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 1: SATURDAY, JULY 10 at 1 PM
Kiandanda Dance Theater/ Byb Chanel Bibene
Nza Kongo (re-staged from 2014)
Location: Stone Stage (see map)
Choreography and Performance: Byb Chanel Bibene
Music: Tambours du Burundi, Stephen DeRuby, Michel Rafa
Costumes: Byb Bibene
I am giving gratitude to every single person who has supported the work of Byb Bibene and Kiandanda Dance Theater, including all the collaborators to the company’s projects. I extend my gratitude to Zellerbach Family Foundation, Dancers’ Group, SFIAF, the Further Foundation, the Fleishhacker Foundation, the City of Oakland Cultural Grant, the SF Arts Commission, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The Performing Arts Worker Fund.
a ritual for thrivation (2021)
Location: Terrace (see map)
Choreography + Text: SAMMAY in collaboration with Cara Zamora Palanca, Danielle Galvez, and Poko ‘Dre’ Devis
Core Coven: Cara Zamora Palanca, Danielle Galvez, Lynie Abadilla, Poko ‘Dre’ Devis, and Sammay Dizon
Ritual Keepers: Frances Sedayao, Jessica ‘Malayasoul’ Lizardo, Kai Gruezo, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Regina Movillion, and Sharleen ‘Boomer’ Ignacio
Music: AstraLogik ft. Camille Ramirez
Styling: Stephanie Gancayco
Archivist: Erina Alejo
where is the divine feminine breeding these days?
have you asked her for permission?
can you ask – can we move from survival to thrivation (together)?
we have arrived to this moment to reclaim what has been stolen. to bring balance + restore. all honor + gratitude to the ancestors who have us here. to all who have come before + will come after: the Ramaytush Ohlone. the countless Black + Brown families displaced. this ritual is for all of us in the trenches healing + actively choosing a different way for our lineages. maraming salamat to SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District + the many ancestors who paved the way for us to be here (now). agyamanak unay to all who have supported the work of SAMMAY Productions through the years. dacal a salamat for continuing to hold us in your mind’s eye in this diasporic work for collective liberation.
Location: Children’s Amphitheater (see map)
Choreography: Katerina Wong, with the performers
Performance: Juliann Witt, Katerina Wong, Stacey Yuen
Guest Performance: Margaret Curtis and Meredith Laguna; Amy Foley, Joss Pearlman and Lael Pearlman; Rachel McLaughlin
Music: Blear Moon, Ketsa, Gotama, Irving Berlin (performed by Robin Wong), Broke For Free, Xylo-Ziko, Hawthorn, and Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston (performed by Rachel McLaughlin)
Text: Margaret Curtis, Julie Doupé, Amy Foley, Ginny Irwin Klausmeier, Meredith Laguna, Rebecca Morris, Denise Witt, Robin Wong, Debbie Yuen
Sound design: Katerina Wong
Textile Art: Elizabeth Sheets Orcutt
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 July 10 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…
Lynie Abadilla is a performer and storyteller. She is a member of the sketch comedy troupe Granny Cart Gangstas and has acted in various productions within the Bindlestiff Studio community. She has a mission to fearlessly tell stories that need to be heard and has a fascination with capturing moments of reimagined nostalgia. She last appeared in Jeannie Barroga’s BANYAN, playing Ona in Bindlestiff’s KWENTO TIMES series. She was also a dramaturg for Lauren Andrei Garcia’s short film KILIG GIRL: A PROLOGUE.
AstraLogik is a Queer Filipinx musical Duo residing in the Bay Area, California. They are life partners in life & music, experimenting with different musical genres, technology, bands — and performing for various communities/philanthropic causes. Since the pandemic began, they have been exploring soundscaping with connection to energy flow within the body.
Byb Chanel Bibene, an MFA graduate and award winner is a dance educator, choreographer and performer working in theater, ethnic, urban, and contemporary dance forms. His own technical and aesthetic sensibility is rooted in the culture and dances of his country of origin, the Republic of Congo. He has toured the world and performed internationally with companies and choreographers originating from Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA. He owns a Bachelor in Science, Economics/Finances from Marien Ngouabi University/Congo, an MFA in Dance Creative Practice, earning the Dean’s award for Academic Excellence from Saint Mary’s College of California. kiandandadt.com / mbonguifest.org
Poko ‘Dre’ Devis (she/they) is a 2nd generation granddaughter | daughter | sister pilipinx creative of Boholano & Ilokano descent. Born and raised on unceded Ramaytush Ohlone land. Since childhood, Poko has been honing her movement healing and dance expression allowing her to be a vessel for creative spirit to flow through. To move what must be moved, dance what must be danced and honor what must be honored.
Danielle Galvez (she/they) is a dance artist and tarot card reader weaving together her practices of dance, yoga, and tarot. They founded Archive Dance Collective in 2016, a dance collective that aims to create spaces to express, reflect, and relate. Through her tarot practice, Danielle offers her studies of yoga philosophy and interest in Philippine psychology to promote self study and resilience.
Cara Zamora Palanca is a verbal processor, a facilitator of soft spaces and another womxn intent on bringing people back to their heart. She is an active site for breaking generational cycles of hurting your most beloved ones and supplanting colonial mentality within the self. Having been born, raised and conditioned in the capital of her motherland (Manila, Philippines), she navigates being away from all that you know, living in honor of your roots while reimagining life beyond what we’ve been taught we deserve.
Camille Ramirez is a graduate of the CSU Northridge Jazz Studies music program. She studied traditional Philippine music under Kayamanan Ng Lahi, Rondalla Club of Los Angeles, Guro Dan Kalanduyan, and Ramon Obusan.
SAMMAY (she/they) is a Filipinx American choreographer, interdisciplinary artist, and cultural producer of Bikol, Kapampangan, and Ilokano descent who bridges the traditional and contemporary in centering embodied storytelling as a vehicle for collective healing and liberation. Through multimedia dance theatre, she invokes rituals for remembering and decolonizing — creating to honor the tapestry of indigenous epistemologies embedded in our urban landscapes. Raised on Tongva Land/LA County and a settler on Yelamu/San Francisco, her practice is rooted in the fundamental knowing that dance is the medium that connects the earth and ancestral realm — the passageway to transmute intergenerational trauma across cultural lines and geographical borders. She is the founder and artistic executive director of SAMMAY Productions and chief curator of Urban x Indigenous intercultural arts festival. sammaydizon.com
Juliann Witt was born in Marin and began dancing at the age of three. As a young dancer, she trained at the California Academy of Performing Arts and attended summer programs with American Ballet Theatre and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. After receiving her BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase she 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 and companies including DTSF, Nol Simonse, Bellwether Dance Project, Dexandro “D” Montalvo, Fullstop Dance, Robert Moses’ Kin, Liv Schaffer, Concept o4, and RAWdance.
Katerina (Katie) Wong is a choreographer, movement artist, and Co-Artistic Director of RAWdance. Since graduating from Princeton University, she’s had the honor of performing with more than 15 Bay Area dance companies including Printz Dance Project, PUSH Dance Company, LEVYdance, Concept o4, and the San Francisco Symphony. Her work has been commissioned by Pop-Up Magazine, PUSH Dance Company, FACT/SF, Cutting Ball Theater, California Academy of Sciences, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, ACLU of Northern California, and more. Katie has been invited to participate in arts leadership programs by Dance/USA, Women of Color in the Arts, APAP, and Asylum Arts. Katie’s practice is rooted in meaningful collaboration, community bridge building, and artistic partnership. katerinawong.com / rawdance.org
Stacey Yuen, a Bay Area native, 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
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