ODC Theater Presents Its Tenth Annual Summer Dance Festival: State of Play


Media Contact: John Hill  







June 2 – 11, 2022 


SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 14, 2022 – ODC Theater is delighted to announce the complete program for  its tenth annual summer dance festival, June 2 - 11. State of Play features two weeks of activities across  ODC’s two-building campus, including nine world or regional premieres, seven works-in-progress by  performing artists from across the country plus an array of free activities. Single event tickets, starting  at $15, and Festival Bundles, starting at $32, are now on sale at odc.dance/stateofplay

As part of an ongoing series of events in honor of its 50+ anniversary, ODC this year inaugurates a new  format for its signature summer festival with programming from guest curators amara tabor-smith and Charles Slender-White. Formerly known as the Walking Distance Dance Festival, which featured  evening-length double bills, this year’s festival highlights the interplay of works by artists at different  stages of their careers. Audiences will have the opportunity to witness performances from fully staged  evening-length events to early works-in-progress. 

State of Play marks a significant shift towards curation as collaboration,” said tabor-smith and Slender White in a joint statement. “Together we talked about racism and privilege in the field of dance, and about wanting to raise the visibility of powerful queer and BIPOC artists who we felt were making  incredibly important art. If there is a unifying theme in our curation, 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.” 

Companies presenting evening-length premieres include little house dance from Portland, Maine,  MKArts from Virginia, and SAMMAY, currently based in Los Angeles. Companies and individual  artists premiering works of shorter length are, in all but one case, based in the Bay Area: Blind Tiger  Society under the direction of Bianca Cabrera; Dragons Dance under the direction of Erin YenKRIMM’S DANCE PARTY under the direction of Kim Ip; Megan Lowe Dances; Nicole Peisl. Rosanna  Tavarez / LA DANSA DANSA is visiting from Los Angeles. 

Finally, the companies presenting works-in-progress include DANCE MONKS / Mirah Kellc Esteva &  Rodrigo Esteva; Detour with lead artist Kat Cole; James Graham Dance Theatre; Kendra Kimbrough  Dance Ensemble; Liv Schaffer & the Dance Generators; Nina Haft & Company; and OYSTERKNIFEthe artistic partnership of Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch

“Whether for established dance fans or newcomers to the genre, we have categorized activities into  three groups,” said ODC Theater Creative Director Chloë L. Zimberg. “For those primarily interested in  realized, fully produced works, check out our list of premieres. For those interested in the creative  process, there is a series of works-in-progress that will invite audiences more intimately into  performance development. And for audiences who want to dive deeper into the ideas and discussions  in the dance field today, join us at one of our free community activities.” 

“We are also thrilled to offer digital broadcasts of the premieres for those who cannot join in-person.  The density of offerings in this year’s festival is an exciting step as we grow and build a festival that  stands alongside the Bay Area's beloved full-day fringe theater, film and music festivals.” 

Among the free activities scheduled throughout the festival is a panel discussion on June 2 titled “Ephemerality and Permanence: Legacy, Lineage and Letting Go;” a picnic lunch with games for the  whole family on June 5; a long table discussion titled “Envisioning the Future of Dance” on June 6; a  live debate on how best to allocate limited resources among arts professionals on June 8; and on June 11, “Re-imagining Araw ng Kalayaan,” a conversation around the struggle for independence in the  Philippine diaspora. 

“I am full of anticipation for State of Play,” said former ODC Theater Resident Artist Monique Jenkinson aka Fauxnique. “From training here as a young dancer to premiering and re-staging work as  a mature artist, for decades I have watched ODC grow and deepen its commitment to dance artists. I  am thrilled with this next phase of ODC’s growth, especially its embrace of the concept of play as a  driving theme. Though we dance artists take our work more seriously than most people realize,  ultimately it is a sense of play – onstage, in the studio, in conversation -- that liberates us to move the  culture forward.” 

The following is a detailed schedule of events listed in chronological order. For more  information about these and other events taking place during the festival visit  


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ROSANNA TAVAREZ / LA DANSA DANSA | Piece x Piece (Bay Area premiere) 

June 2 

Thursday, 3:30 p.m. 

ODC Theater 

(Digital screening on Saturday, June 18, 3:00 p.m.) 

In Piece x Piece, Rosanna Tavarez explores her mother’s immigration story with its challenges of  transitioning from one territory to a drastically new one. The 30-minute work, created for two  performers, toggles between the escapist, rags-to-riches fantasy narratives of telenovelas and the  heartbreaking reality of the immigrant experience, using sewing as a metaphor for deconstructing the  so-called American Dream. 

Tavarez lives in southern California and her works have been presented by The Broad Museum, REDCAT,  American Dance Festival, Dance Camera West, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The  Odyssey, Breaking Ground Dance Festival and Sarasota Contemporary Dance. She creates work that is  emotionally and psychologically demanding, with movement that ranges from the feral, ferocious and  vulnerable to the humorous and joyful. 

KENDRA KIMBROUGH DANCE ENSEMBLE | The Golden Thread (work-in-progress) June

Thursday, 6:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Fisher Studio 

In this multimedia dance production, Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble leads the audience on an  imaginary journey through several distinct worlds, each with its own unique tempo essential to the  livelihood of its people. Each world reveals a distinct key that unlocks the barrier to “momentum,” a  vehicle on which ease and magical alignment take place. 

Kendra Barnes founded Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble in 1996. Based in Oakland, the company  bridges diverse cultures and communities through thought-provoking performances that address the  common human experiences of its audience. As a dancer and choreographer, Barnes draws on many  styles including contemporary & African Diasporic. Her work as co-choreographer of Cal Shakes' Black Odyssey was a finalist for Theatre Bay Area’s (TBA) Best Choreography Award. As choreographer for the  African-American Shakespeare Company, she was a TBA finalist for Outstanding Ensemble of a Play (For  Colored Girls…). 

MEGAN LOWE DANCES | Piece of Peace (world premiere) 

June 3 

Friday, 3:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Studio B 

(Digital screening on Saturday, June 18, 3:45 p.m.) 

In Piece of Peace, Director Megan Lowe leads a group of artists who explore their experiences as mixed race Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Through thoughtful text, soulful song, and dynamic dancing,  Megan Lowe Dances invites its collaborators to share stories of fractured selves and a longing to belong,  in the process creating a supportive environment for connection. 

A self-described “fierce dancer, choreographer, performer, singer-songwriter, filmmaker and teacher of  Chinese and Irish descent,” Lowe’s dances tackle unusual physical situations and invent compelling  solutions, opening up the imagination to what is possible. She has performed with Flyaway Productions,  Scott Wells & Dancers, Lenora Lee Dance, as well as Lizz Roman & Dancers. 

DETOUR | QUAKE (work-in-progress) 

June 3 

Friday, 6:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Argyle Studio 

QUAKE is a work-in-progress that aims to destigmatize the topic of mental health and promote  community resilience within the Asian American community. The multidisciplinary project fuses new  media, experimental performance and alternative healing practices. 

Detour is a San Francisco-based performance company that centers the prismatic experiences of queers  and people of color. Led by Co-Artistic Directors Kat Gorospe Cole and Eric Garcia, Detour’s work is  rooted in contemporary dance, devised theater and drag. QUAKE is a collaboration between lead artist  Cole and new media artist Jeffrey Yip

LITTLE HOUSE DANCE | Hour Wolf in the Cavern (world premiere) 

June 3 - 4 

Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. 

ODC Theater, B’Way Theater 

(Digital screening on Saturday, June 18, 4:30 p.m.) 

Hour Wolf in the Cavern is a collaboration between Riley Watts and Heather Stewart, multidisciplinary  dance artists based in Portland, Maine. Described as an “iterative performance on states of mourning  through the physical mind and the cyclical nature of madness,” Hour Wolf arranges the elements of  performance – dance score, objects, spatial and sound design – “in such a way that they are available for  extraction and recontextualization for each future location of performance.” Hour Wolf in the Cavern is  part of a larger project titled Hour Wolf.

Formed in 2020, little house dance is a multidisciplinary dance company. The company’s collaborative  work is rooted in contemporary performance installations and a desire to cultivate the dance  community of Maine. 

OYSTERKNIFE | m | ou | f (work-in-progress) 

June 4 

Saturday, 6:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Argyle Studio 

With its name drawn from a famous Zora Neale Hurston essay, Oysterknife was born out of the longtime  friendship between Oakland-based Gabriele Christian (they/them) and Chibueze Crouch (she/they). For  State of Play they will perform an excerpt from their triptych which premiered at Surge, UC Santa Cruz's  

Afrofuturism Festival. In their artist statement they write: “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.” 

LIV SCHAFFER & THE DANCE GENERATORS | Big Red House of Rest (work-in-progress) June 5 

Sunday, 2 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Skirball Studio 

Big Red House of Rest reimagines paradigms of the nuclear family, enlivening pathways of  communication between generations. Devised in collaboration with eight performers, Big Red examines  ingredients of vitality and rot present in our current systems of succession, illuminating what we must  ultimately lay to rest. Dance Generators is the University of San Francisco’s intergenerational dance  company. Directed by Liv Schaffer and composed of dancers ranging in age from 17 to 89, the company  uses collaborative dance-making as a vehicle for social change, shifting perspective on aging. 

NINA HAFT & COMPANY | The Spaces Between (work-in-progress) 

June 5 

Sunday, 3 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Argyle Studio 

How do we take measure of the distances between us? The Spaces Between explores choice, mutuality,  touch and pack behavior in animals, including humans. Under the direction of Nina Haft, this Bay Area based contemporary dance ensemble explores the nature of space and place. Haft’s work has been  presented in Boston; Los Angeles; New York; Portland, OR; San Diego; Novosibirsk, Russia; Amman,  Jordan; as well as Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah in Israel’s West Bank. Her work has been  presented in theaters as well as dockyards, synagogues, bars, parking lots, nature reserves and  cemeteries. 

ERIN YEN / DRAGONS DANCE | Paper Trails (world premiere) 

June 6 

Monday, 3:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Studio B

(Digital screening on Thursday, June 16, 6 p.m.) 

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 Director Erin Yen’s mixed-race lineage.  Artists Lucia Flexer-Marshall, Abigail Hinson and Sawako Ogo, together with Yen, share the stage  exploring how communities may be built through fragmented interactions. 

Founded in 2020, Dragons Dance draws from Erin Yen’s extensive contemporary dance training and  unique use of Laban Analysis in choreography. Dragons Dance has performed as a resident artist at  venues throughout the Bay Area, shares work online via dance film and provides opportunities for artists  to collaborate and create community. 

DANCE MONKS | Fire in the Mountain (work-in-progress) 

June 6 

Monday, 6:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Fisher Studio 

Fire in the Mountain is a work-in-progress dedicated to Eric Koziol, a beloved San Francisco-based  filmmaker who passed away last year. Working with DANCE MONKS Directors Rodrigo Esteva and Mirah  Kellc Moriarty for one year, Koziol explored the intimacy of performing with the camera as if it were  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. 

Esteva and Moriarty currently divide their time between the Bay Area and Mexico, where they founded  the company in 1999 while living in the mountains of Xalapa. They have dedicated their lives to  interdisciplinary, experimental work that delves into the intimate and ancient relationship between  body and place. Among the companies with which they’ve collaborated are Axis Dance, Pearson Widrig  Dance Theater and Apostalia Papadamaki. 

NICOLE PEISL | handle (world premiere) 

June 8 

Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Studio B 

(Digital screening on Thursday, June 16, 6:45 p.m.) 

A work made for two dancers, handle looks at the 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. The focus here is on attention, feeling and skillful bodily movement. 

Nicole Peisl, who is currently finishing her PhD in Performance Studies at the University of California,  Davis, has had a long career as a performer, creator and teacher. She has extensive training in various  somatic practices and was a member of the Ballet Frankfurt and the Forsythe Company in Germany. 

JAMES GRAHAM DANCE THEATRE | Social Males (work-in-progress) 

June 8 

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Skirball Studio

Social Males looks at the effects of male socialization 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,” said Director James Graham. “My goal is to recognize and dismantle these patterns as a crucial  step in ending patriarchy and war-focused violent culture.” 

Graham is a San Francisco-based choreographer, performer and educator. His company has recently  been creating “Movement Rituals for Earth, Air, Fire and Water” at local outdoor settings. Graham is  studying to become a guide for expanded states of consciousness and views this as an extension of  healing through a focus on the body and movement. 

MKARTS | Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home (West Coast premiere) 

June 8 - 9 

Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. 

ODC Theater, B’Way Theater 

(Digital screening on Thursday, June 16, 7:30 p.m.) 

Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home is an immersive, “site-expansive” dance work inspired by the  prophetic imagination of science fiction author Octavia Butler and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The work  borrows its title from a collection of short stories for social justice movements, edited by Walidah  Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown. 

Under the direction of MK Abadoo (they/she), MKArts devises intergenerational dance performance  rituals that are place-honoring and accountable to community partners. Their work sits at the  intersection of dance theater and anti-racist cultural organizing, combining funk/family kitchen dances,  classical American modern and postmodern dance vocabularies, neo-traditional Ghanaian movement,  and a community-centered creative practice. 

KIM IP / KRIMM's DANCE PARTY | you don't deserve us (world premiere) 

June 9 

Thursday, 3:30 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Studio B 

(Digital screening on Friday, June 17, 6 p.m.) 

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, Keanu Brady and Kim Ip will present a dance work that delves into desirability, sexiness  and lust. Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Ip is a queer femme Asian choreographer and movement  artist now living the the Bay Area. 

BIANCA CABRERA / BLIND TIGER SOCIETY | Fever Dreams (world premiere)  

June 10 

Friday, 6 p.m. 

ODC Dance Commons, Studio B 

(Digital screening on Friday, June 17, 6:45 p.m.) 

Fever Dreams is a dizzying dance spectacle based on Mexican folk artist Pedro Linares’ papier-mâché  works 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 hallucinatory heat 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. 

Blind Tiger Society Founder and Director Bianca Cabrera is an Oakland-based performer and educator. In  addition to directing her own company, she currently performs with Flyaway Productions and  Bandaloop. She is also on faculty at Contra Costa School for the Performing Arts. Her two-decade  performance career includes work with KT Niehoff, Lou Henry Hoover, Kim Epifano, LevyDance, The  Fossettes and Sonya Smith. 

SAMMAY | ritual for thrivation no. 2 (world premiere) 

June 10 - 11 

Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. 

ODC Theater, B’Way Theater 

(Digital screening on Friday, June 17, 7:30 p.m.) 

SAMMAY Peñaflor Dizon (she/they) is a Los Angeles-based, Filipinx American choreographer,  interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer of Bikol, Kapampangan and Ilokano descent. Through ritual  performance, they explore the diasporic body as a site of memory, resistance and reclamation for  collective healing and liberation. In a world in which we have forgotten our inherent responsibility to the  earth and to each other, ritual for thrivation no. 2 posits ancestral reverence, intergenerational healing  and urban-indigenous futurism as urgent and fundamental resources to alleviate our current climate  crisis. 

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ODC Theater participates in the creation of new works through commissioning, presenting,  mentorship and space access; it develops informed, engaged and committed audiences; and it  advocates for the performing arts as an essential component to the region’s economic and cultural  development. The Theater is the site of over 120 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 and currently under the creative direction of Chloë L. Zimberg, 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 flare. 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. For more information about ODC Theater and all its programs visit  www.odc.dance/theater.  

ODC Theater is generously supported by the Phyllis Wattis Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fleishhacker  Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Andrew Mellon Foundation and our many individual donors.



ODC Theater presents its tenth annual summer dance festival, STATE OF PLAY, featuring 16 works by  artists from across the Bay Area and around the United States. 

Fully-produced Evening-Length Works: 

I. Hour Wolf in the Cavern by little house dance (world premiere

II. Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home by MKArts (West Coast premiere

III. ritual for thrivation no. 2 by SAMMAY (world premiere

Shorter-length Works: 

I. Fever Dreams by Bianca Cabrera / Blind Tiger Society (world premiere

II. handle by Nicole Peisl (world premiere

III. Paper Trails by Erin Yen / Dragons Dance (world premiere

IV. Piece of Peace by Megan Lowe Dances (world premiere

V. Piece x Piece by Rosanna Tavarez / La Dansa Dansa (Bay Area premiere

VI. you don't deserve us by Kim Ip / Krimm's Dance Party (world premiere


I. Big Red House of Rest by Liv Schaffer & The Dance Generators 

II. Fire in the Mountain by Dance Monks 

III. m | ou | f by OYSTERKNIFE 

IV. QUAKE by Detour  

V. Social Males by James Graham Dance Theatre 

VI. The Golden Thread by Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble 

VII. The Spaces Between by Nina Haft & Company 


June 2 - 11, 2022 

Thursday, June 2 

3:30 p.m. Rosanna Tavarez / La Dansa Dansa 

6:30 p.m. Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble 

Friday, June 3 

3:30 p.m. Megan Lowe Dances 

6:30 p.m. Detour 

8 p.m. little house dance 

Saturday, June 4 

9 a.m. little house dance 

6:30 p.m. OYSTERKNIFE 

Sunday, June 5

2 p.m. Liv Schaffer & The Dance Generators 

3 p.m. Nina Haft & Company 

Monday, June 6 

3:30 p.m. Erin Yen / Dragons Dance 

6:30 p.m. DANCE MONKS 

Wednesday, June 8 

3:30 p.m. Nicole Peisl 

6:30 p.m. James Graham 

8 p.m. MKArts 

Thursday, June 9 

3:30 p.m. Kim Ip / Krimm's Dance Party  

8 p.m. MKArts 

Friday, June 10 

6 p.m. Bianca Cabrera / Blind Tiger Society 

8 p.m. SAMMAY 

Saturday, June 11 

9 p.m. SAMMAY 


ODC Theater 

3153 17th Street 

San Francisco, CA 94110 

ODC Dance Commons 

351 Shotwell Street 

San Francisco, CA 94110 


Festival Bundles of four or more performances start at $32.  

Single Tickets are $15 with a limited number of $7 Arts Access tickets available. For reservations call 415- 863-9834, or online visit odc.dance/stateofplay

ASL interpretation will be provided at in-person events with performed text. Captioning will be provided  for digital streams. For accessibility requests or questions please contact the ODC Box Office at boxoffice@odc.dance



For all press inquiries please contact John Hill at johnhillpr@gmail.com.