published in the Nation last year by collaborator Rose Aguilar. Aguilar reports that the population of older homeless women has grown dramatically in the last 20 years. "It used to be that homeless women over 50 were blessedly rare," she writes. "Today, it's the norm."

With the help of Aguilar and the Episcopal Community Services, Kreiter has gathered oral histories from women living on the streets of San Francisco, which she uses as source material in Multiple Mary. In tandem with the show's 12 performances, Flyaway will host a series of "curbside chats" bringing passersby into a conversation about homelessness. Participants in this series include Aguilar, the director of the General Assistance Advocacy Project supported by UC Hastings, as well as the women whose stories are featured in Multiple Mary. The curbside chats will take place in the two weeks leading up to the performances, as well as at post-performance receptions on the street. "The arts have a unique capacity to raise awareness and build constituencies for social justice issues, and site-specific artworks are especially adept at meeting people where they are," says Kreiter. "At its core, Flyaway's work exposes the range and power of female physicality, and from there, reaches out to communities who are confronted in some way by injustice."

Composer Pamela Z and Kreiter have worked together off and on for nearly 20 years. Z's use of the human voice as an instrument marries perfectly with Kreiter's interest in giving voice to those without. The sound score will integrate the voices and stories of San Francisco's elder homeless women. Multiple Mary runs for ten evenings, Friday to Saturday, September 12th - 13th, and Thursday to Saturday, September 18th - 20th. In addition, two noon performances will take place Wednesday and Thursday, September 17th - 18th. All performances are Free. Performers in Multiple Mary form a multi-generational ensemble including Becca Dean, Laura Elaine Ellis, Mary Starr Hope, Erin Mei-­Ling Stewart, Alayna Stroud and Esther Wrobel.

The world premiere of Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane is made possible by The National Endowment for the Arts, Grants for the Arts, The Lighting Arts and Dance Award promoted by the California Arts Council, Dancer's Group, The Zellerbach Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Flyaway's generous individual donors and Zaccho Studio's Residency Program.

Jo Kreiter is a choreographer with a background in political science. Through dance she engages imagination, physical innovation and the political conflicts we live within. Her lineage includes gymnastics, Chinese pole acrobatics and 14 years as a principle dancer in Zaccho Dance Theatre. Kreiter / Flyaway is the recipient of two Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, a 2013 Center for Cultural Innovation Award, an Artist Investigator Award from Cal Shakespeare, a 2012 Gerbode Award, a 2012 CHIME Across Boarders grant with Elizabeth Streb, and grants from the Creative Work Fund and the MAP Fund. Her articles have been published in Contact Quarterly, In Dance, STREET ART San Francisco and Site Dance - the first book written in contemporary site-specific performance.

Jo Kreiter has been a Resident Company of Zaccho Studio since Flyaway Production's inception in 1995, and has been hosting year round workshops at Zaccho since 1996. "Zaccho has been my artistic home for a long time. It is a fabulous studio to make dances in, especially if they are off the ground," says Kreiter. "You walk in and you immediately feel like you have left the regular world and entered a place of elegance and creativity. The sense of space is magnificent there, as are the views of the city, the afternoon light, and the people who call the studio home. You won't go wrong if you study, train or invent your master piece at Zaccho!"
dawson dance

fabbrica materasso d'argento performance at Zaccho Studio

dawson dance sf is pleased to announce the launch of its new company website. Please visit dawsondancesf.org for information on artist profiles, upcoming performances, and ways to support the company in its mission to bring new and exciting works to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. In particular, a New Kickstarter Campaign has been launched, and the company can be seen performing in San Francisco, Southern California, and New York this season. Excited to be making San Francisco's Zaccho Studio its home base, dawson dance sf is looking forward to a season of passionate and innovative work. Please check the company’s website and Zaccho's AIR Blog regularly for news regarding current and forthcoming projects.
Amy Seiwert Artist in Residence

July is a very special time here at Zaccho Studio! For the past four summers, we have had the immense pleasure of hosting AIR Amy Seiwert and her Imagery Dancers during the creation of their SKETCH series. The SKETCH series was launched in 2011 as a platform for experimentation and innovation in ballet based choreography. Each choreographer self identifies a risk and uses that as their departure point for creation. Opportunities for pure choreographic exploration and development are almost non-existent in the ballet world, and rarely do they come with the freedom or resources that choreographers need to truly experiment. The SKETCH series was created specifically as a resource for choreographers to abandon their comfort zone. Each year the series has a theme. For 2014, that theme will be the relationship between music and dance.

SKETCH 4 | Music Mirror is an exploration of how two very different ballet choreographers interpret the same piece of original music by composer Kevin Keller. The commissioned music will be performed live by Amy Seiwert's Imagery (ASI), where Choreographers Seiwert and Adam Hougland will collaborate with Keller in the creation of new works, culminating in public performances at ODC Theater. The impact of SKETCH on both artists and audiences is significant. For the composer and choreographers, it is a chance to revel in possibility and creative ambition; for the dancers, it is an opportunity to participate directly in creation; for audiences, SKETCH provides access to the creative process. The works-in-process showings that take place at Zaccho Studio, as well as performances at ODC Theater (in San Francisco July 24-27 2014) with talk-backs and receptions happening at ODC on July 26th 2014, allow for a deep exchange between the audience and artists.

Amy Seiwert serves as the Artistic Director and primary choreographer of Imagery. Her collaborations with artists of other disciplines and commitment to experimental work from a classical base make her a unique voice in the SF dance community. She is honored to be the Choreographer in Residence for Smuin Ballet as well as an Artist in Residence at the ODC Theater and Zaccho Studio.
Gregory Dawson Artist in Residence

Our most featured AIR of 2014 is Artistic Director Gregory Dawson and his company dawson dance sf! They have re-established an enormous presence in San Francisco with the presentation of their highly successful World Premier fabricca matterasso d'argento. A high-energy and hard-hitting ballet, fabricca is set to the music of Alton San Giovanni and inspired by Langston Hughes' poem Dreams. As said by Ray Mark Rinaldi of the Denver Post, "The piece is an intimate, sensual and surreal marathon that pushes the dancers to the limits".

In his second production as AIR, Gregory Dawson embarked on the exciting and challenging territory of aerial dance with his Intrinsic Motion Project, staging his own highly ambitious, high-impact style of choreography off of the ground. Informed and inspired by his previous work as a dancer with Zaccho Dance Theatre, Gregory turned to Artistic Director Joanna Haigood for consulting on aerial techniques and safe practices. Zaccho's House Rigger, Sean Riley of Gravity Design, was also on board to rig the dancers' apparatus, allowing them to safely explore the realm of dancing in the rafters and zip across the floor with ropes.

Video Footage of this highly ambitious and successful new project can be seen here:

Gregory Dawson retired from Lines Ballet in 2005 and began to teach and choreograph for Alonzo King's LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University California and for LINES Ballet Training Program. Students from the LINES BFA Program were selected to represent the Southwest Region and perform his Solid Soil Beneath Our Feet at the National College Dance Festival in New York. Mr Dawson has also been on faculty for the San Francisco High School for the Arts for the last eight years.
In 2007 he formed dawsondancesf. In 2008 he choreographed Which Light in the Sky is Us for Company C which was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Choreography. In 2009, he became Assistant Director of the CCCSA Dance Dept. In the spring of 2010, Mr. Dawson reset Venus for the 2010 season of David Taylor Dance (DTD), and in spring 2011 created a new ballet for DTD, Big Sky Endless Mountains.
In the fall of 2011, Mr Dawson became Director of Dawson Wallace Dance Project in Denver, Colorado (formally David Taylor Dance). In 2011 Dawson was selected to receive a CHIME Grant to be mentored by Elizabeth Streb for one year, ending in December of 2012. In 2013, the Denver Post named Dawson the Best Choreographer in Denver. In September of 2013, dawsondancesf re-established it's presence in San Francisco with the World Premier of fabricca matterasso d'argento at Zaccho Studio, the company's new home.