The largest and most comprehensive world dance and music event with performances by 24 Bay Area-based world dance and music groups at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. The lineup includes six groups making their Festival debuts and the season will feature five world premieres created specifically for the 2017 Festival.
The co-Chairs of this year’s Opera House Festival are Judy Wilbur and David Lei, and the Festival’s Honorary Committee is led by David Tu. “The annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is a beacon both nationally and internationally for inspiring cross-cultural experiences by local artists sustaining the world’s artist legacy,” explains the Festival’s Executive Director Julie Mushet. “The San Francisco Bay Area is a vibrant and innovative crossroads for intangible world cultural traditions in one of the country’s most diverse locales, and we are thrilled to broaden the perspective of great dance and music on the Opera House stage, home of some of the world’s most prominent and enduring forms of performing arts.”
The dancers of the 2017 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival will be joined by some of the Bay Area’s most accomplished and respected musicians, including percussionist John Santos and tabla master Zakir Hussain, who said, “I am looking forward to being a part of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival at this historic moment as it comes to the Opera House for the first time. This unique and groundbreaking festival, a jewel among the Bay Area’s cultural treasure trove, continues to make San Francisco the center for world dance and music. It is a great honor for me to play with Antonia Minnecola for the 2017 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.”
The Festival’s Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the field of ethnic dance and music will be presented to Naomi Diouf, Artistic Director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company, during this year’s Festival.
Artists for 2017 include:
The Academy of Danse Libre – European Social Dances
Ballet Afsaneh – Persian-Iranian Contemporary
Ballet Folklórico México Danza – Mexican Folkloric
BITEZO BIA KONGO* – Congolese Traditional
Fogo Na Roupa Performing Company – Brazilian Folkloric (Maracatu)
De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association – Afro-Peruvian
Gamelan Sekar Jaya ± – Balinese Jegog
Gurus of Dance, an Aditya Patel Company – Indian Bollywood
John Santos Sextet + Alayo Dance Company*– Cuban Contemporary Folkloric
Leung’s White Crane Lion & Dragon Dance ±– Chinese Lion Dance
LIKHA – Pilipino Folk Ensemble – Filipino Folkloric (Mandayan and Tboli)
Māhealani Uchiyama –Zimbabwean Mbira
Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu – Hawaiian Hula
Natya at Berkeley – Indian Bharatanatyam
San Francisco Awakko Ren – Japanese Traditional (Awa Odori)
Te Mana O Te Ra – Tahitian Oteʻa
Theatre Flamenco + La Tania – Spanish Flamenco
Vinic-Kay (Le Gente y El Canto) ±– Mexican Folkloric
YaoYong Dance – Chinese Folkloric (Mongolia)
Zakir Hussain + Antonia Minnecola – Indian Kathak
Zena Carlota – West African Kora
Opera House Weekend One
Saturday, July 8, 8 p.m
Sunday, July 9, 2 p.m.
Opera House Weekend Two
Saturday, July 15, 8 p.m
Sunday, July 16, 2 p.m.