World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival
1999 festival poster


SF Ethnic dance festival 1999

June 11 - 13, 1999
June 18 - 20, 1999
June 25 - 27, 1999

June 11 - 13, 1999

"Dancing dialects" connect Old World traditions and the contemporary Bay Area. First-generation immigrants preserve culture in their central roles as teachers, dancers and musicians. Through the language of world dance, they express the memories and ideals of their homelands.

Chung Ngai Dance Troupe
Colorful Malaysian-Chinese lions dance and perform acrobatics to the pulsating rhythm of drums, gongs and cymbals.

Liu and Han Chinese Dance
Elegant pas-de-deux derived from Chinese opera tradition, based on the tale of hidden lovers, an Asian Romeo and Juliet story.

Chitresh Das Dance Company
Pure dance, in the classical kathak style of the Lucknow school of northern India, choreographed by the inimitable Chitresh Das and danced with subtle grace and "lan by a trio of accomplished women.

The flirtatious modern jaipongan dance of Sunda (West Java), combining elements of male martial arts and female seductive court dance, is beautifully executed by the company under the leadership of Michael Ogi, in a piece choreographed by Sri Susilowati.

Kalanjali: Dances of India
With precision technique grounded in the canon of traditional classical Indian bharata natyam, and original choreography commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations by the Dhananjayan husband & wife team of Madras, this Berkeley-based company (who opened the very first EDF!) presents a stirring tribute to the late gj'soyu's ojh'osjh'osjh;sojh; Mahatma Gandhi, with music based on one of his favorite devotional songs, performed by a trio of guest artists from Madras.

Kanchis Folkloric Dance Group
A bullfight and Incan-based indigenous ceremonial dance transports us to the Peruvian Andes where the fiesta atmosphere is contagious and wondrous music fills the air.

The Minoan Dancers
Old world charm and passion animate this suite demonstrating a variety of vigorous kicks and leaping steps as well as intricate patterning, choreographed by Effie and Vasilis Fourakis. The dancers are costumed in richly textured Cretan outfits, and are accompanied on the laouto lute and lyra viol.

The Celtic Dance Ensemble
Old World meets the New in this charming house party dance drama, choreographed by Brian Cleary, which won first prize in the 1998 Irish Open Dance Drama Championships in Dublin, becoming the first American company to do so.

De Rompe y Raja
A New World classic dance drama choreographed by Victoria Santa Cruz and set in the tropical plantations of coastal Peru among the descendants of African slaves, features the vigorous dancing of the washerwomen, each grabbing a measure of individual joy and exuberance from an otherwise dreary monotony.

El Tunante
With handkerchiefs flying, dancing the male-female counterpoint of the marinera, a national dance of Peru, the competitive fire of the male wins the day and the right to court his lady love while the vocals soar and guitars and percussion keep lively time. Stunning choreography and ensemble work under the direction of Nestor Ruiz.

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June 18 - 20, 1999

Dance is a shared language, a common bond between people. Here, local "vocabularies" of movement and gesture illuminate whole universes of cultural communication. Spectacular ensembles recreate scenes from royal court and town square, and adapt historical dances for the modern stage.

Lestari Indonesia
Gliding as if on wings, the classical Javanese dancers performing the three-hundred year old srimpi dance take us to another sensual atmosphere, that of the court of Surakarta, where calmness, dignity and elegance are the cultural ideals.

To another Asian court scene, this time to Bukhara in Uzbekistan, where Tamerlane's court saw the development of classical dance based on the folk dances of several ethnicities. Here, in this joyful solo by Elena, born and raised in Uzbekistan, the winning contemporary choreography of her Uzbeki teacher, Alia Shakilislamova, shines through.

Tabu Dance Ensemble
Cabaret-style belly dance, choreographed by Nanna Candelaria and dancers, animated by shimmies and hip movements, charms and hypnotizes as we move westward across Asia and North Africa, from court to cabaret and tavern.

The Raquel Lopez Flamenco Dance Ensemble
Nuevo flamenco Andalusian dance passion, fueled by song from the gypsy neighborhood of Jerez de La Frontera, propels us into the latest incarnation of a working-class dance genre that continues to be reinvented with inspiration by this Oakland-based company.

Esperanza del Valle
Mexican folklorico dance at its finest, this Watsonville-based ensemble executes the choreography of Candido Hernandez Navarrete with skill and Huastecan authenticity, bringing out the true flavor of the proud mestizo huapango dance from Vera Cruz.

Barbary Coast Cloggers
Thoroughly American clogging precision with a mixture of contemporary street smarts and sly manuevers make this ensemble a crowd-pleasing favorite and EDF regulars. Who knows what they'll surprise us with this time?

The Ladies of Moani Ke'Ala O Ka Mailelauli'I and The Men of Ka Iho Makawalu A Ka Ua Kipu'upu'u
Debuting in the 1998 EDF, The Ladies and the Men, lifted by the stirring voice of their kumu hula Clark Bolivar, Jr., demonstrated that the most ancient hula, kahiko hula, continues to inspire dancers to poetic heights. Divided into age and gender groupings as is typical and shown here, the Ladies and the Men will be competing next week at the 26th Annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition in Honolulu.

Group Petit La Croix
A colorful ensemble dance, choreographed by Blanche Brown, honors the Haitian loa or goddess Ayida Wedo, wed to Danballah, the serpent. The piece features songs in Kreyol, the Haitian national language. Moving effortlessly between tableaux images and pure dance, the company improvises set patterns at the beckoning calls of the maman, the master drum, to help send a message of cultural solidarity with Haitian people.

Charya Burt
Exquisite Khmer classical dance from Cambodia, the Chhouy Chhay dance presents a young princess as she discovers her own physical beauty in this 20th-century choreography by Samdech Preah Norodom Suthearos, danced by Charya, a former member of Cambodia's royal dance troupe, now resident of Windsor, California.

Kala Vandana Dance Center
An Indian fantasy, a dance drama in which the sculptors working on statues for a Hindu temple fall asleep only to "see" those statues come alive in their dreams. Utilizing classical bharata natyam techniques,as learned at the Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Madras under Rukmini Devi, choreographer and director Sundara Swaminathan has crafted an inspiring work that features young men and women in an unusual and skillful display of new Indian dance.

Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno
A suite of colorful and compelling dances whose origins can again be traced to Vera Cruz, this time performed by the seasoned and dynamic ensemble directed by Mr. Moreno, who studied with the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico and at the University of Guadalajara. We close with a lively fiesta.

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June 25 - 27, 1999

They drum for luck, for prayer, for strength. A percussive chorus sings interlocked patterns of beats, tattooing a powerful expressive experience onto our consciousness. Clog shoes, stomping heels and kala'au sticks keep time with the earth, reminding us that everywhere, in every dance, the rhythm sticks.

The Red Thistle Dancers
A lovely suite of Scottish Highland and country dances including reels, a strathspeys and a sword dance, accompanied by wonderful musicians on fiddles, bagpipe and bodhran drum, all showcasing the strength and versatility of this longstanding, dedicated South Bay company.

FatChanceBellyDance & Helm
Demonstrating what they call "American Tribal-style Bellydance," this popular San Francisco-based company performs a street theatre performance style that once characterized gypsy bellydance companies across the Middle East and North Africa, nomadic troupes who entered a town, drawing a crowd to witness seductive illusions, hypnotic muscle isolations, contortions and pleasing gyrations to the accompaniment of ululating voices, percussion, and a single "pied piper" playing a mesmerizing double-reed pipe.

Owo Ache
A vigorous dance drama depicting two aspects of Afro-Cuban cultural history: the sickness of the Dahomean "Lazarus", Agronica, expelled from his community due to his affliction, and the Congolese Bantu stick dance in which the powers of nature are channeled to empower the community, with new choreography by Susana Arenas and musical direction from Carlos Aldama Perez.

African Queens
The excitement and athleticism of vigorous West African social dance, as danced by this youthful Oakland-based company directed by Leslie Carter, with each soloist trying to outdo the next with surprising improvised moves, to the insistent calls of the drum battery.

Folklorico Latino de Woodland
More excitement from a youthful Mexican folklorico company from the Sacramento area performing a fandango suite from Vera Cruz, choreographed by Gloria Rodriguez, featuring heel tap dances to the sound of harp and guitars.

Get ready to set the Palace on fire as these red-hot young dancers show you some stage moves for this wildly popular and infectious Latino social dance groove. If you thought salsa was just some hot tomato dip for your tortilla chips, check out salsa dancing headed into the 21st century.

Il Hyun Kim
Korean Buddhist monk's solo dance, both meditative and intense, danced with a deep inner focus by this San Francisco-based dancer in long-sleeved, hooded gown as she strikes a blow on the hanging drum to awaken the universe.

Performing a traditional kahiko hula love chant, one referencing famous sites on the islands of Ni'ihau and Kauai in each line of text, kumu hula and chanter Michael Yamashita has his company employ kala'au rhythm sticks to drive home the urgency of the imagery in this exquisitely performed danced poetry.

The English Ritual Dance Company
A suite of three ancient ritual dances still performed to this day in the English northwest, the Welsh border region, and the Cotswolds featuring clogging, morris dancing in motley, and mock stick battling by this East Bay-based company.

Los Lupeños de San Jose
The premier performance of a male Danza de los Paloteros, which originated from a small town in Michoacan, Mexico, featuring "stickmen" representing Tarascan indigenous soldiers as they train for combat against the larger and fiercer northern tribe, the Chichimecas. Dressed as colonial soldiers of the 17th century, rural Indian tribes enacted local versions of military exercises. Choreography arranged from the indigenous dance by Maria de la Rosa and Tony Ferrigno especially for the 1999 SF EDF.

Ballet Folklorico Alma de Mexico of South San Francisco
This youthful corps of Mexican folklorico dancers presents the proud and exuberant dance of the "hawk," el Gavilan, as he surveys the scene at a fiesta set in 19th-century Jalisco, complete with mariachi band. With choreography by Martin Cruz, in the style of Marco Ambrosio Ortiz from Guadalajara, the dance features costuming of the typical charro cowboy in serape and the ribbon dress of ranch women in a marvelous display of flashing colors and swirling motion.

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