About the Theater

ODC Theater exists to empower and develop innovative artists. It participates in the creation of new works through commissioning, presenting, mentorship and space access; it develops informed, engaged and committed audiences; and advocates for the performing arts as an essential component to the economic and cultural development of our community. This 170-seat venue is the site of over 150 performances a year involving nearly 1,000 local, regional, national and international artists.

Since 1976, ODC Theater has been the mobilizing force behind countless San Francisco artists and the foothold for national and international touring artists seeking debut in the Bay Area. The Theater, founded by Brenda Way has earned its place as a cultural incubator by dedicating itself to creative change-makers, those leaders who give the Bay Area its unmistakable definition and flair. Nationally known artists Spaulding Gray, Diamanda Galas, Bill T. Jones, Eiko & Koma, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Karole Armitage, Sarah Michelson, Brian Brooks and John Heginbotham are among those whose first San Francisco appearance occurred at ODC Theater. ODC Theater is currently under the Creative Direction of Chloë L. Zimberg.

Make a donation to support ODC Theater 

What's on at ODC Theater?

Free Events at ODC Theater

  • Lobby Nights

    Lobby Nights are free art openings that add a dash of dance with low-risk dance and live performance "open mics."

    Quarterly Guest Curators invite visual artists to install exhibits that kick off on the first Friday of each month. Performing artists are welcomed to show a small snippet of work in a fun and casual atmosphere.

    Audiences are invited to bring a date or make it a night out with friends at ODC Theater with art, snacks, drinks, and dance - pop in, enjoy, mingle.

    Want to show a small live performance moment or workshop an idea at the open mic / on the open floor? You'll have an intimate audience with this no tech, no stress opportunity. ODC can provide audio playback on a small speaker - bring your device to plug in. For folks showing movement, please note that the space is small and there is no dressing/warm up room. Write to theater@odc.dance to sign up in advance or talk to ODC staff at the event to get added to the lineup!

    Please RSVP in advance to reserve your spot and make arrival faster. Walk-ups are welcome to RSVP at the door.

    View upcoming lobby nights

    Photo by Andrew Rogers

  • ODC Health Workshops

    ODC Health will host monthly educational workshops regarding dancer health. The facilitators, topics, and target audiences will vary each month as we hope to provide information to our large range of ODC participants. Our expert facilitators will include physicians, physical therapists, mental health specialists, nutritionists, and health coaches, all who have experience dancing and helping dancers. These workshops are live and include opportunities for Q&A with our experts.

    View upcoming workshops

    Photo by Andrew Rogers

  • ODC Theater Art & Ideas

    The Art & Ideas series offers monthly, free programming that joins artist communities and audiences. Come together for panels on driving equitable practices in the dance field, discussions on topics impacting the arts sector, embodying our theory in physical practice, and to access consulting by experts in the field. Programming will be offered in a variety of formats - workshops, panels, engaged practices, live recordings, and more. Come to learn, share, ask, and be curious.

    View upcoming Art & Idea nights 

    Photo by Andrew Rogers

Discourse

  • Dance Cast by Sima Belmar: Podcast

    The podcast that nerds out about dance to learn more about the world.

    Season 2: March - August 2022

    Producer and host Sima Belmar has been a dance insider for over forty years, and she still has questions. In season two, Dance Cast will search for some answers. Conversations with dance insiders and outsiders will bust binaries (street/stage, traditional/contemporary, theory/practice), explore concepts (virtuosity, abstraction, expression), consider practices (technique, training, transmission), and investigate how dance weaves its way through pop culture, society, and our daily lives.

    View latest episodes ► 

    Photo by Sophie Leininger

  • ODC/Dance Stories: Blog

    A collection of articles about ODC and the world of Dance.

    Read latest stories ►

Artist Support

  • Rental Program Discount Initiatives

    Applications are now closed. 

    Applications for 50-100% off rentals at ODC Theater in 2023. Guest Curators Donald Byrd, Eric Garcia, Audrey Johnson, and Rosanna Tavarez. 

  • Resident Artist Program: Archive

    ODC’s Resident Artist Program is a vital three-year intensive offering four Bay Area contemporary dance and performance artists comprehensive mentoring and unique opportunities to develop both their creative practice and their sustainable capacity as artists and ensembles. The program is currently on pause after the culmination of its most recent cohort in June of 2021. ODC Theater will take 2022 to review the program in dialogue with artistic community to assess the most supportive format for reemergence.

    Learn more 

  • Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater: Archive

    The Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater has supported artists via subsidy in processes of self production onsite in the B.Way Theater and in 2021, production of dance for the camera during COVID-19.

    Learn more 

The Theater Team

  • Meet the Team

    Creative Director | Chloë L. Zimberg (she/her) 

     

    Chloë L. Zimberg (she/her), is a dancer, producer, curator, and arts program specialist currently leading ODC Theater as Creative Director. Her work centralizes on the strategic development of equitable performing arts platforms and the live arts sector. Zimberg is the Co-Founder of Chlo & Co Dance, which curates and presents Drove, a twice-annual evening of dance performance by West Coast artists, as well as Tabled, an interdisciplinary discussion series highlighting universal issue areas in the national arts ecology. Zimberg is originally from the Puget Sound and holds a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice from the University of San Francisco with concentration in Dance and minor emphases in Politics and English Literature. chloez@odc.dance

     

                                
    Garth Grimball (he/him/his)                             Brian Williamson (he/him)
    ODC Executive Associate                                   ODC Theater Venue Manager
    Dance Stories Editor                                            b.williamson@odc.dance
    garth@odc.dance                                                                                     

                                
    Jack Beuttler (he/him)                                        Charlie Levy (they/he)
    Director of Production                                          Audience Services Coordinator
    jack@odc.dance                                                   c.levy@odc.dance

                                
    Sima Belmar                                                       Charles Slender-White (he/him)
    Producer & Host of Dance Cast                           Resident Strategist for Creative Partnerships and Curation
    sima@odc.dance                                                  cslender@odc.dance 
                           

                              
    Chris Chamberlin-Miner                                 Luna Sofia Ruíz (she / her)
    Production Coordinator                                      ODC Theater Assistant
    c.chamberlin.miner@odc.dance                         l.sofiaruiz@odc.dance

    Contact us at theater@odc.dance
    Meet the full ODC team at odc.dance/staff

2022 Curatorial Team

  • State of Play and Fall Season | Guest 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

  • Rentals Discount Initiative | Guest Curators
    • Alleluia Panis



      Alleluia Panis has been a director & choreographer for over four decades. She is the founder of KULARTS, the nation's premiere presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts. She is a respected elder artist in the US and the Philippines and is at home in both Philippine indigenous dance and American contemporary forms. Her immersive multidisciplinary work explores legacies of colonialism, immigration, and forced displacements. A 2017 SFAC Legacy Artist awardee, she is the recipient of Hewlett 50 Commissions, Rainin Foundation Open Space grant, and Gerbode Foundation Special Arts Award. Her dance film, She, Who Can See premiered at the 2018 CAAM Fest and is currently playing at YBCA. Asian Art Museum has commissioned her 2022-24 Anting Anting dance project. kularts-sf.org

      Photo by Joe Ramos
       

    • Farah Yasmeen Shaikh



      Farah Yasmeen Shaikh is an interantionally acclaimed Kathak performer, choreographer, and instructor, and Founder & Artistic Director of Noorani Dance, with two decades of training from the late Pandit Chitresh Das. Farah performs her own traditional and innovate works, most notably, The Forgotten Empress and The Partition Project. A TEDx speaker and host of the podcast, Heartistry Talk Show, Farah has received support and recognition for unique projects and collaborative endeavors. In addition to training students of Noorani Dance, Farah's teaching experience includes ODC School and Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco, India Community Center in the Silicon Vallety, and various academic and arts institutions throughout the U.S. Since 2015, Farah has been performing and teaching throughout Pakistan, engaging in meaningful exhanges with artists, organizations, students, and art-lovers. nooranidance.com

      Photo by Ammar Zaidi
       

    • Marlene Garcia



      Marlene Garcia received a BA in dance with an emphasis in choreography from San Francisco State University. Both as a performer and creator, her work fuses contemporary and breaking: mixing textures and technique to athletically captivating experiences. She was awarded winning choreographer in The International Dance Festival Competition, 2018. She's performed with Kristin Damrow & Company and Alyssandra Katherine Dance. Her choreographic work has been presented at ODC Theater, Root Division Art Gallery, Joe Goode Annex, LevySalon, Dancing in The Park SF and San Francisco Movement Arts Festival. makedanceart.com

      Photo by Jardy Santiago
       

    • Dazaun Soleyn



      Dazaun Soleyn, artistic director of dazaun.dance, has been presenting work in the Bay since the Fall for 2014. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco, a Gyrotonic Trainer, Level 2 Reiki Practitioner, and Energy Worker. He is also a candidate for a Master's in Architecture Degree at California College of the arts. dazaunsoleyn.org

      Photo by Alexeya EM
       

    • Leyya Mona Tawil



      Leyya Mona Tawil [Lime Rickey International] is an artist working with sound, performance, and hybrid transmissions. Her 25-year record of performances have been presented throughout the US, Europe, Russia, and the Arab world. She is the director of DANCE ELIXIR / TAC Temescal Art Center/Arab.AMP in Oakland, Ca. DANCE ELIXIR, Arab.AMP

      Photo by Cameron Kelly

  • ODC Theater Gallery | Guest Curators
    • Jonathan Corderero

      Jonathan Cordero, Ph.D. (Ramaytush Ohlone/Chumash) is Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, Affiliated Scholar at UC Hastings College of the Law, and Visiting Scholar at USC. He works as a consultant in both the public and private sectors, especially in the arts, and he serves as a leader, speaker, and activist in the broader Ohlone and Chumash communities.

      Photo c/o Jonathan Cordero
       
    • Emma Rubinowitz

      Emma Rubinowitz is a professional dancer, choreographer, and designer based in San Francisco, CA. Emma danced with San Francisco Ballet for many years, leaving in 2019 to pursue other endeavors. She currently freelances, and enjoys creating dance films in her spare time. "I am excited to be the guest curator for ODC’s Lobby nights; it gives me a chance to bring artists together and promote their work."

      Photo by Randall Hobbet
    • Jonathan Cordero


      Jonathan Cordero, Ph.D. (Ramaytush Ohlone/Chumash) is Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, Affiliated Scholar at UC Hastings College of the Law, and Visiting Scholar at USC. He works as a consultant in both the public and private sectors, especially in the arts, and he serves as a leader, speaker, and activist in the broader Ohlone and Chumash communities.

      Photo c/o Jonathan Cordero
       
    • Emma Rubinowitz


      Emma Rubinowitz is a professional dancer, choreographer, and designer based in San Francisco, CA. Emma danced with San Francisco Ballet for many years, leaving in 2019 to pursue other endeavors. She currently freelances, and enjoys creating dance films in her spare time. "I am excited to be the guest curator for ODC’s Lobby nights; it gives me a chance to bring artists together and promote their work."

      Photo by Randall Hobbet

       

Questions, FAQ, & ODC Connect

  • ODC Reopening

    Starting February 1, 2022, "Up-to-Date" Vaccination status is required, which includes eligible individuals receiving a booster shot at least one week prior to coming to ODC. Proof of full vaccination and masks are required for all in-person events. Learn more at odc.dance/healthandsafety.

  • Performance and Event FAQ

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

  • Join ODC Connect

    ODC Connect is a curated collection of digital content on a customized Video on Demand platform. The original library includes feature dance filmsarchival works from the Company and ODC Theater artists; behind the scenes documentaries; dance and fitness classes for all ages and abilities; cutting-edge short films from our Youth & Teen programsuniquefamily friendly activities; and interviews with artistsinstructors and health experts. 

    By becoming an ODC Connect Passholder you can enjoy the unique content we’re curating along with additional benefits:

    • Early access to ticketed events*
    • One complimentary ODC fit class per year (online or in-person)
    • One complimentary ODC School adult program class per year (online or in-person)

    Your Connect Pass will help underwrite ODC’s return to a full roster of training, artist support, commissioning and presenting, lectures, workshops and concert dance.

    Learn more at odc.dance/connect


ODC Theater is generously supported by Anonymous, CalOSBA, The Creative Work Fund, Fleishhacker Foundation, John and Marcia Goldman Foundation, Hearst Foundations, Hellman Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Sam Mazza Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and our many individual donors. 

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.

Banner image courtesy of Yara Travieso

Find out more about ODC.