"Julie Potter created thought-provoking programming that brought leading artists to San Francisco and showcased some of the Bay Area’s intriguing talents... it was a season of must-sees."
–San Francisco Chronicle on ODC Theater's 2018 Season
- A Note from Julie Potter | Director, ODC Theater
The temporary worlds created by dancing bodies compose a cultural commons of dynamic possibilities. At ODC Theater I consider dance as a form of activation. These live experiences, requiring physical presence, create imaginative environments where we can practice new ways of relating, feeling and giving attention. These are some of the most significant collective capacities yielded by a dance theater with space and programs for assembly and artistic expression.
Please join us for the 2020 Season at ODC Theater, where onstage, you’ll see premieres by Larry Arrington, Kinetech Arts, Christy Funsch, Shinichi Iova-Koga with Ann Carlson and Bobbi Jene Smith. The Unplugged series brings you into the process of randy reyes & jose e abad and our flagship company, ODC/Dance. Also, this year’s Walking Distance Dance Festival kicks off ODC’s 50th anniversary and will feature a rich ecology of Bay Area artists who have been in relationship with ODC over the years. These artists, immersed in the conditions and particularities of this moment, include José Navarrete and Debby Kajiyama, Catherine Galasso, Margaret Jenkins and Rinde Eckert, Geoff and Dan Hoyle, Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, Robert Moses, Hope Mohr, and Monique Jenkinson.
Additionally central to ODC Theater’s mission is a commitment to supporting the artists we grow. The Resident Artist Program currently provides a creative home on this dance campus for Larry Arrington, Antoine Hunter, Daiane Lopes da Silva and Weidong Yang of Kinetech Arts, and Lauren Simpson as they evolve their craft, provoke the community, and bring new performance work to life. And for the public, the ODC Theater Institute is a series of shared practice sessions with select visiting artists, offering opportunities to learn creative tools and techniques.
A dance theater is responsible for communal experience. The leadership of artists in this cultural commons drive the particular transmissions. Here, with artists as guiding actors, and dance as the medium, this
is a feeling space which privileges expressions of the body. It is the dancing bodies that call to mind and set in motion such feelings. Their significance lies in the intensities they build and in what thoughts and emotions they make possible.
While unstable and nuanced, with no guarantees, choreographic forces are significant in their capacity to mediate subtle shifts and seed new possibilities. What is experienced? Reinforced? Interrupted? Remembered? By repeatedly bringing artists and audiences together, this site has the potential to generate what a cultural commons requires to thrive—meaningful exchange and collectivity.
As performance offers a locus of possibility into the public imagination, please help us cultivate this space for artists who are on the front lines of embodying the replenishment that expressions of the body bring to our culture.
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- Larry Arrington No Quarter | January 9-11, 8:30 PM
Larry Arrington No Quarter
January 9-11, 8:30 PM | ODC Theater
ODC Theater Resident Artist Larry Arrington’s new work, No Quarter, is a folk dance that considers archetypes of power, paternity, and the consequences of time. Using Astrology as a deeply held personal practice, No Quarter is performed as an offering on the weekend of the Saturn Pluto conjunction. It excavates the shadow side and spiritual underpinnings of eurocentric cultural tenets, the notions of god that branch out from them, and the resulting ideological slip from the many to the one.
- ODC/Dance Unplugged | February 14, 7 PM
February 14, 7 PM | ODC Theater
ODC/Dance Unplugged is a recurring platform offering a rare and candid look into the creative process of ODC's choreographers. Delve into the specifics, question the process, and learn something new during these exclusive evenings with ODC's creative force.
- Kinetech Arts AI Sensorium | February 21-23, 8 PM
Kinetech Arts AI Sensorium
February 21-23, 8 PM | ODC Theater
AI Sensorium reflects on the advance of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Like all the major technology advances in history, with the potential of drastically improving human lives, come unexpected side effects.
- Deborah Slater Dance Theater inCIVILITY: A Seat at the Table & Outrage Machine | February 27-29, 8 PM; March 1, 5 PM
Deborah Slater Dance Theater inCIVILITY: A Seat at the Table & Outrage Machine
February 27-29, 8 PM; March 1, 5 PM | ODC Theater
This co-presentation with ODC Theater is part 2 and 3 of DSDT’s inCIVILITY series— the acclaimed Outrage Machine (2018), a combination of motion capture, live interactive visual effects, and the expressive power of dance, and the world premiere of the third and final section, A Seat at the Table, in celebration of DSDT’s 30th Anniversary season.
- The Living Earth Show T.L.E.S.TIVAL | March 6, 8PM; March 7, 6 PM & 8:30 PM
The Living Earth Show T.L.E.S.TIVAL
March 6, 8PM; March 7, 6 PM & 8:30 PM | ODC Theater
On March 6 and 7, 2020 the ferociously creative percussion-guitar duo The Living Earth Show (Travis Andrews and Andy Meyerson) celebrates its tenth anniversary in a co-production with San Francisco’s ODC, T.L.E.S.tival, featuring two of The Living Earth Show’s most distinctive, iconic collaborations: the inimitable M. Lamar’s Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman (Friday, March 6, 8pm) and the soul-searching Echoes (Saturday, March 7, two performances at 6pm and 8:30pm) with Youth Speaks and Kronos Quartet.
- RAWdance Triple Take | March 12-14, 8PM, 8 PM; March 15, 3 PM
RAWdance Triple Take
March 12-14, 8PM, 8 PM; March 15, 3 PM | ODC Theater
For RAWdance’s first season after expanding to two coasts, the company’s three Artistic Directors, Wendy Rein, Ryan T. Smith, and Katerina Wong, reunite for an eclectic trio of new works. Rein and Smith premiere the first phase of Shadow, a deep dive into our murky, expanding digital footprints, and what it might mean for the future as each click, search, and download creates an alternate identity that is bought and sold.
- Walking Distance Dance Festival | June 4-14
Walking Distance Dance Festival
The 2020 Walking Distance Dance Festival (WDDF) marks the start of ODC’s 50th anniversary. This special milestone edition of the festival, now in its ninth year, features a rich ecology of Bay Area artists immersed in the conditions and particularities of the region. Two distinct double bills each weekend guide theater-goers across a range of dance and across ODC’s two-building campus. During the opening program, the flagship company, ODC/Dance will appear in a special outdoor performance along Shotwell Street. In addition to dynamic performances, four pre-show legacy talks, an archival screening lounge, and two community convenings will mine histories as well as the present-future of Bay Area dance, and inquire upon aspects of the body, story, and community. From feminisms, bewitchment, and migrations, to dance incorporating literature, visual arts, folklore, film, and music, join us to binge on performance and celebrate an extraordinary gathering of artists including José Navarrete and Debby Kajiyama of NAKA, Catherine Galasso, Margaret Jenkins and Rinde Eckert, Geoff and Dan Hoyle, Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, Robert Moses, Hope Mohr and Monique Jenkinson.
- ODC/Dance Summer Sampler | July 16-18 & July 23-25, 8 PM
ODC/Dance Summer Sampler
July 16-18 & July 23-25, 8 PM | ODC Theater
Delight in the fervor of summer with a sampling of what ODC has to offer. From full company pieces to solos to collaborating choreographers, experience the breadth of ODC’s flagship company in their intimate home space.
- Amy Seiwert's Imagery SKETCH 10: WRECKED | July 30-31, 8PM; August 1-2, 8PM
Amy Seiwert's Imagery SKETCH 10: WRECKED
July 30-31, 8PM; August 1-2, 8PM
SKETCH 10: WRECKED will feature world premieres by six renowned choreographers, whose work will showcase the incredible talents of Imagery's company artists. The choreographers will each create a 12-15 minute ballet. Working in pairs, they will "wreck" each other's creations, a process of deconstruction and reconstruction that exposes the inner workings of each piece – laying bare the choreographers’ conscious and unconscious habits, and revealing the infinite directions in which ballets can be stretched, reshaped, and expanded.
- SFDanceworks Season 5 | August 13-15, 8 PM; August 16, 6 PM
SFDanceworks Season 5
August 13-15, 8 PM; August 16, 6 PM | ODC Theater
SFDanceworks is celebrating its fifth season this year and returning to the ODC Theater under the newly appointed direction of Laura O’Malley and Brett Conway, former dancers and choreographers with SFDanceworks. As co-artistic directors, this season they will bring their focus to commissioning all new, dynamic contemporary work.
- Funsch Dance EPOCH | September 12, 12 PM
Funsch Dance EPOCH
September 12, 12 PM | ODC Theater
Funsch Dance’s extended-length work, EPOCH, subverts conventional performance models by pushing the limits of duration. In cheeky defiance of Doris Humphrey’s warning “All dances are too long,” EPOCH unfolds over 12 hours, in a gratuitous surplus of movement, interrupted by moments of nothingness, to challenge the valuing of acquisition and excess.
- Theater Unplugged with randy reyes and jose abad | September 24, 7 PM
Theater Unplugged with randy reyes and jose abad
September 24, 7 PM | ODC Theater
ODC Theater Unplugged is a recurring platform offering a rare and candid look into the creative process. This edition features developing work by randy reyes and jose abad, who through individual work craft contemporary choreographic rituals through movement research and durational movement practices, sound design and composition, installation and sculptural elements via a BIQTPOC lens. Their respective travels to home countries of Guatemala and the Philippines, as well as patterns of migration, will inform the work to be shared.
- inkBOAT The Ones We Fell Among | October 16-18, 8 PM
inkBOAT The Ones We Fell Among
October 16-18, 8 PM | ODC Theater
inkboat commissions award winning interdisciplinary artist, Ann Carlson to make The Ones We Fell Among. This multi-phased performance project muses and reflects upon the movements, mythologies, behaviors and perceptions of earth’s largest land mammal, the elephant. With wild quiet and clumsy grace, Carlson borrows from the real, the imagined, and the symbolic to build a world of wonder and reckoning for master performers Shinichi lova-Koga and Dana lova-Koga.
- Bobbi Jene Smith Lost Mountain | November 12-15, 8 PM
Bobbi Jene Smith Lost Mountain
November 12-15, 8 PM | ODC Theater
Lost Mountain draws inspiration from the catastrophic and sublime machinations of geological forces to create an abstract and emotionally visceral narrative. A series of vignettes with live music brings together ten remarkable artists from around the world including former Batsheva and Punch Drunk performers.
- ODC Theater Public Engagement
ODC Theater Institute
The ODC Theater Institute is a searies of shared practice seasons with season artists. Meet the artists offstage and learn the techniques, creative tools, and strategies they employ.
ODC Theater Lobby Gallery Exhibitions
Visual art curated in concert with artists performing at ODC Theater.
- Dance Stories
Visit odc.dance/stories by ODC Writer in Residence Sima Belmar for a collection of writing about ODC and the world of dance. You can also subscribe to receive the articles directly in your inbox