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 116 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.”

Join us next on January 17-18 for the CONCEPT series: 27!

Guest Artists who have been presented by the CONCEPT series

  • ahdanco (Abigail Hosein)
  • Alison Williams Dance
  • Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement
  • Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project
  • Amy Foley
  • Amy Seiwert's Imagery
  • The Anata Project (Claudia Anata Hubiak)
  • Arletta Anderson & Adam Smith
  • Aura Fischbeck Dance
  • Bhumi B. Patel
  • Bianca Cabrera / Blind Tiger Society
  • Bob Webb / Bare Bones Butoh
  • Brannigan Dance Works
  • Breton Tyner-Bryan and Dancers
  • Byb Chanel Bibene
  • Catherine Galasso
  • Chlo & Co
  • Chris Black
  • Christian Burns
  • Christine Bonansea
  • Christy Funsch
  • Courtney Mazeika
  • 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
  • Diane Frank
  • 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
  • James Graham Dance Theatre
  • Jennifer Perfilio | Movement Works
  • Jhia Louise Jackson
  • Joseph Copley & Deborah Miller
  • Julie-Ann Gambino & Yoshie Kateada
  • Kaitlyn Ebert and Mark Goodwin
  • ka·nei·see | collective (Tanya Chianese)
  • Katerina Wong
  • Katharine Hawthorne
  • Kathleen Hermesdorf / La ALTERNATIVA
  • Kegan Marling
  • kelly kemp & company
  • Kim Ip/Krimm’s Dance Party
  • Kristin Damrow & Company
  • KT Nelson
  • Laura Bernasconi & Carlos Venturo
  • Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg
  • ledges and bones dance project (Holly Johnston)
  • Lenora Lee Dance
  • Liberation Dance Theater (Jacinta Vlach)
  • Lily Dwyer & Scott Marlowe
  • Lindsey Renee Derry / L i n s d a n s
  • Lisa Townsend Company
  • Liss Fain Dance
  • 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
  • Natasha Adorlee’s Concept o4
  • Nhan Ho Project
  • Nichele Van Portfleet
  • Nina Haft & Company
  • Nol Simonse
  • OOMPH Dance Theater
  • Palanza Dance (Hilary Palanza)
  • Post:Ballet (Robert Dekkers)
  • Printz Dance Project (Stacey Printz)
  • project agora (Kara Davis)
  • Project.B. (Tanya Bello)
  • punkkiCo (Raisa Punkki)
  • PUSH Dance Company
  • randy reyes
  • Randee Paufve
  • REACH BC Dance Company
  • Red Brick Company/Nick Korkos
  • Risa Jaroslow & Dancers
  • Robert Woods-LaDue & Sarah Woods-LaDue
  • Rogelio Lopez & Dancers
  • Sarah Bush Dance Project
  • Sean Dorsey Dance
  • Sharp & Fine (Megan Kurashige and Shannon Kurashige)
  • 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)
  • SOULSKIN Dance
  • Stranger Lover Dreamer (Rogelio Lopez, Andrew Merrell, Elizebeth Randall, and Shaunna Vella)
  • Sydney Franz
  • Takami
  • tinypistol (Maurya Kerr)
  • Todd Eckert Dance Company
  • Victor Talledos
  • Virginia Matthews
  • 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!

  • Contemporary dance as a chummy, pretension-free meet-up? That’s the winning concept behind RAWdance’s CONCEPT series, a thrice annual salon where new dances are served up alongside generous helpings of popcorn, cookies and coffee. Every iteration brings a unique mix of ideas and dance styles, but it’s always a low-key, highly entertaining event with effervescent emceeing by RAWdance founders Ryan Smith and Wendy Rein.


  • The CONCEPT series is not only about offering a choreographic range to audiences, it is about championing artists to share work that is on a creative journey, whether that journey is just beginning or is nearing its final destination.


  • 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