Concept Series

An informal and intimate salon of contemporary dance

A modern day salon, the CONCEPT series shares skilled dancing and innovative choreography up-close and personal in a casual atmosphere. The series strives to provide choreographers freedom outside the usual confines and rules of production, allowing for the simple creative process of ‘taking an idea and running with it’. Choreographers are encouraged to share work at any point along the creation process, from revisiting repertory to testing out a work-in-progress fresh from the studio. Many RAWdance works and works by guest choreographers have begun here and have developed in a way that’s only possible with a live audience.

The series began in December 2007, and has presented works by 91 artists to date. Popcorn, coffee, and snacks are provided (and encouraged) during performances, adding to the casual vibe. Voted Best Way to Sample SF’s Contemporary Dance Scene in SF Weekly, one reviewer writes “Dance aficionados and newbies find plenty to like in this semi-regular series… hosted and curated by choreographers Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein. […] You pay what you can to enter. There’s food. And the work is really good.”

Thanks to support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, we are expanding to 3x a year in 2018! Join us on Mar. 30-31, Jun. 29-30, and Nov. 9-10 for more works in progress than ever before. Full lineups coming soon.

Guest Artists who have been presented by the CONCEPT series

  • ahdanco (Abigail Hosein)
  • Alison Williams Dance
  • Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement
  • Amy Foley
  • Amy Seiwert's Imagery
  • The Anata Project (Claudia Anata Hubiak)
  • Aura Fischbeck Dance
  • Bob Webb / Bare Bones Butoh
  • Breton Tyner-Bryan and Dancers
  • Catherine Galasso
  • Chris Black
  • Christian Burns
  • Christine Bonansea
  • Christy Funsch
  • David Herrera Performance Co.
  • David Martinez
  • dawsondancesf/Gregory Dawson
  • Deborah Slater Dance Theater
  • Deep Waters Dance Theater (Amara T. Smith)
  • detour dance (Kat Cole and Eric Garcia)
  • Dexandro "D" Montalvo
  • Dominic V. Duong
  • EmSpace Dance (Erin Mei-Ling Stuart)
  • Erik Wagner / Crawl Space
  • Facing East Dance and Music (Sue Li-Jue)
  • FACT/SF (Charles Slender)
  • Flyaway Productions (Jo Kreiter)
  • Fog Beast (Melecio Estrella and Andrew Ward)
  • Folawole
  • Gretchen Garnett & Dancers
  • Headmistress / Amara T. Smith
  • Heidi Schweiker
  • Here Now Dance Collective (Michelle Fletcher)
  • Himma (Christine Cali & Amy Helmstetter)
  • Holly Johnston/LEDGES AND BONES
  • Hope Mohr Dance
  • Jacinta Vlach / Liberation Dance Theater
  • James Graham Dance Theatre
  • Joseph Copley & Deborah Miller
  • Julie-Ann Gambino
  • ka·nei·see | collective (Tanya Chianese)
  • Katerina Wong
  • Katharine Hawthorne
  • Kathleen Hermesdorf / La ALTERNATIVA
  • Kegan Marling
  • kelly kemp & company
  • KT Nelson
  • Laura Bernasconi & Carlos Venturo
  • Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg
  • ledges and bones dance project (Holly Johnston)
  • Lily Dwyer & Scott Marlowe
  • Lindsey Renee Derry / L i n s d a n s
  • Lisa Townsend Company
  • Manuelito Biag
  • Margaret Cromwell
  • Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
  • Mark Foehringer Dance Project | SF
  • Mary Armentrout
  • Mary Carbonara Dances
  • Maxine Moerman Dancetheatre
  • Michael Velez
  • The MoveMessenger(s) (Angela Dice Nguyen)
  • Nancy Karp + Dancers
  • Nhan Ho Project
  • Nina Haft & Company
  • Nol Simonse
  • Palanza Dance (Hilary Palanza)
  • Post:Ballet (Robert Dekkers)
  • Printz Dance Project (Stacey Printz)
  • project agora (Kara Davis)
  • Project.B. (Tanya Bello)
  • punkkiCo (Raissa Punkki)
  • Randee Paufve
  • Risa Jaroslow & Dancers
  • Sharp & Fine
  • Shinichi Iova-Koga and Larry Ochs (with Dohee Lee, Jason Hoopes, Gretchen Jude, and Edward Schocker)
  • Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts (Sheldon Smith and Lisa Wymore)
  • Stranger Lover Dreamer (Rogelio Lopez, Andrew Merrell, Elizebeth Randall, and Shaunna Vella)
  • Takami
  • tinypistol
  • Todd Eckert Dance Company
  • Victor Talledos
  • Vispo Dance (Erin Okayama)
  • Yayoi Kambara
  • 13th Floor Dance Theater (Jenny McAllister)


  • The CONCEPT series was voted  Best Way to Sample S.F.’s Contemporary Dance Scene!

  • RAWdance’s CONCEPT series is an appetizer menu for modern dance; a fun, casual and intimate program featuring an assortment of San Francisco contemporary performance.


  • “The Concept dance series is a rare bird hiding in San Francisco’s cultural aviary.  …[W]atching dance in such a climate changes your perception of the art.”


  • “intimate evenings of fleshed-out and nascent works by cutting-edge dancers and performers.”


  • “Every iteration of “the CONCEPT” brings something new, so prepare to be surprised.”


  • “I’m here to tell you: RAWdance’s Concept series can become addictive.”


    • San Francisco Bay Guardian
    • May 25, 2011
  • “RAWdance’s “Concept” series – this one was number seven – is an emotionally and intellectually satisfying way to tune into recent Bay Area choreography. […] Curating the programs are RAW’s co-artistic directors Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith who have their ears to the ground, ferreting out artists who want to try out re-thought or in-progress works. […] this relaxed, yet stimulating evening made for a tasty upcoming season’s opener.”


    • Dance View
    • Winter 2010
  • “pull up a chair, nibble on some popcorn, and catch the latest from some of the Bay’s most unique dance minds.”


  • “The evening was short, sweet and savvy.”


  • “What if going to a dance concert were more like going to the movies? You could sit back and relax, eat and drink and, get to see all the action up close. With […] the CONCEPT Series, produced by RAWdance’s Artistic Directors, Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, we may get our chance. […] Creating an event that is low cost, low tech and gives  the community a chance to come together, not just to watch the show and go home but perhaps to also get enough of a caffeine buzz to talk about what they’ve just seen, seems like a pretty great idea.”


    • IN DANCE
    • December 2007
  • “[RAWdance’s CONCEPT series] is bound to be the quintessential San Francisco experience of traveling to a new neighborhood and discovering a hidden jewel in the city.”


    • Bay Area Reporter
    • November 29, 2007