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 eight 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 2022 artist lineup, with performances on July 23 & 30.
It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge that YBG Festival 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 2: SATURDAY, JULY 30 at 1 PM
1. PUSH Dance Company
Location: (see map)
Choreography: Ashley Gayle
Performance: Company Members Jeremy Brooks, Ashley Gayle, Jeremie Secrease, with Guest Dancers Taylor Brandon, Lucia Flexer-Marshall, David Le
Music: mixed soundscore featuring music by Ludwig Goransson, Pablo Fierro, Mr Raoul K, B’Utiza
This work explores how to build sanctuary within one’s self in order to share joy with the greater community. This performance is made possible by the generosity of CAST and individual support. pushdance.org
2. hien huynh
màu xanh lá (premiere)
Location: (see map)
Choreography and Performance: hien huynh
Music: Music for Body and Spirit
In Vietnamese, the words and names of colors are derived from nature: green as in green leaves, blue as in blue sky. hien-huynh.com
3. SAMMAY Productions
ritual for thrivation no. 2 (2022, excerpt)
Location: (see map)
Choreography: SAMMAY Peñaflor Dizon, in collaboration with the dance artists
Dance Artists: Danielle Galvez, Tessa Nebrida, Jai Severson
Sound Design: AstraLogik
Costume Design: Stephanie Gancayco
Altar Installation: Sharleen “Boomer” Ignacio
This ritual performance is dedicated to our ancestors who are inextricably interwoven into our personal narratives and to whom we journey towards liberation with. May we commit deeper to our re-membering, so that our collective grief can finally have a place to be transmuted and freed.
Thank you ODC and Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center for supporting the original iteration of this work. Thank you San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, and our beloved community for your ongoing support. sammaydizon.org
La Vie en Red Check (premiere)
Location: (see map)
Choreography: Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith, in collaboration with the performers
Performance: Claire Fisher, Wendy Rein, Ryan T. Smith, Nick Wagner
Music: Crowander, Nctrnm, Sergey Cheremisinov, Rest You Sleeping Giant, Xylo-Ziko
Garden parties, fragments of memory, and a dose of frolicking collide. Thanks to the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance for artist residency support and to Carly Johnson for early contributions to the piece. rawdance.org
From the Curators
We are thrilled for the opportunity to share a taste of the diverse and dynamic Bay Area contemporary dance scene. 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 July 30 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. The company is committed to supporting the dance field through its presenting programs and the Radiate Fellowship Program. rawdance.org
Read more about today’s artists…
Taylor Brandon is an artist and thinker from Oakland, CA whose practice is grounded in the study of Black geographies, Black American cultural lineages, her family, and her experience as a Black queer woman. Taylor’s creative practice is preceded by a five-year public relations career in entertainment, art, and education. She is also a founding member of No Neutral Alliance (NNA), a group of working artists and arts administrators who are fighting to dismantle anti-blackness within arts institutions while simultaneously creating meaningful space outside institutions.
Jeremy Brooks (he/him) graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Social Welfare and minors in Dance Performance Studies and Public Policy. He began dancing and performing at a young age with Dance A Vision, under the direction of Carla Service. He later expanded his artistry and performance experience via Mime Dance Ministry, The Berkeley Dance Project, and more recently the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) Apprenticeship. He joined PUSH in 2022.
SAMMAY Peñaflor Dizon (she/they/siya) – the daughter of Yolanda Peñaflor Dizon, and the granddaughter of Salvacion Orencillo Peñaflor and Carolina Agdeppa Dizon – is a Filipinx American choreographer, interdisciplinary artist, and cultural producer of Bikol, Kapampangan, and Ilokano descent from Carson, CA. Through ritual performance, they explore the diasporic body as a site of re-membering, resisting, and reclaiming for collective healing and liberation. SAMMAY creates opportunities for intercultural and intergenerational exchange – igniting possibilities for re-indigenizing and embodying radical futurity in diaspora. By centering ancestral reverence, she highlights the ongoing conversation between the material and the spiritual. Dance then re-becomes the passageway to transmute intergenerational trauma across cultural lines and geographical borders – a direct call and response with their ancestors.
Claire Fisher was born and raised in Tracy, California. She received a majority of her training from Alonzo King LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, & Northwest Dance Project. Now a freelance artist in San Francisco, she has appeared in several works and collaborations with wonderful artists and companies such as Brannigan Dance Works, Dazaun Soleyn, Fullstop Dance, Garrett + Moulton Productions, Liv Schaffer, RAWdance, ZiRu Dance and The MoveMessenger(s).
Lucia Flexer-Marshall is a contemporary dancer based in the Bay Area, holding a BA in Dance from UC Santa Cruz. Growing up in the East Bay, she trained at the Oakland Ballet School and Shawl Anderson Dance Center. Lucia’s professional experience includes work with Garrett & Moulton Productions, Ziru Dance, Erin Yen’s Dragons Dance, and Fullstop Dance. She is also the co-creator of the dance film project Soap Impressions, with her creative partner Joaquin Bear.
Danielle Galvez (she/they) is a dance artist of the Ilokano and Pangasinan diaspora. Receiving her degree in dance from SJSU, Dani seeks ancestral healing through creative works and connection building. Dani founded Archive Dance Collective where artists and educators foster self discovery through dance education. She is a somatic student under mentor Holly Johnston and Responsive Body™, a body-based approach to creative expression, relationship building, and social action.
Ashley Gayle (she/her) graduated from UC Irvine with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and a minor in Business Management. She’s performed and toured with local professional dance companies as well as taught youth and adults throughout the Bay Area at various studios, schools, and summer programs. She Co-Directs Visceral Roots Dance Co., rooted in telling stories inspired by social justice for minorities and has worked as an Arts Administrator for various Bay Area organizations. She joined PUSH Dance Company in 2014 and was promoted to Artistic Associate Director in 2022. Visit ashleygayle.org for more information.
Hien Huynh was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through the sacrifices, courage, and resiliency of his parents’ passage across the ocean, Hien dedicates his artistic and living practices to share, move, and dance in honor of their story alongside the oceanic journeys of ancestors. His movement practices stem from the spirit of improvisation. He recognizes improvisation as an ancestral form of survival, navigation, and ingenuity. With immense gratitude, he is grateful to be able to continue sharing, exchanging, and empowering through the arts with stories and reflection to ignite dialogue and change.
David Le is an east side San Jose native who grew up doing Vietnamese cultural dance, taiko drumming, and martial arts. His movement blends the cultural, urban, and classical styles of San Jose. At SJSU, David majored in Dance and Minored in Kinesiology, aspiring to explore and spread the power of dance therapy. He is a company member of sjDANCEco, Decypher Dance Company, Quirk Dance, Archive, and Barron&Co.
Tessa Nebrida (she/they) is a Filipina movement artist and bodywork + energy healing practitioner rooted in community healing practices. Her work is heart centered, nourishing and regenerative, and invites a grounded inquiry into the body as both a landing place and bridge for interconnection, expression, and deeper experiencing of source and mystery. Her inquiries live within the integrative space of consciousness and form, the unseen and seen, the local and non-local dance that makes up our rich human experience. She holds a BFA in Dance and Composition from California Institute of the Arts and 20 years of training and exploration in the field of healing arts therapies.
A native New Yorker, Wendy Rein has been dancing and breaking furniture since age 3. With a BA from Brown University, she worked with Misnomer Dance Theater 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 others. She also worked for many years on a series of dance film projects with RJ Muna. Since RAWdance expanded to NY’s Hudson Valley in 2019, Wendy has been absorbing and dancing in her new wild surroundings.
As an Oakland native, Jeremie Secrease (he/him) has always been surrounded by music, dance, and the arts. After being exposed to modern dance within the last few years while working with Visceral Roots Dance Company, Jeremie is currently inspired to fuse technique within his freestyle Turf dance vocabulary. He joined PUSH in 2019.
Jai Severson (they/them) is a non-binary pilipinx-mixed-white dancer-researcher, cultural worker, and accessibility consultant. Their main practices include Afro diasporic clubs styles (w*acking, vogue, and house dance), Philippine Traditional Arts, disability dance practices, and accessible movement pedagogies.
Ryan T. Smith is a queer dance-maker, performer, curator, and connector. A Co-Founder of RAWdance, he has served as Co-Artistic Director since 2004, creating dozens of works for stage, alternative locations, and film with creative partner Wendy Rein. As a dancer, he has performed for artists such as Amy Seiwert, Alma Esperanza Cunningham, and Stephen Pelton. He was a member of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company from 2005-2016, touring nationally and internationally. Originally from outside of Boston, MA, Ryan received his BA in Theatre Arts and French Literature from Brown University before moving to San Francisco. In 2019, after 16 years in the Bay, he moved his primary residence to High Falls, a small hamlet in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Nick Wagner grew up in the Seattle area and is a graduate of Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and minor in Kinesiology. Since moving to the Bay Area, he has had the pleasure of working in the dance community as a performer, administrator, and somatic healer. Nick is a Certified Massage Therapist in California (CMT).
Thanks so much to all of the choreographers, dancers, musicians, and collaborators energizing all corners of Yerba Buena Gardens as part of ChoreoFest 2022! Many thanks to those working behind the scenes, including the hardworking staffs of YBG Festival and RAWdance, all our volunteers, and the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy.
Thank you for making future ChoreoFests and other free public events possible!
photo by Stephen Texeira