About YBG ChoreoFest / Land Acknowledgement / Program / Map / About Yerba Buena Gardens Festival / About RAWdance / Artist Bios / Special Thanks / Support
About YBG ChoreoFest
YBG ChoreoFest is a mini festival of dance within the broader Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Curated by RAWdance, its nine site-specific performances highlight the spectacular strength, diversity, and vibrancy of the Bay Area contemporary dance scene. Visit the main event page for the full 2021 artist lineup, with performances on July 10, July 31, and August 14.
It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge that YBGF and RAWdance’s home base are located in Yelamu, also known as San Francisco, on the unceded territory of the Ramaytush Ohlone people. We ask you to join us in acknowledging the Ramaytush Ohlone, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations and encourage you to learn more about the land where you reside at NATIVE-LAND.CA. To take direct action towards rematriation, read about the Bay Area’s Shuumi Land Tax.
DAY 3: SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 at 1 PM
Low Tide (2020-2022, material in evolution)
Location: Stone Stage (see map)
Choreography: Melecio Estrella, Damara Ganley, Andrew Ward
Performance: Melecio Estrella, Damara Ganley, Ben Juodvalkis, Andrew Ward
Music: Ben Juodvalkis and Fog Beast
Costumes: Krystal Harfert
Low Tide was created as part of These Lines Are Living, a Fog Beast residency commission at the Headlands Center for the Arts. This work unfolds on shorelines around the Bay in a confluence of body, landscape, and climate science at the terrestrial aquatic interface. Special thanks to Headlands and 500 Capp St/David Ireland House for helping to evolve this work.
CALI & CO dance / Christine Cali
To Mask To Reveal (premiered on film Spring 2021)
Location: East Garden (see map)
Choreography: Christine Cali and the performers
Performance: Christine Cali, Angeles Higareda, Brandon Leong, Brandon Lombardo, Farrah McAdam, Sierra Parkhurst, Marissa Salinas
Original Music: Matt Langlois/The Welcome Matt
Original Text: Christine Cali and the performers
Costumes: Christine Cali and the performers
This work queries us to reflect on and process this present moment. At times, isolation, solitude, and quiet are at the forefront and other times, like today – joy and liberation for being in shared space and community run wild. Thank you RAWdance and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival for this amazing opportunity. This work was created with support from Sonoma State University’s Department of Theatre Arts & Dance.
Location: Children’s Amphitheater (see map)
Choreography: Natasha Adorlee / Concept o4
Performance: Natasha Adorlee, Styles Alexander, Allegra Bautista, David Calhoun, Max van de Sterre, Juliann Witt
Music: Hania Rani, Luke Howard
Costumes: Jamielyn Duggan
We impact and inhabit the reality we live in and our shared experience as humans. With trust, change, and belief in the common good, can we create a metaphorical Eden on this planet that is safe for us, yet in-balance with nature?
From the Curators
We are thrilled for the opportunity to share a taste of the diverse and dynamic Bay Area contemporary dance scene, something which has even more potency and excitement after the last year on pause. The festival artists, each with a unique voice and point of view, use movement, sound, and visuals to reshape the way you see space, spark ideas, start conversations, and stir hearts. We are honored to be a part of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, a San Francisco cultural treasure. Thank you for coming! – Katerina Wong, Ryan T. Smith, & Wendy Rein (RAWdance Co-Artistic Directors)
Click to see August 14 performance sites and travel paths.
About Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Read more about the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival…
YBGF presents classical, world, and jazz music, contemporary and traditional dance, theater, children’s and family programs, and cultural events reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the region. Artistic excellence, inclusion, diversity and innovation are at the heart of its mission. As the only curated arts park dedicated to the longterm presentation of free arts and cultural programs, Yerba Buena Gardens has a unique place in the cultural landscape of San Francisco. ybgfestival.org
Read more about RAWdance…
RAWdance is an award-winning contemporary dance company known for transforming theaters and public spaces through performance, curation, collaboration, and film. The company creates adventurous, thoughtful, and welcoming programming that challenges what contemporary dance is, where it happens, who it includes, and the role it plays in our lives. A “rare treasure” (Critical Dance) and ”witty, whip-smart, and beautiful to watch” (San Francisco Chronicle), RAWdance has performed throughout the U.S. and in Asia. rawdance.org
Read more about today’s artists…
San Francisco-based Natasha Adorlee trained with American Ballet Theatre, was an inaugural member of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet training program, and has a BA from UC Berkeley. She performed for many years with Robert Moses’ KIN and ODC/Dance (where she also served as a choreographer, rehearsal director, and music composer for the company), and guested with the San Francisco Symphony and Kate Weare Company. In 2014, Natasha founded Concept o4 as a way to channel her creative energy into choreography, filmmaking, and music composition. Her award-winning films through Co4 have been screened at film festivals both nationally and internationally. In her spare time, Natasha composes and performs music live and for film under the name Tiimbre, including an original song for the Pixar Sparkshort Out, which was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2021. c-o4.com
Styles Alexander is an emerging choreographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They graduated from the Boston conservatory with a BFA in contemporary performance and choreography. While attending the Boston Conservatory, Styles performed and collaborated in creative processes with choreographers such as Andrea Miller, Robert Moses, Dwight Rhoden, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Doug Varone and more. They have also had the honor of performing repertory by Ohad Naharin, Idan Sharabi, Robin Aren, and William Forsythe. Styles is currently in collaboration with Kristin Damrow & Company, located in San Francisco.
Allegra Bautista, an SF native, graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a double major in Dance and Liberal & Civic Studies. She trained at SF Ballet, City Ballet School, and the SF Conservatory of Music. She is honored to have performed in the works of Garrett + Moulton Productions, Kristin Damrow & Company, Amy Seiwert, RAWdance, and ka·nei·see | collective, among others. Allegra currently dances with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. She is a certified yoga instructor.
David Calhoun is a San Francisco-based dance artist. They obtained their BFA from the Conservatory at University of Missouri – Kansas City. David has trained at LINES Ballet, Martha Graham, Hubbard Street, Springboard Danse, Ballet West and Kansas City Ballet. They have performed with dawsondancesf, SFDanceworks, Wylliams/Henry, ODC/Dance, and other Bay Area choreographers. David teaches yoga with the intention to help others connect to the joy and gift of movement.
Christine Cali is director of the SF-based CALI & CO dance and Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance at Sonoma State University. She performed with Brooklyn-based Urban Bush Women in Hair & Other Stories (2019) and directed CALI & CO’s site-adaptive work ADAPT, performed in 20 locations in SF in collaboration with Matt EL Music (2017-2019). Since March 2020, Christine has offered SIP Somatic Dance & Wellness classes, with donations supporting SF Bay Area BIPOC artists and organizations. She has been described as “one of the most ferocious, spell-binding dancers I’ve seen in this city” (SF Chronicle), and nominated as Best Dance Class (SF Magazine). Her creative work and teaching are rooted in anti-racist practices/pedagogies, embodied story-sharing, original live music, and collaboration through community-building and art-making. calidances.com
Melecio Estrella has been a Bay Area performing artist, director, and teacher for the past 20 years. He is co-artistic director of Fog Beast, artistic director of BANDALOOP, and a member of the Joe Goode Performance Group since 2004. With gratitude for all his Bay Area dancestors, Melecio continues to grow on, disrupt and continue lineages of dance, theater and creative convening in local and touring engagements. Upcoming premieres: @joegoodeperformancegroup Time Of Change in SF (Sept. ‘21), @bandalooping TRANSPIRE in Boise ID @morrisoncenter (Sept. ‘21), FIELD in Atlanta GA @fluxprojects (Oct. ‘21)
Damara Vita Ganley is a West Coast dance artist and educator with national and international performance and teaching experience. She is a company member with the Joe Goode Performance Group and was a core dancer with BANDALOOP for nearly a decade. She has also been honored to work as a collaborator with Gerald Casel Dance, Fog Beast and Jo Kreiter/Flyaway Productions among other SF based choreographers. Damara is the director of Dance and Co-Chair of the Art Department at Kirby College Preparatory School where she teaches technique, composition, arts in culture, and directs the Kirby Dance Company. She also teaches Dance for Parkinson’s in several locations and continues to develop new ways to manifest her commitment to dance as a transformative and vital community practice.
Angeles Higareda is a recent graduate from Sonoma State with two degrees in Early Childhood Studies and Dance. Angeles has trained in a variety of dance techniques including modern, contemporary and musical theater. She has also performed and shown work at the American College Dance Association. Angeles is extremely excited for her debut with CALI & CO dance.
Ben Juodvalkis has composed for more than 50 organizations, ranging from avant-garde museum installations to corporate keynotes since 2007. Additionally Ben has released 5 albums and toured extensively with his rock band Battlehooch.
Matt Langlois is a San Francisco singer-songwriter, video/audio artist, music for dance composer and live performer. He has created long-running music projects, The Welcome Matt and Matt EL. Over the past two decades, Matt has amassed an extensive library including 9 albums, 22 singles, and a compilation CD. He has songwriting credit on the top 40 hit San Francisco by CASCADA. His Wake Me Up In San Francisco has played on KFOG 104.5 and at SF Giants games. Matt’s eclectic musical journey has been featured in music videos, virtual performances, and live concerts at venues including The Fillmore, The Great American Music Hall, and Yoshi’s. During Covid, Matt wrote and recorded a new album, The New Weird World. Post-Covid, he is planning for gigs in Germany and performing live again! welcomemattsf.com
Brandon Leong is a recent graduate from Sonoma State with a BA in Dance and a minor in Early Childhood Education. Brandon is super excited to debut in his first work post grad with CALI & CO dance. He is super excited for this next chapter of his career as he begins studying to be a High School Teacher in the credential program at Sonoma State. He has most recently choreographed and directed 5 dance films within the past year, as well as performed in the past 8 Sonoma State Dance Department Productions.
Brandon Lombardo is a recent graduate from Sonoma State University, and is taking a break from school before starting grad school next year. In the meantime he will be focusing on teaching opportunities, fitness classes, and doing things he has not had a chance to do yet while being in school – making time for family, mental health, and traveling.
Farrah McAdam is a Bay Area dance educator, professor, director, choreographer, and artist, who is invested in equitable, collaborative environments where history and critical thinking are investigated just as much as physical embodiments. She calls on her movement experiences and gatherings in styles including contemporary, release technique, choreography, whacking, house and hip hop, and has performed with CALI & CO dance since 2017.
Sierra Parkhurst is currently a 5th year at Sonoma State University and will graduate in December with two degrees, including a BA in Theater Arts and Dance with a concentration in dance and a BA in Geography, Environment, and Planning. She has had over 10 years of movement experience, training in ballet, contemporary, modern and various other styles. Sierra has choreographed numerous dance works including 4 original dance films, and has performed and shown work at the American College Dance Association West coast conference.
Marissa Salinas is a 4th year Dance and Business Administration major. Marissa has been dancing for 10 years and has created two recent works. She is currently working on a research project through a Koret Scholarship Program that explores research through embodied movement. She also works as office manager at The Dance Center in Santa Rosa.
Max van der Sterre is an original San Franciscan and dog father. A Company Artist with Smuin Contemporary Ballet, he danced with Alabama Ballet and New York City Ballet prior to that. Max began his classical ballet training with Damara Bennett & Henry Berg.
Andrew Ward is Co-Artistic Director of Fog Beast. He was first introduced to dance and performance through the vibrant modern dance program at Berkeley High School and he continued training under Bay Area luminaries at UC Berkeley. He earned his degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, with a minor in Dance and Performance Studies. After graduating in 2007, Ward went on to perform and teach in the Bay Area and internationally. He became a company member with the Joe Goode Performance Group, BANDALOOP, and Scott Wells and Dancers. Ward co-founded Fog Beast with Melecio Estrella in 2010 and has been choreographing, performing, and teaching with the company since. He recently received his Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Juliann Witt was born in Marin and began dancing at a very young age. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase and performed briefly in New York City before returning to the Bay Area. Since her return, she has had the pleasure of dancing with many great artists including DTSF, Nol Simonse, Bellwether Dance Project, Dexandro “D” Montalvo, Fullstop Dance, Robert Moses’ Kin, Liv Schaffer, Concept o4, and RAWdance.
Thanks so much to all of the choreographers, dancers, musicians, and collaborators energizing all corners of Yerba Buena Gardens as part of ChoreoFest 2021! Many thanks to those working behind the scenes, including the hardworking staffs of YBGF and RAWdance, all our volunteers, and the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy. YBGF ChoreoFest is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Thank you for making future ChoreoFests and other free public events possible!
photo by Stephen Texeira