San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

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.”

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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.


(415) 392-4400

Opera House Weekend Two

Saturday, July 15, 8 p.m

Sunday, July 16, 2 p.m.


(415) 392-4400

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