RAWdance Co-Artistic Directors & Hosts: Wendy Rein, Ryan T. Smith, Katerina Wong
CONCEPT series Coordinator & Co-Curator: Megan Kurashige
RAWdance Program Manager: Aiyana D’Arcangelo
Technical Assistance: Dennis Zollo
DJ: DJ Rockin’ Raul
About the CONCEPT series
The CONCEPT series is a modern-day salon that shares innovative contemporary dance with an intimate vibe. This is the first time the CONCEPT series has turned to a digital format, creating a platform for artists working with dance for camera. As always, the series strives to provide choreographers freedom outside the usual confines and rules of production.
We curate the series by artist, not by piece, to allow choreographers the flexibility to share whatever they’re working on at any point along the creative process. An artist may decide to experiment with something totally new. Or they may dive deeper into work they’ve been developing for years. What’s important to us as curators, is to offer a low-risk platform for testing out ideas in front of a live audience. Over its 13-year history, the CONCEPT series has helped shape the trajectory of countless new works.
Voted Best Way to Sample SF’s Contemporary Dance Scene in SF Weekly, one reviewer wrote “Dance aficionados and newbies find plenty to like in this semi-regular series […] You pay what you can to enter. There’s food. And the work is really good.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Thank you so much to everyone for sharing in this first digital edition of the CONCEPT series. It’s time to grab some snacks and a drink and enjoy!
We would like to acknowledge that RAWdance’s home base is located in Yelamu, also known as San Francisco, on the unceded territory of the Ramaytush Ohlone people, who have continuously lived upon this land since time immemorial. RAWdance’s East Coast branch is situated in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland. We pay respect to Lenape peoples, past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora. And we ask you to join us in acknowledging the Ramaytush Ohlone and Munsee Lenape communities, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.
Eric Garcia / Detour Dance
Up On High (premiere)
Direction: Eric Garcia
Choreography: Elissa Beth Stebbins, Eric Garcia, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Wiley Naman Strasser
Performance: Wiley Naman Strasser
Videography: Eric Garcia
Music: Wiley Naman Strasser (covering Sylvan Esso)
Megan Lowe / Megan Lowe Dances
Choreography, Performance, & Editing: Megan Lowe
Videography: Craig Baurley
Music: TYPESTEREO (Kelsie Bedard, Antonio Domenick, & Megan Lowe)
Jocelyn Reyes / Reyes Dance
Box World (premiere)
Choreography, Performance, Videography, & Editing: Jocelyn Reyes
Sound Design: Guillermo Webster
Music: Jeremy Black, Slynk, Telifsiz Music
Marissa Brown / Lone King Projects
Self Portrait (premiere)
All Credits: Marissa Brown
Katerina Wong / RAWdance
Direction: Katerina Wong
Choreography & Performance: Michaela Cruze, Katerina Wong, Stacey Yuen
Videography: Ephraim Colbert
Editing: Katerina Wong
Frankie Lee III / FLEE
JOURNEYS W/ GOD (premiere)
Performance, Videography, & Editing: Frankie Lee III
Ryan T. Smith & Wendy Rein / RAWdance
Direction, Choreography, & Performance: Wendy Rein, Ryan T. Smith
Editing: Ryan T. Smith
Music: The Underscore Orkestra
Special thanks to Marc Reagan for his assistance
After the dance films, it’s time for everyone to dance their hearts out together. If you’re shy, feel free to turn off your camera. Otherwise kick your shoes off (if you’re wearing any) and we’ll all share the spotlight together as we get down with DJ Rockin’ Raul.
Marissa Brown is a contemporary choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker based out of California and New York. Marissa offers uninhibited physical movements connected to both fantasy and personal truths. She has her BFA in performance and choreography from University of California, Irvine and is working towards an MFA at California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been shown with NAVEL, MOCA Geffen, CURRENT SESSIONS, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, BAX Upstart Festival, IDACO Festival, MNE Emerging Choreographer Series, RAD Fest, and Aesthetica Short Film Festival. She has received residencies from Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts and White Leaves both in New Mexico, Gallim X Create: ART in New York, and two residencies with LA Dance Project: 2245 Choreographic Residency in California. Her work has been commissioned for dance company The Assembly and for the brand American Apparel. lonekingprojects.com / @lonekingprojects
Michaela Cruze obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Chapman University in 2011. Upon graduation, Michaela apprenticed with Kolben Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. Michaela returned to the States in 2012 and moved to San Francisco. She has performed with Scott Wells, Christine Bonansea, and Detour Dance. She is a current company member of FACT/SF and LEVYdance. Michaela is also a personal trainer and small business owner. movewithmichaela.com / @michaelascruzen
Eric Garcia is the Co-Director of Detour Dance and the Tiny Dance Film Festival. He was the 2017 choreographer-in-residence at the SF Conservatory of Dance, a 2016-17 Emerging Arts Professionals SF/BA Fellow, and the recipient of the 2017 CHIME Award. Eric currently serves as the Production Coordinator with Fresh Meat Productions and Festival Coordinator with SF Transgender Film Festival. He hosts and performs at several drag cabarets and clubs as Churro Nomi. detourdance.com / @detour_dance
Frankie Lee III received his BFA from UNCSA and has trained with the Zion Dance Project, Merce Cunningham Trust, Dance Company Experience, Springboard Danse Montreal, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and American Dance Festival. He has danced for Zaccho Dance Theater, Oakland Ballet, dawsondancesf, Helen Simoneau Danse, Antonio Brown Dance, Gaspard & Dancers, Rising Rhythm, RAWdance, and Reyes Dance. He is a two-time Izzie Award Nominee, Webby Award Winner, and has choreographed for the Bay Area Ballet Conservatory, Gritty City Repertory Youth Ensemble, Alabama State University, Alvarado Elementary School, June Jordan School of Equity, Design Tech High School, Dance Mission Grrrl Brigade, Zion Dance Project, and Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre. He currently teaches for Talent All Star Inc, The Dallas Conservatory, and The Royale Ballet Dance Academy. rawartists.com/fleedance / @fleedance
Megan Lowe is a dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, teacher, administrator, and dance filmmaker. She creates dances with an affinity for site-specificity and dynamic partnering, that demonstrates the “…intensely-physical, curiously-playful, delightfully-weighty rigor of physicality…” (Molly Rose-Williams). Megan Lowe Dances’ 2019 production of Action Potential was recently nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Ensemble; award results TBD), and Megan has been included in nominations for numerous Izzies over the years while working with esteemed SF Bay Area dance companies. She has performed with Flyaway Productions, Lenora Lee Dance, Dance Brigade, Scott Wells & Dancers, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Epiphany Productions, and more. She teaches for Joe Goode Performance Group, Bandaloop, Flyaway, for contact improvisation gatherings, and for her alma mater Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. meganlowedances.com / @mlowedancekitty
A native New Yorker, Wendy Rein has been dancing and breaking furniture since age 3. With a BA from Brown University, she brings over 20 years of professional experience in the field to her work as a performer, choreographer, producer, curator, and teacher. Wendy worked with Misnomer Dance Theater in both Providence and NYC before moving to San Francisco, where she co-founded RAWdance and had the privilege of performing with artists such as Amy Seiwert, Deborah Slater, Alma Esperanza Cunningham, Nancy Karp, Mary Carbonara, and Todd Eckert, among others. She also worked for seven years both in front of the camera and behind the scenes on a series of dance film projects with RJ Muna. Wendy moved to NY’s Hudson Valley in 2019 as the company expanded to two locations. @_rawdance
Jocelyn Reyes is a contemporary choreographer, performer and teaching artist based in San Francisco. Jocelyn earned a BS in Cognitive Science and a BA in Dance from UCLA. In 2017, she founded Reyes Dance, which has produced full evening length works and presented choreography in several LA and SF-based festivals including Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, West Wave Festival, REDCAT Studio, PUSHFest, SAFEHouse RAW and High Voltage, among others. Drawing from personal experiences with poverty, abuse, and Catholicism, Jocelyn’s works use abstract storytelling to create serious, humorous, dark, quirky dances. She is currently a co-production artist at Joe Goode Annex and a teaching artist with Alonzo King Lines Ballet Community Programs, Performing Arts Workshop, and SF Arts Education. reyesdance.com / @jocelynmreyes_
Ryan T. Smith received his BA in Theatre Arts and French Literature from Brown University before moving to San Francisco. A co-founder of RCJ Dance in Providence, he has always been supportive of the beauty of collaborative projects. In the Bay Area, Ryan had the opportunity to work with artists such as Alma Esperanza Cunningham, Stephen Pelton, and Amy Seiwert, and was a member of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company for 11 years, touring nationally and internationally, and participating in several large scale international collaborations with artists and organizations in Kochin, Kolkata, Guangzhou, and Jerusalem. He has served as Co-Artistic Director of RAWdance since 2004, shifting from the Bay Area to New York’s Hudson Valley in 2019. @_rawdance
Wiley Naman Strasser is a performance artist whose focus resides in ensemble-devised physical theater, new plays, and re-imagining the intersection of theater, dance, and music. He is a Company Artist with Detour Dance and an Associate Artist with Cutting Ball Theater. He has also worked with Hope Mohr Dance, SF Playhouse, Mugwumpin, Shotgun Players, Berkeley Rep, and the Los Angeles Theater Center, among others. He was a recipient of the Theater Bay Area Titan Award and an SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award Nominee. wileynamanstrasser.com
Katerina (Katie) Wong has performed with over 15 Bay Area dance companies since graduating from Princeton University and moving west, including RAWdance, Printz Dance Project, PUSH Dance Company, LEVYdance, Concept o4, and the San Francisco Symphony. Katie’s choreography has been commissioned by PUSH Dance Company, FACT/SF, Cutting Ball Theater, California Academy of Sciences, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, and ACLU of Northern California. In 2017, she was the first dance artist to tour nationally with Pop-Up Magazine, which culminated in a performance at Lincoln Center. She is a 2019 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training mentee, a 2020 Women of Color in the Arts Leadership Through Mentorship participant, and a member of APAP’s Emerging Leadership Institute Class of 2020, and an invited artist of the 2019 Asylum Arts Bay Area Jewish Artist Retreat. After a long history with the organization, Katie stepped into a new Co-Artistic Director role with RAWdance in 2019. @_rawdance / katerinawong.com / @katerinawong
A Bay Area native, Stacey Yuen received her BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She went on to work with Seán Curran and the Santa Fe Opera, and to travel to Greece to perform in works by Johannes Wieland and Stella Zannou at the one small step dance festival. She spent three seasons as a dancer and rehearsal director with the Sticky Trace Company in Germany. Since returning to the Bay, Stacey has worked with Robert Moses, Katie Faulkner, Jennifer Perfilio, Lenora Lee Dance, Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project, and RAWdance. staceyyuen.com
To our guest artists Eric, Jocelyn, Marissa, Frankie, and Megan for their artistry and for venturing with us into our first ever digital CONCEPT series. To our dancers for diving into socially distanced rehearsals. To Megan K. in her new role as co-curator and for her help in putting together every CONCEPT series. And, for making the series possible, thanks to Aiyana, Dennis, Marc, Evelyn, our board, and all of you!
The CONCEPT series is made possible through the generosity of ticket buyers and donors. Thank you so much for your contribution to the series and to our guest artists’ work!