World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival

Check back for updates about the
40th Anniversary
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
July 2018

Click here for information about the Festival Auditions




The 39th Annual
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
July 8 -16, 2017

“I know of no regular event that more effectively, more movingly, recommends this country’s diverse inclusiveness than the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.” – The New York Times
We celebrated the rich cultural diversity of the Bay Area in one of the grandest settings in San Francisco—the War Memorial Opera House.

The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival made its debut at the Opera House with two weekends of performances featuring 24 extraordinary Bay Area dance and music ensembles to thrill and inspire.

The dancers of the 2017 Festival were joined by some of the Bay Area’s most accomplished and respected musicians, including percussionist John Santos and
tabla master Zakir Hussain.

Additionally, two extraordinary vocalists performed Delibes’ Flower Duet from Lakmé on the Festival stage! Soprano Maya Kherani & Countertenor Cortez Mitchell accompanied Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu during their performances on July 8 and 9.

Read the Festival program book here

2017 Festival Schedule


Opera House Weekend 1
Saturday, July 8 at 8pm*
Sunday, July 9 at 2pm*


Performances by 12 Bay Area dance and music ensembles showcasing traditions from around the world.

*Pre-show performances by Leung’s White Crane Lion & Dragon Dance Association (Chinese Lion Dance) and Vinic-Kay (La Gente y El Canto) (Mexican Folkloric). Pre-show performances will begin one hour before each show.

Performances by: The Academy of Danse Libre (European Social Dances); De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association (Afro-Peruvian); Fogo Na Roupa Performing Company (Brazilian Folkloric— Maracatu); John Santos Sextet + Alayo Dance Company (Cuban Contemporary Folkloric); LIKHA - Pilipino Folk Ensemble (Filipino Folkloric—Mandayan and Tboli); Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu (Hawaiian Hula); San Francisco Awakko Ren (Japanese Traditional—Awa Odori); Zakir Hussain + Antonia Minnecola (Indian Kathak).


Opera House Weekend 2
Saturday, July 15 at 8pm*
Sunday, July 16 at 2pm*


Performances by 12 Bay Area dance and music ensembles showcasing traditions from around the world.


*Pre-show performances by Gamelan Sekar Jaya (Balinese Jegog) and Zena Carlota (West African Kora).
Pre-show performances will begin one hour before each show.

Performances by: Ballet Afsaneh (Persian-Iranian Contemporary); Ballet Folklórico México Danza (Mexican Folkloric); BITEZO BIA KONGO (Congolese Traditional); Gurus of Dance, an Aditya Patel Company (Indian Bollywood); Māhealani Uchiyama (Zimbabwean Mbira); Natya at Berkeley (Indian Bharatanatyam); Te Mana O Te Ra (Tahitian Oteʻa); Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco + La Tania (Spanish Flamenco); YaoYong Dance (Chinese Folkloric—Mongolia), Zena Carlota (West African Kora).