State of Play Festival

Buy Tickets

The art of art-making goes through many unique processes: prompts, inspiration, feedback, collaboration, frustration, improvisation. One constant in this process is play - the notions of experimentation, risk, and curiosity.

State of Play invites you to join the creative process through a curated artistic exchange, presenting premieres and works in progress from artists across the Bay Area and the US paired with engagement activities designed to bring audience and artist closer together. 

All members of the public are invited to participate in curated discussions, games, debates, and panels with the artists. Full schedule of events will be announced in late Spring.

View the State of Play Brochure 

Tickets

Premieres | ODC Theater & ODC Dance Commons

  • little house dance: Hour Wolf in the Cavern
    Two dancers sitting on the floor
     
    Hour Wolf in the Cavern is a collaborative dance work between Portland, Maine based choreographers Riley Watts and Heather Stewart. An iterative performance on states of mourning through the physical mind and the cyclical nature of madness, Hour Wolf is an arrangement of choreographic concepts, dances, objects, sound, and spatial design. These choreographic elements can be recontextualized, and are available for extraction and recontextualization for each future location of performance. 
     
    Friday, June 3, 8 PM | ODC Theater
    Saturday, June 4, 8 PM | ODC Theater
    Digital Stream Saturday, June 18, 4:30 PM


    Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

     
    Photo by Juliette Sutherland
  • MKArts: Octavia's Brood: Riding the Ox Home

    Dancer leaning to the left pulled by a drape

    Octavia's Brood: Riding the Ox Home (2015) is an immersive, site-expansive dance work inspired by the prophetic envisioning of science fiction author, Octavia Butler, and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. It borrows its title from the collection of "short stories for social justice movements", co-edited by Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown.

    Wednesday, June 8, 8pm | ODC Theater
    Thursday, June 9, 8pm | ODC Theater
    Digital stream Thursday, June 16, 7:30 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event on June 8. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by C. Stanley Photography

  • SAMMAY: ritual for thrivation no. 2

    How do we move from a perpetual stasis of survival to palpable thrivation? In a world that has forgotten its inherent responsibility to the earth and each other, ritual for thrivation no. 2 poses ancestral reverence, intergenerational healing, and urban-indigenous futurism as urgent and fundamental to alleviating our current climate crisis.

    Friday, June 10, 8pm 
    Saturday, June 11, 8pm
    ODC Theater
    Digital stream Friday, June 17, 7:30 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event on June 11. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Jim Watkins Photography

    This work is generously supported by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center

  • Rosanna Tavarez/LA DANSA DANSA: Piece x Piece

    Two dancers conected by cloth, draping down dancers back

    Piece x Piece presents Tavarez’s mother’s immigration story to explore the challenges of transitioning from one territory to a drastically new one. It toggles between the escapist, rags-to-riches fantasy narratives of telenovelas and the heartbreaking reality of the immigrant experience, utilizing sewing as a metaphor for the deconstruction of “The American Dream”.

    Thursday, June 2, 3:30pm
    ODC Theater
    Digital stream Saturday, June 18, 3:00 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Angel Origgi

  • Megan Lowe Dances: Piece of Peace

    Piece of Peace explores mixed-race Asian American Pacific Islander experiences with an artistic team composed of folks who identify in this way. Through thoughtful text, soulful song, and dynamic dancing, Megan Lowe Dances invites collaborators to share stories of fractured selves and longings to belong, and co-create a supportive environment for connection.

    Friday, June 3, 3:30pm
    Studio B, ODC Dance Commons
    Digital stream Saturday, June 18, 3:45 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Maurice Ramirez

    This work is generously supported by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center

  • Erin Yen/Dragons Dance: Paper Trails

    Dancer on a colorful background with paper around them

    Monday, June 6, 3:30pm
    Studio B, ODC Dance Commons
    Digital stream Thursday, June 16, 6 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Paper Trails is a dynamic exploration of the unique communication pathways adopted by immigrants on Angel Island in the early 20th century. This new dance work features a range of movement drawn from imagination and personal stories, as well as inspiration from Erin Yen’s mixed-race lineage.  Artists Lucia Flexer-Marshall, Abigail Hinson and Sawako Ogo share the stage to research how communities may be built through fragmented interactions. The records have burned. A new history may form and we can write it, one secret message at a time.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Jose Jimenez

  • Nicole Peisl: handle

    Upclose image of dancer's hand outstretched

    handle is a choreographic look at subtle and not so subtle ways of being active, present and involved. A person calling their dog, a tennis player waiting for the serve, a pedestrian adjusting to the flow of people. Attention and feeling, skillful bodily movement. We sense, we handle.

    Nicole Peisl, Austrian, has had a long career as a performer, creator and teacher. After working with William Forysthe for 14 years, she recently earned a Phd. in Performance Studies at UC Davis. Her extensive training in somatic practices strongly informs her creative work. Her choreographic work has been performed in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria as well as in California.

    Wednesday, June 8, 3:30pm
    Studio B, ODC Dance Commons
    Digital stream Thursday, June 16, 6:45 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo c/o Nicole Peisl

  • Kim Ip/KRIMM's DANCE PARTY: you don't deserve us

    you don't deserve us is a dance piece about desire, visibility, and age, and how age representation changes when visibility is the goal. Drawing inspiration from collected interviews from Queer and non-Queer elders, Kim Ip will present a dance work that delves into desirability, sexiness, and lust.

    Thursday, June 9, 3:30pm
    Studio B, ODC Dance Commons
    Digital stream Friday, June 17, 6 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Hillary Goidell

  • Bianca Cabrera/Blind Tiger Society: Fever Dreams

    Fever Dreams is a dizzying dance spectacle based on Mexican folk Artist Pedro Linares’ Cartoneria known as Alebrije. Ornate and vibrantly colored costumes decorate dancers as they transform into Linares’ mythical creatures who are as loud and unapologetic as the heat hallucinations that sired them. Wild imagery and sensuous yet eerie movements are the backbone of these birds of paradise and they haunt the space with stories of longing, lust and looming fears.

    Friday, June 10, 6pm
    Studio B, ODC Dance Commons
    Digital stream Friday, June 17, 6:45 PM

    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Captioning will be available on this Digital Encore. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Elena Zhukova

Works In Progress | ODC Dance Commons

  • Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble: The Golden Thread

    The Golden Thread, a multimedia dance production, takes us on a journey through  different worlds wherein unique timing and tempos are essential to the livelihood of its people. Each world reveals a distinct key that unlocks their barrier to momentum, a  special vehicle on which ease and magical alignment take place.

    Thursday, June 2, 6:30pm
    Fisher Studio, ODC Dance Commons
     
  • Detour: QUAKE



    QUAKE
    is a new live performance that destigmatizes the topic of mental health and promotes community resilience within the Asian American community. The multidisciplinary project fuses new media, experimental performance, and alternative healing practices.

    Friday, June 3, 6:30 PM
    Argyle Studio, ODC Dance Commons
     
    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Robbie Sweeney
  • OYSTERKNIFE: m | ou | f

    Premiered at Surge, UC Santa Cruz's Afrofuturism Festival, this excerpt of the triptych closing piece m|ou|f aims to reclaim Black iconicity from the maw of celebrity culture. Having explored the legacies of violence and faith for blaQ communities in our prior projects, mouth full of sea and mouth//full, our latest collaboration is a meditation on visibility, opacity, sexuality, and the desire of & for queer(ed) Black stars. Using drag, ritual masquerade, original music, and choreography, we investigate the voices that made us question ourselves in the most delicious and fruitful of ways.

    Saturday, June 4, 6:30 PM
    Argyle Studio, ODC Dance Commons
     
    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.
     


    Photo c/o OYSTERKNIFE

  • Liv Schaffer & the Dance Generators: Big Red House of Rest

    Big Red House of Rest is a work in progress reimagining paradigms of the nuclear family and enlivening communication pathways between generations. Devised in collaboration with the performers, Big Red examines ingredients of vitality and decrepitation present in our current systems of succession, illuminating what we must ultimately lay to rest.

    Sunday, June 5, 2 PM
    Skirball Studio, ODC Dance Commons
     
    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.
     


    Photo by Kegan Marling

  • Nina Haft & Company: The Spaces Between

    How do we take measure of the distances between us? The Spaces Between explores the worlds of choice, mutuality, touch and pack behavior in humans/animals. Move closer.

    Sunday, June 5, 3 PM
    Argyle Studio, ODC Dance Commons
     
    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.
     


    Photo by Robbie Sweeney

  • DANCE MONKS (Mexico/SF Bay): Fire in the Mountain

    Fire in the Mountain is dedicated to Eric Koziol, a beloved San Francisco-based filmmaker who passed away this past year. Working in collaboration with DANCE MONKS for one year, the group and Eric explored the intimacy of working with the camera as another dancer. In this experimental sharing, the mythic characters of the film come to life in a live performance ritual that moves through the thresholds of the seen and unseen.

    Monday, June 6, 6:30 PM
    Fisher Studio, ODC Dance Commons


    Learn More & Reserve Tickets 

    Photo by Eric Kozoil

  • James Graham Dance Theatre: Social Males

    Social Males, a new dance theatre piece, looks at the effects of how males are socialized in our culture. Generally speaking, not being able to cry, to ask for help, or to be taught how to express emotions has a detrimental effect on all of our lives. The goal is to recognize and dismantle these patterns as a crucial step in ending patriarchy and war-focused violent culture.

    Wednesday, June 8, 6:30 PM
    Skirball Studio, ODC Dance Commons
     
    ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.
     


    Photo by Robbie Sweeney

Free Community Events

Curators

  • Charles Slender-White

      

    Charles Slender-White (he/him) is a queer contemporary dance artist of mixed European and Roma descent. He is a choreographer, teacher, performer, organizer, and the Artistic Director of FACT/SF. Slender-White has worked throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and began his career in 2006 as a dancer with Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg, Russia. His choreographic works have since been commissioned by ODC Theater, CounterPulse, the US Department of State, and numerous others. Slender-White is one of 40 Countertechnique Teachers worldwide, and he completed his undergraduate degrees in Dance & Performance Studies and English Literature at UC Berkeley.

    Photo by Robbie Sweeney

  • amara tabor-smith



    Amara Tabor-Smith (She/her). Born in SF, and 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, womanist principles, that insist on liberation, joy, homefullness and well-being. In addition to her own work Amara has also performed in the works of artists such as Ed Mock, Joanna Haigood, Anna 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; 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 Oakland, 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 and activists 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. www.deepwatersdance.com

    Photo by Jean Melesaine

  • Joint Curatorial Statement by amara tabor-smith and Charles Slender-White

    "An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. (Their) role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. (They) have to tell, because nobody else can tell what it is like to be alive." - James Baldwin

    What does it mean to curate a season of dance and performance amidst an on-going pandemic, a relentless drought, and a time of social and political volatility? What is the purpose of live performance and what does it have the potential to do?

    When we came together as two dance artists rooted in the Bay Area, Charles in San Francisco and amara in Oakland, we didn’t really know each other well. Through a series of conversations, though, we realized that we both shared a feeling of being overwhelmed by and depressed about our socio-political context, and a vision for how things might be different. We talked for hours about the field of dance, and about how we are still navigating our own challenges of making work. We talked about ODC Theater, about racism and privilege, and about wanting to raise the visibility of queer and BIPOC artists who we felt were making phenomenal art. We talked about performances that blew us away, and we thought about how this could be an opportunity to bring together a group of local and visiting artists whose work excites us, whose work we have long admired, and who we thought would be extraordinary for Bay Area audiences to experience.

    Our 2022 ODC Theater season is a significant shift towards curation through a collaboration rooted in us getting to know each other, listening to what we each felt was important at this moment in time, and ultimately a collective desire to invite artists who we think have important and powerful voices, and whose work values community, people, and engagement.

    The artists presented in this season range in their areas of interest, perspectives, and aesthetics. If there is a unifying theme in our curated season, it is that these artists are creating work that we feel will provide much needed breath, hope, and inspiration to move through this moment in time that we all find ourselves in. It is our hope that you too will experience the work in this way, being reminded as James Baldwin said, “…what it is like to be alive.”
     
    In the Spirit of NOW,
    amara tabor-smith and Charles Slender-White

Festival Information

  • Accessibility Services

    ASL interpretation will be provided at in-person events with performed text. Captioning will be provided for digital streams. Please see individual performance pages for details and dates. Please contact the ODC Box Office with accessibility requests or questions boxoffice@odc.dance.

  • Ramaytush Ohlone Land Tax Fund Donations

    ODC is on the ancestral lands of the Ramaytush People in Yelamu. We pay respects to elders past and present, who are still here and part of our community. We recognize that regenerative land management is not new, but is a continuation of practices from Native cultures and from our own ancestors. It is our responsibility to steward the land with care, as our elders did before us.

    ODC is donating $.50 for each in-person ticket (seat) sold to all performances in the Theater in 2022. ODC will donate these funds to the Association of Raymaytush Ohlone land tax fund. We encourage you to consider paying land tax donations, and to learn about the land where you reside by visiting native-land.ca.

  • Arts Access Ticketing

    ODC is offering a limited number of lower-cost Art Access tickets to every ODC presented performance and a limited number of free tickets held at the door for walk up attendance. These additionally subsidized tickets, available on a first come, first serve basis, are reserved for those for whom price is a barrier.
     
    We know living in the Bay Area is expensive. We also highly value the art onstage and are invested in supporting the artists that create it. Ticket prices only cover a small fraction of the resources invested in the performance and we strive to make them as accessible as possible. Continued financial support through ticket purchases and charitable donations from people like you make Art Access tickets possible.

  • Reopening, FAQ, & Contact

    Proof of vaccination is required for all in-person activities. Starting March 1, 2022, up to date vaccination status is required. Learn more at odc.dance/reopening.

    Please refer to our Performance and Event FAQ for any general questions. 

    With any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the ODC Box Office at boxoffice@odc.dance.

Schedule at a Glance

  • Thursday, June 2

    3:30pm | Rosanna Tavarez/LA DANSA DANSA: Piece x Piece

    4:30pm| Panel Discussion: Ephemerality and Permanence: Legacy, Lineage, and Letting Go
    Free to Attend

    6:30pm | Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble: The Golden Thread

  • Friday, June 3

    3:30pm | Megan Lowe Dances: Piece of Peace

    6:00pm | Lobby Night - Faces of State of Play

    6:30pm | Detour: QUAKE

    8:00pm | little house dance: Hour Wolf in the Cavern

  • Saturday, June 4

    4:30pm | Panel Discussion and Q&A: The Making of State of Play: Collaborative Curation at ODC Theater
    Free to Attend

    6:30pm | OYSTERKNIFE: m | ou | f

    8:00pm | little house dance: Hour Wolf in the Cavern

  • Sunday, June 5

    12:00pm | Intergenerational Intersections: Games for the Whole Family
    Free to Attend

    2:00pm | Liv Schaffer & the Dance Generators: Big Red House of Rest

    3:00pm | Nina Haft & Company: The Spaces Between

  • Monday, June 6

    3:30pm | Erin Yen/Dragons Dance: Paper Trails

    4:15pm | Longtable Discussion: Envisioning the Future of Dance
    Free to Attend

    6:30pm | DANCE MONKS (Mexico/SF Bay): Fire in the Mountain

  • Wednesday, June 8

    3:30pm | Nicole Peisl: handle

    4:15pm | Live Debate: More for Few v. Less for Many
    Free to Attend

    6:30pm | James Graham Dance Theatre: Social Males

    8:00pm | MKArts: Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home

  • Thursday, June 9

    3:30pm | Kim Ip/KRIMM’s DANCE PARTY: you don’t deserve us

    8:00pm | MKArts: Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home

  • Friday, June 10

    6:00pm | Bianca Cabrera/Blind Tiger Society: Fever Dreams

    8:00pm | SAMMAY: ritual for thrivation no. 2

  • Saturday, June 11

    6:30-7:30pm | Community Discussion: Re-imagining Araw ng Kalayaan
    Free to Attend

    8:00pm | SAMMAY: ritual for thrivation no. 2

Header Image by Jose Jimenez