Dance Downtown

Dance Downtown

ODC/Dance returns to the stage for Dance Downtown, March 27 - 31, 2024.  Two bracing programs feature world premieres and major reprises by ODC's Founding Artistic Director Brenda Way, Associate Choreographer Kimi Okada, ODC Fellow KT Nelson and guest choreographer Sonya Delwaide. Both Program A and Program B conclude with Nelson's exhilarating Dead Reckoning, set to a commissioned score by composer and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud. Springing from the raucous world of cartoon, the front pages of the news, the intimacy of human connection, or the mystery of artistic process, Dance Downtown invites the viewer on a visceral, thought-provoking journey and simply breathtaking dance.

Dance Downtown Digital Program Book


Program A
Brenda Way: A Brief History of Up and Down (Premiere)
Kimi Okada: Inkwell (Premiere)
KT Nelson: Dead Reckoning

Program B
Sonya Delwaide: goutte par goutte (Premiere)
Brenda Way: Collision, Collapse and a Coda
KT Nelson: Dead Reckoning

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About the Work

  • A Brief History of Up and Down Choreography by Brenda Way

    Art-making inherently poses questions and proposes fresh ways of seeing. A Brief History of Up and Down joyfully shares reflections on the evolution of beauty that has taken place in dance over the 55 year lifespan of the ODC/Dance Company. From simple movement to extraordinary virtuosity- “Real people really Dancing!”

    Headshot of Benda Way
    Founder, Artistic Director

    Brenda Way received her early training at the School of American Ballet and Ballet Arts in New York City. She is the founder and artistic director of ODC/Dance and creator of the ODC Theater and ODC Dance Commons, community performance and training venues in San Francisco’s Mission District. She launched ODC and helped create an inter-arts department at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in the late 1960's before relocating to the Bay Area in 1976.

    Brenda has choreographed more than 85 pieces over the last 45 years. Her commissions include Unintended Consequences: A Meditation (2008) Equal Justice Society; Life is a House (2008) San Francisco Girls Chorus; On a Train Heading South (2005) CSU Monterey Bay; Remnants of Song (2002) Stanford Lively Arts; Scissors Paper Stone (1994) Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Western Women (1993) Cal Performances, Rutgers University and Jacob's Pillow; Ghosts of an Old Ceremony (1991) Walker Art Center and The Minnesota Orchestra; Krazy Kat (1990) San Francisco Ballet; This Point in Time (1987) Oakland Ballet; Tamina (1986) San Francisco Performances; and Invisible Cities (1985) Stanford Lively Arts and the Robotics Research Laboratory. Her work Investigating Grace was named an NEA American Masterpiece in 2011.

  • Inkwell Choreography by Kimi Okada

    Inspired by the cartoons of Max Fleischer from the 1920’s and 1930’s, Inkwell draws from a black and white universe of oddballs, misfits, and maniacs. With a movement vocabulary rooted in physical comedy, vaudeville forms, and early cinema, the piece explores the power of demagogues over unwitting humans and the path from seduction to indoctrination. Music by Raymond Scott, Django Reinhardt, and other early jazz musicians.

    Headshot of Kimi Okada

    Kimi Okada (Associate Choreographer, Director of ODC School)is a founding member of ODC. Her work includes more than 26 choreographed works for ODC/Dance, as well as commissions and collaborations with Geoff Hoyle, Bill Irwin, Julie Taymor, and Robin Williams. She has choreographed productions for the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco, Yale Repertory Theater, the New Victory Theater in New York, the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, Theatre for a New Audience in New York, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the American Music Theater Festival, the Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Pickle Family Circus, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

    She was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Largely New York, which she co-choreographed with Bill Irwin. She received a 2014 Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Choreography for ODC’s Two If by Sea.

    Since 1996, Kimi has served as director of the ODC School, which she has brought to the forefront of international and national dance education for youth and adults. She has been honored with a California State Legislature Assembly Resolution for choreographi

  • goutte par goutte Choreography by Sonya Delwaide

    goutte par goutte traces the human journey of becoming who we are through the storms of our lived experiences. Loosely inspired by ancient Greek philosophies and set to a contemporary score by Jarby McCoy and Grammy Award-winning artist Caroline Shaw, goutte par goutte invites us to question our resilience and resistance, what we keep and what we let wash away.

    Sonya Delwaide, a native from Quebec, is a choreographer, teacher and performer whose reputation has flourished within the United States and Canada for more than three decades. She has created more than 80 pieces on companies such as Ballet Austin, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Ottawa Ballet, L’Ecole Supérieure des Grands Ballets Canadiens, Hubbard Street 2, AXIS Dance Company, Berkeley Ballet Theater and Compagnie de Danse L’Astragale, for whom she was the artistic director from 1992 to 1999. Ms. Delwaide graduated with Honors in Dance from York University (Toronto) and has received multiple awards from the Canada Council, the Quebec and Ontario Arts’ Councils, the Zellerbach Family Fund, the Gerbode Foundation and the Irvine Foundation. She has been profiled in San Francisco Magazine, received two Isadora Duncan Awards and a Bay Area Goldie Award. She was named in the 2001 Top 10 list of best performances from the San Francisco Chronicle and was in the Dance Magazine’s Top 25 people to watch in 2002. Ms. Delwaide was given a Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching from Mills College, where she taught from 2003 to 2019. She was a winner in the 2006 New American Choreographic Talent organized by Ballet Austin and the 2000 winner of Hubbard Street 2 National Choreographic Competition. Her work expands from television and film to various theater companies throughout Canada and the US.

  • Dead Reckoning Choreography by KT Nelson

    Dead Reckoning originally premiered in 2015 reflecting on the incremental and exponential transformation of our climate by our daily human activity and our inability to notice. Set to a commissioned score by composer and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud.

    “ a company classic”

    Headshot of KT Nelson

    KT Nelson joined ODC/Dance in 1976 and until 2019 partnered with Brenda Way in directing the ODC/Dance Company. KT choreographed and directed the Company’s first full-length family ballet in 1986, The Velveteen Rabbit. The production has become a holiday tradition in the Bay Area engaging generations of dance goers, young and less so. 

    KT has been awarded the Isadora Duncan Dance Award four times: in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 and 2012 for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement. Her collaborators have included Bobby McFerrin, Geoff Hoyle, Amy Siewert, Na Hoon Park, Brenda Way, Kate Weare, Zap Mama, and Joan Jeanrenaud. In 2008, her work RingRounRozi, in collaboration with French-Canadian composer Linda Bouchard, was selected to be performed at the Tanzmesse International Dance Festival.

    Photo by Eszther David

  • Collision, Collapse and a Coda Choreography by Brenda Way

    This not-to-be-missed “minor masterpiece” from last season delivers a rousing response to the daily barrage of news, disasters, and disruptive events, and the solace we find in the care and affection of sustaining relationships. Set to a roiling score ranging from David Lang to Frederick Chopin.

Special Events

Wednesday: Open Dress Rehearsal - Program A
Join us for an Open Dress Rehearsal as we prepare for Opening Night; all seats are just $30! ODC's Technical Team will be at the Tech Table within in audience, and a Photographer will be documenting the dress rehearsal as we put the finishing touches on the season. During this ticketed dress rehearsal, there is the possibility of the show pausing or even stopping, if the production, technical, and artistic team are not ready. For this evening "the show must go on" does not apply.

Friday: ODC Dance Downtown Gala - Program A
Celebrate the new season of fearless and exuberant dance in style with dinner, drinks, dancing, and one fabulous party!

Saturday LGBTQIA+ Night hosted by Lady Camden, ASL Interpretation - Program B
Join us for Dance Downtown’s LGBTQIA+ Night hosted by Lady Camden, Saturday, March 30, 2024, as we cheerfully raise a glass to ODC’s LGBTQIA+ community. Mix and mingle with local drag and dance stars alike at a post-show reception replete with delicious libations, music, and dancing at W San Francisco Hotel’s Living Room Bar, conveniently located across the street from the theater. 

Sunday: Balcony Talk - Program A
Join us for a free, intimate pre-show Balcony Talk on Sunday March 31, 2024 at 4:00pm. ODC Founding Artistic Director Brenda Way will share intimate insights into the inner workings of ODC/Dance, as well as the work you are about to see.

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Dinner, drinks, dancing, and one fabulous party!

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Spend the weekend with ODC, Lady Camden, and W San Francisco


Join ODC and Lady Camden for Dance Downtown’s LGBTQIA+ Night, Saturday, March 30, 2024, as we cheerfully raise a glass to ODC’s LGBTQIA+ community. Mix and mingle with local drag and dance stars alike at a post-show reception replete with delicious libations, music, and dancing at W San Francisco Hotel’s Living Room Bar, conveniently located across the street from the theater. 

In addition to discounted rooms with guaranteed late checkout, select tickets to W San Francisco's Drag Brunch on Sunday March 31st, hosted by dancer and drag performer Monique "Fauxnique" Jenkinson, include a General Admission ticket to Dance Downtown and discounted 4-hour max valet parking. 

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Dance Downtown ticket holders receive 15% off all food and beverage at the W Hotel, as well as 15% off room stays and tickets to a drag brunch on Sunday March 31st. All rooms booked for Dance Downtown guests receive complimentary late checkout at 4pm.

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Dance Downtown 2024 Digital Encore

Relive the magic of Dance Downtown on ODC Connect. Get the digital pre-sale now!

Dance Downtown 2024 Digital Encore


About ODC/Dance

Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC/Dance was one of the first American companies to incorporate a post-modern sensibility (an appreciation for pedestrian movement) into a virtuosic contemporary dance technique and to commit major resources to interdisciplinary collaboration and musical commissions for the repertory.


Arts Access Tickets

ODC offers a limited number of free and/or lower-cost Art Access tickets to every ODC presented performance. These additionally subsidized tickets, available on a first-come, first-serve basis, are reserved for those for whom price is a barrier.

Accessibility and Health & Safety at YBCA

Accessibility At YBCA ADA seats are clearly marked and have a level surface (with slight incline) upon entry. Visit for more information.

The Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA
700 Howard Street (at Third Street)
San Francisco, CA