ODC Theater 2022 Season

For two years ODC Theater has been shifting strategies on curation and community engagement. In 2022 these shifts manifest in new and exciting ways. ODC Theater's 2022 Season fosters new performance by Bay Area artists and serves as a foothold for touring artists from around the globe. Our calendar highlights a roster of artists thoughtfully selected by our 2022 Curatorial Team: amara tabor-smith, Charles Slender-White, Marlene Garcia, Alleluia Panis, Dazaun Soleyn, Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, and Leyya Mona Tawil, that point to new perspectives and artistic impulses.

Tickets on sale in early 2022
 

A Note from Chloë Zimberg, she/her | Creative Director, ODC Theater

  • ODC Theater 2022 Season

    For two years ODC Theater has been shifting strategies on curation and community engagement. In 2022 these shifts manifest in new and exciting ways. I am humbled by the patience, trust, and enthusiasm expressed by artists, community members, and colleagues near and far. Those moments of affirmation and contribution have made it possible for fresh ideas to emerge. It is our goal to listen, analyze, and craft a path forward, acknowledging that our programmatic propositions in 2022 are one step in what is continual and responsive strategic development. 

    Our calendar highlights a roster of artists with a longstanding connection to ODC Theater, and a dynamic array of projects thoughtfully selected by our 2022 Curatorial Team that point to new perspectives and artistic impulses. I am grateful for our Guest Curators and their willingness to jump in and test new structures with ODC Theater. To amara tabor-smith, Charles Slender-White, Marlene Garcia, Alleluia Panis, Dazaun Soleyn, Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, and Leyya Mona Tawil, my heartfelt thank you. 

    In June, ODC Theater will launch its new festival format, State of Play. We asked Amara Tabor-Smith and Charles Slender-White to build a roster of artists at different stages in their careers featuring works in different stages of production. 

    For the fall, Tabor-Smith and Slender-White identified a stellar lineup of artists to bring to the Bay Area: Ni’Ja Whitson, Marjani Forté-Saunders, and Charles O. Anderson. These are folks that you don’t want to miss, performing repertory works that draw on African Diasporic art, ritual, and spirituality, as well as paternal lineage, love, and warriorship. 

    Through the year, I hope you’ll follow our blog, Dance Stories, and season two of our podcast, Dance Cast. Dance Stories will invite community writers to respond to works in the theater and discussions in the field. Dance Cast will push forward critical conversations with colleagues on dance. 

    I am glad to share that ODC Theater will pay land tax donations as a form of reparations to The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone. We will work with consultants to increase accessibility services for all presented productions, make more consistent the visitor experience via concessions service in our lobby and curation of our gallery, and increase access to discounted theater rentals, discounted tickets to presented performances, and free events at ODC Theater. 

    As we welcome many more artists, staff, curators, writers, and speakers into our programming, I urge you to mark up this calendar and make plans to join us in 2022. I am truly excited for all that is to come and I look forward to seeing you at the theater soon. 

    Chloë Zimberg, she/her
    Creative Director, ODC Theater

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

Calendar of Events

  • January

    ** Lauren Simpson and Galen Rogers with Emma Strebel: Self Leveling (a work in progress)
    January 28-29, 2022
    This project marks the completion of a Theater Resident Artist from the 2018-2021 cohort whose residency was delayed due to COVID-19.

  • February

    Lobby Night
    February 4, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    Make it a night out at ODC Theater’s first Lobby Night, with an art opening curated by Emma Rubinowitz featuring photography by Myles Thatcher,  Second Cast: An Exploration in Drag, in which a group of local ballet dancers from San Francisco combined their artistic skills to develop a series of drag photography that blends radical transformation with fine art. 

    Want to show something at the open mic / on the open floor? Write to theater@odc.dance to sign up in advance or talk to ODC staff at the event to get added to the lineup!

    ODC Health Programming
    February 14, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    ODC's Health Initiatives Program Director Rachel Abair discusses the social and emotional impact of dancing together with Jennifer Bury, expert Movement Therapist and Certified Trainer/Supervisor in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™. Learn the importance of how we create and strengthen community by moving together, and how we can take that forward together in our lives. 

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    February 21, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    The Art & Ideas series offers monthly, free programming that joins artist communities and audiences together for panels on driving equitable practices in the dance field, discussions on topics impacting the arts sector, embodying our theory into physical practice, and consulting experts in the field. February 21st's panel discussion will feature Weidong Yang of Kinetech Arts moderating a conversation between local Asian American and Pacific Islander artists including San Francisco Ballet's first Asian Male Principal Dancer Wei Wang and Bay Area dancer and choreographers Megan Lowe and Johnny Huy Nguyen on the intersection of art making and AAPI identity and representation. Come to learn, share, ask, and be curious! 

  • March

    Lobby Night
    March 4, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    The Artists Climate Collective lead by Keaton Leier is a collection of artists passionate about the idea of using art as a tool to build awareness, activism, and funds towards a more sustainable future. Curated for the ODC Theater Gallery in March by Emma Rubinowitz, they have commissioned three artists Gabriel Smith, Alexandra Farber, and Maggie Carey to create work with an environmental theme. 

    ODC Health Programming
    March 14, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    Food and Nutrition Showdown: Dairy vs. Plant Based - Who wins?!
    Does milk really do a body good or should I go dairy-free? Maybe I should be vegan? What’s this whole plant-based craze really about? Rachel sits down with Dr. Mary Lesser, Registered Dietitian, to answer all your questions and discuss dairy vs. plant based products and their impact on dancers and overall health. 

    Joe Landini & Co: City of Ghosts
    March 18-20, 2022

    City of Ghosts is a meditation on loss and fractured memories. Landini reflects on living in San Francisco for thirty years and how gentrification, change and death are part of civic life. The athletic movement in City of Ghosts is inspired by resilience, adaptation, and evolution. Also featuring More is MORE! featuring costumes by Mr. David, inspired by Juanita MORE! and composition by the Tammy Hall Trio (Mar 18 & 20).

    *At the request of the artists and performers, masks will be required at all times during this event.
     

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    March 21, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    SAFEhouse Arts (Saving Arts From Extinction) and ODC Theater invite you to take a deep dive into the experiences of mid-career artists and the unique set of challenges that come with being neither emerging nor veteran. Executive Director of SAFEhouse Arts, Joe Landini, will lead a long-table discussion around funding, self-producing, being presented, and collaborating.

  • April

    Lobby Night: Many Happy Returns
    April 1, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    "I love to sing and I love to draw and I like to see my friends. This is why I'm happy to be back in the studio." - Shanna Kinard

    After almost two years of working from home, NIAD artists and staff returned to our beloved 23rd St. studio in Richmond, CA with joy, relief, and anticipation of the fullness of possibility. All of the work exhibited in this show has been created since this return, roughly 5 months ago. NIAD Art Center is a Progressive Studio for disabled adults in Richmond, California. This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary! Come check out their gallery curated by Bill Zindel and Liam Golden featuring artists: Peter Harris, Heather Hamann, Arista Dawson, Mike Star, Deatra Colbert, Saul Alegria, Shawna Kinard, Dorian Reid, and Lupe Soto. 

    San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: Drama and Poetry
    April 2 - 3, 2022 | 7 PM & 1 PM

    At the high-water mark of our 51st season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players take a collective look in the mirror with a set of generational responses from across the globe to the poetry and drama of existence. Celebrating her 90th birthday, Eastern European master Sofia GUBAIDULINA’s music is hailed for its unflagging dramatic and emotional intensity. Two of her works anchor the first concert in an exploration of the existential, while the winning composer of our annual SF Search for Scores responds to the theme. The searing intensity of Amadeus REGUCERA’s musical language comes to life in a newly commissioned work of instrumental theater, calling upon the poetry of Filipino writer José García Villa as inspiration. On our second program, Chinese-American composer Du YUN’s latest essay for string quartet leads off with her typical hyper-dramatic flair, and Australian composer David CHISHOLM explores the murky implications behind the idea of the projected self in the internet age. One more work of GUBAIDULINA’s rounds out the celebratory focus on her achievement, in a deeply moving expression of her profound sense of the spiritual and the eternal. 

    ODC Health Programming: The Coordinated Core Container - What’s inside?
    April 4, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    Ever wonder what is really part of your core? The core is more than just the “six pack abs”. All movement requires core coordination and is necessary for healthy functional movement patterns. Rachel discusses the recent research with Dr. Karah Charette, PT, DPT. We now understand the core operates primarily as a pressure management system. This system is a container- and this container has contents! Come learn about how these contents play a pivotal role in breathing, digestion, and muscular function which ultimately produces healthier movement and dancing. 

    ZiRu Dance: Vantage 
    April 7-10, 2022 | 7:30 PM

    A project addressing xenophobia, race, and promoting advocacy through dance, Vantage sits at the intersection of movement, technology, cultural identity, nature and most importantly: social justice. The experimental work, Vantage, will incorporate virtual reality, dance-for-the-camera, site-specific choreography (choreography catered to an off-stage location), storytelling, and live panel discussions from four distinct racial viewpoints (Asian American, African American, Latinx, and European Caucasian). 

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas: Dance On Dance
    April 18, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    Join artists KT Nelson and Joanna Haigood and experience designer Jenny Sauer-Klein for a free evening of convening around dance and dancing. KT and Joanna have joined together for the first time in decades to make a dance. We are interested in gathering with our audiences to find new ways of experiencing and sharing our art. Jenny will join us to find ways of expanding and reimagining our relationship with our audience. Wear comfortable clothes. Be ready to write, move, imagine with us and be the first to see Joanna and KT’s duet. Reserve tickets

    Amit Patel & Ishika Seth: Unearthed
    April 22-24, 2022 | 8 PM 

    Unearthed is a dance and music production that excavates the stories of forgotten voices in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Bringing forth diverse perspectives, we examine these stories in a modern context, relating them to current social and political themes. Using the idiom of Indian Contemporary dance movement, music, and narration, Unearthed brings together a stellar cast of South Asian artists, directed by Amit Patel & Ishika SethReserve tickets

    ** Larry Arrington & Alexa Burrell: w o w
                                                                             m o m

    April 29-30, 2022 | 7:30 PM 
    This project marks the completion of a Theater Resident Artist from the 2018-2021 cohort whose residency was delayed due to COVID-19.

    w o w
    m o m

    is the final presentation of Arrington's time as a Theater Resident Artist at ODC. Bearing the mark of Covid's mutable timeline, this work has shape-shifted over the last two years. Originally planned as a work digging into performing hypothetical imaginings of Demeter/ the Eleusinian mysteries and myths of chthonic quests as a means of metabolizing the myriad disasters and joys of our age. Since then, the joys and disasters keep unfolding and the work kept absorbing them. The centerpiece of the work is a film created by Alexa Burrell and Larry Arrington bolstered by portions of live performance made in concert with Maurya Kerr, Clement Goldberg, Brontez Purnell, Chelsea Reichert, Grisel Torres, Keith Hennessy, Gizeh Muniz-Vengel, Amy Wasielewski, and Joel St Julien. Reserve tickets

  • May

    Small Art Music Projects: The Crushing Spiral Ensemble
    May 1, 2022

    Lobby Night
    May 6, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    After almost two years of working from home, NIAD artists and staff returned to our beloved 23rd St. studio in Richmond, CA with joy, relief, and anticipation of the fullness of possibility. All of the work exhibited in this show has been created since this return, roughly 5 months ago. NIAD Art Center is a Progressive Studio for disabled adults in Richmond, California. This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary! Reserve tickets

    ODC Health Programming: Gotta Move!
    May 2, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    Being active is one of the most important things you can do each day to maintain and improve health. And as we age, movement is even more important as there are so many benefits to us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Rachel sits down with Dr. Carlin Senter, a primary care sports medicine physician at UCSF, to discuss what to expect in our 60s, 70s, and 80s +, and how movement can be the medicine your body needs to live better and longer. Reserve tickets

    ODC/School: Step Onstage
    May 14-15, 2021

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas: To Review or Not to Review?
    May 16, 2022 | 6pm | FREE

    ODC Dance Cast host Sima Belmar talks with Bhumi Patel about the state of dance criticism today. Through of discussion of recent (and not so recent) articles bemoaning the end of dance criticism and the perceived threat of cancellation, Belmar and Patel seek to answer the burning question: To Review or Not to Review? Reserve tickets

    ASL interpretation will be available for this event. Please contact the ODC Box Office with any questions or accessibility requests: boxoffice@odc.dance

    Ruth Asawa School of the Arts World Music Department Presents | GANBATTE!
    May 19-22, 2022 | 7 PM & 3 PM

    GANBATTE! - a grand showcase of Japanese Taiko, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian drumming, Filipino Kulintang, Reggae-Frevo, and Jazz ensembles featuring the department’s student performers and the dynamic curriculum of this San Francisco Unified School arts program, the only public school program in the nation offering hands-on percussive and musical instruction from ethnic cultures around the globe. Reserve tickets

    Emily Hansel: Four by Four
    May 26-28, 2022 | 7 PM & 4 PM

    Choreographed by Emily Hansel and co-created by dancers Alex Carrington, Mia J. Chong, Shareen DeRyan, and Chelsea Reichert, Four by Four is a messy attempt at refusing productivity. Since beginning work in November 2021, the artists have been practicing the radical act of not knowing. They’ve been fighting their capitalist tendencies, taking their time, embracing messiness, and prioritizing adaptability. Featuring original music composed by Sophia Cotraccia and Bed Juodvalkis and lighting design by Thomas Bowersox, Four by Four is a contemporary dance that is simultaneously light-hearted, serious, ordinary, and one-of-a-kind. Reserve tickets

  • June - State of Play Festival

    Lobby Night
    June 3, 2022 | FREE

    Faces of State of Play Art Opening
    For the month of June, the ODC Theater Gallery will feature self-portraits by the artists of the State of Play festival. Attend Lobby Night to celebrate the kick off of the exhibit and see the faces of State of Play.  Reserve tickets

    State of Play Festival
    June 2-11, 2022

    ODC Theater’s new festival format State of Play will feature studio works in progress, 30 minutes max showcases, and full evening length works. The festival will present premieres and repertory from across the Bay Area and the country paired with curated engagement activities. Artists include:

    little house dance: Hour Wolf

    MKArts: Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home

    SAMMAY: ritual for thrivation no. 2

    Kim Ip/KRIMM’S DANCE PARTY: you don’t deserve us

    Rosanna Tavarez/ LA DANSA DANSA: Piece X Piece

    Dragons Dance: Paper Trails

    Megan Lowe Dances: Piece of Peace

    Bianca Cabrera/Blind Tiger Society: Fever Dreams

    Nicole Peisl: handle

    DANCE MONKS (SF Bay/Mexico) Mirah Kellc Esteva and Rodrigo Esteva: Fire in the Mountain

    Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble: Momentum (working title)

    Nina Haft & Company: The Spaces Between (working title)

    Detour: Quake

    OYSTERKNIFE: m | ou | f

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

    James Graham Dance Theatre: Social Males

    ODC Health Programming: Exploring and Embracing the Mind of a Young Dance Athlete
    June 13, 2022 | 6 PM | FREE

    How do you react when things don’t go as planned or when life is full of change? In this workshop, resident physicians in the UCSF Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Tiana Woolridge and Dr. Faustine Ramirez, will share their experience with mental illness during their time as NCAA Division I athletes. They will discuss their unique perspective as both physicians and former high-level athletes on mental health and eating disorders among young athletes. Participants will receive concrete tools, strategies, and resources that are tailored for young dance athletes to improve mental wellness, resiliency, coping, and thus performance and life. Reserve tickets

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas: Summer Solstice - with Kinetech Arts
    June 20, 2022 | 6pm | FREE

    Join Kinetech Arts and ODC for an evening of experiments and conversation in celebration of the Summer Solstice. The event will showcase a series of experiments to explore performance ideas, ranging from dance to film, music and technology. Artists from the Kinetech Arts Open Lab community will share their projects, which will be followed by informal conversations with the audience. We will celebrate the summer solstice with a collision of ideas from diverse fields to inspire and to foster cross discipline collaborations. Reserve tickets

  • July

    Lobby Night
    July 1, 2022 | FREE

    Lobby Night featuring Anna Sidana
    Anna Sidana (she/her) is a visual artist and large-scale oil painter. Her art explores an emotional connection with complex family histories. Leveraging the staggering power of nature to heal, and through abstraction and symbolism, she transcends the canvas to convey myriad emotions. Reserve tickets

    Kiandanda Dance Theater: Religion Kitendi - Dress Code
    July 1-3, 2021

    Who could have imagined that a group of people can find hope and strength in life through the clothes they wear? The Religion Kitendi-Dress Code project dives into the portrayals of the Congolese sapeurs, a group of dandy men and women who strive to survive the hardship of social and political challenges through feeling good in their attire. The project touches on the theatrical humor and the sorrowful trend of people who spend enormous sums of hard-earned money to find joy and hope in the kitendi (clothes) like a religion. Reserve tickets

    SFDanceworks: Season 5
    July 8-10, 2022

    Since 2016, SFDanceworks’ mission is to present the past, present, and future of world-class contemporary dance. We aim to present a global perspective on contemporary dance, presenting works by local, national, and international artists, as well as a nod to past masterworks. Through our mission, we aim to engage in a conversation about where contemporary dance has been and where it may be headed! Reserve tickets

    ODC Health Programming
    July 11, 2022

    Dancers oftentimes only dance, and, unfortunately, dance injuries are very common. Just like any sport or activity, the body needs different modalities of movement to challenge itself and to function better. Overuse injuries occur with repetition, and mixing up the activity helps keep the body in balance. Rachel discusses cross training for dancers with Oriana Oanh Hua, PT, DPT, CSCS, and how understanding aerobic, anaerobic, strength, flexibility, and mobility cross training can help dancers leap higher, dance for longer, and with greater quality movement. Learn how all these components work together in harmony to ensure you are dancing at your greatest capacity and prevent injury. Reserve tickets

    Jung YoungDoo & Jarosław Kapuściński: WITH
    July 16-17, 2022 | 2 PM & 7 PM

    Choreographer Jung YoungDoo and composer Jarosław Kapuściński perform a continuous hour-length piece on wordless understanding, unadorned sincerity, and parallel play. A counterpoint between motion and stasis, piano and dance react to each other in real-time— attempting a profound connection—music is gesture, gesture is sound, sound is intimacy. Reserve tickets

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    July 18, 2022

    Moving forward in the era of climate change requires new ways of listening, imagining, and being. In working at the intersection of many modes of knowing, artists embody a unique agility and responsiveness to a changing world. This conversation will explore how each of the guest speakers’ artistic practices are informed by, activate and integrate materials and lessons from the natural world, and where they believe artists might fit in the environmental movement. Reserve tickets

    ODC/Dance: Summer Sampler
    July 28-30, 2022

    Delight in the sweetness of summer with a taste of ODC/Dance. Experience renowned company favorites, including Brenda Way’s witty reflection on unrestrained self interest in Unintended Consequences (A Meditation), Kimi Okada’s award winning examination of secret languages in Two If By Sea, KT Nelson’s Going Solo for ODC veteran Private Freeman, Amy Seiwert’s heartfelt duet Veronica & Vincent, and Dexandro Montalvo’s Impulse, an explosive quartet for four women.

    Summer Sampler wraps with the ODC 50+ Anniversary Block Party, a free to all celebration of the ODC campus at 17th and Shotwell Streets in the heart of the Mission District. Featured events include KT Nelson's mobile magnum opus Path of Miracles, short works choreographed by members of ODC/Dance, and much more for the whole family! Reserve tickets

  • August

    Lobby Night
    August 5, 2022

    DISCO RIOT + FACT/SF: PORT SD + SF
    August 5-7, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    August 8, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    August 15, 2022

    The Million Underscores: The Observatory, Chapters 5, 23, 28, 43, 56 & 19
    August 19-20, 2022

  • September

    Lobby Night
    September 2, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    September 12, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    September 19, 2022

    Lenora Lee Dance: In The Movement
    September 1-4 & 8-11, 2022

    Maurya Kerr and Eric Garcia: beloved comet falling up
    September 29-October 1, 2022

  • October - *ODC Theater Fall Season

    Garrett + Moulton Productions: 20th Anniversary Celebration
    October 6-9, 2021

    Lobby Night
    October 7, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    October 10, 2022

    Chitresh Das Institute: Invoking the River
    October 14-16, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    October 17, 2022

    Ars Minerva: Astianattea Forgotten Opera by Leonardo Vinci
    October 21-23, 2022

    Ni’Ja Whitson | The NWA Project: A Meditation on Tongues
    October 28-30, 2022
    *The ODC Theater Fall Season will present repertory works by touring artists.

  • November - *ODC Theater Fall Season

    Lobby Night
    November 4, 2022

    Marjani Forté-Saunders | 7NMS: Memoirs of a... Unicorn
    November 4-6, 2022
    *The ODC Theater Fall Season will present repertory works by touring artists.

    ODC Health Programming
    November 14, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    November 21, 2022

  • December

    LA Contemporary Dance Company: DANCING IN SNOW
    December 1-4, 2022

    Lobby Night
    December 2, 2022

    Nava Dance Theatre: Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies
    December 9-10, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    December 12, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    December 19, 2022

Image by Scott Shaw of Ni'Ja Whitson