World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Barbary Coast Cloggers

Dance Origin: Appalachia, US
Artistic Director: Ian Michael Enriquez
First Appearance in SF EDF
: 1988

This boisterous and jovial all male company was founded in 1981 by an Asian-American woman, Janice Yee Hanzel, who remained its artistic director for the next two decades until her retirement in 2001. The company was initially formed to bring the rowdiness inherent in this rural vernacular dance, to the heart of an urban community of men in San Francisco.The company’s mission is to perpetuate and educate audiences about this often overlooked dance style from the United States. Using clogging dance, the Barbary Coast Cloggers literally “tap into” the vital spirit inherent in the dance and music, and strive to convey this felt exuberance to audiences. Over the years, the Cloggers have developed a performance style uniquely their own, which has since carried them across the United States and Canada to perform with such celebrities as Earl Scruggs, Nancy Sinatra, Ricky Skaggs, and Faith No More.


TITLES: Hambone, We No Speak Americano, Miser on a Pile of Gold
Matt Ellinger (Hambone) and Ian Michael Enriquez (We Speak No Americano, Miser on a Pile of Gold)
Jose Arebalo, Kiernan Donleavy, Ian Michael Enriquez, Ming-Lun Ho, Antonio Ortiz, Richard Willyard, Brian Wines, Tom Winter

The first of three dances, Hambone, displays the many cultural layers that comprise the foundation of clogging and is their only dance to feature Juba dancing. The second piece, We No Speak Americano, is a contemporary duet mimicking the popular, viral video by group, Up & Over It. The final piece, Miser on a Pile of Gold, uses music from Los Angeles composer Shawn Kirchner’s album inspired by the film Brokeback Mountain. The dance incorporates various circle and line formations—starting from a single line, going into two, and ending the dance in four.


Titles:Steamerlane Breakdown, Cripple Creek, Gone But Not Forgotten
Matthew Ellinger, Janice Yee Hanzel
Doug Chin, Matthew Ellinger, Ian Enriquez, Dan Goldes, Dale Petros, Jeff Porter, Richard Ridley, Rick Sherwin, Ramon Torres, Richard Willyard, Brian Wines

In Steamerlane Breakdown, the cloggers perform to the Doobie Brothers, with a "buck-style" chorus of tapping, syncopated heels. Cripple Creek is danced to Buffy Sainte-Marie's recording of the bluegrass drinking song with a choreography inspired by old-time improvisations. In Gone But Not Forgotten, thegroup cuts loose to a raucous country-western tune by Asleep at the Wheel.

Janice Yee Hanzel (Founder) choreographed Steamerlane Breakdown in the mid-90s. Matthew Ellinger recently choreographed Cripple Creek and Gone But Not Forgotten. Cripple Creek was performed in 2008 at the Fresh Meat Festival in San Francisco. This is the first performance of Gone But Not Forgotten.


TITLE: Forked Deer, Hambone, Merina, Paint the Town
CHOREOGRAPHERS: Matt Ellinger (Forked Deer, Paint the Town, and Hambone) and Janice Yee Hanzel (Merina)
DANCERS: Steve Branch, Doug Chin, Matt Ellinger, Ian Enriquez, Dan Goldes, Joey Hill, Ron Jenkins, Jeff Porter, Richard Ridley, Kyle Temple, Ramón Torres, Richard Willyard, Brian Wines
MUSICIANS: Sidesaddle - Lisa Burns (bass), Kim Elking (mandolin), Louise Mintun (guitar), Sonia Shell (banjo), Lee Anne Welch (fiddle)

The first of four dances, Forked Deer, is a playful dance commemorating the spirit of camaraderie, showmanship, and inventiveness from which clogging was born. The second piece, Hambone, displays the many cultural layers that comprise the foundation of clogging – African, Native American, and European. Next, Merina weaves together clogging and quadrille patterns, which shows another influence – square dancing. The final piece, Paint the Town, is a spirited blend of traditional and contemporary clogging steps. The all male clogging team is accompanied by the bluegrass band, Sidesaddle.


DANCES: The Fisher's Hornpipe/Devil's Dream, Bucket to the South, Banjo Buck CHOREOGRAPHY: Janice Yee Hanzel, Matt Ellinger
Doug Chin, Matt Elinger Ian Enriquez, Dan Goldes, Joseph Hill, Ron Jenkins, Dale Petros, Jeff Porter, Richard Ridley, Scott Terry, Richard Willyard, Brian Wines
: "Sidesaddle" - Lisa Burns (bass), Diana Donnelly (guitar), Kim Elking (mandolin), Sonia Shell (banjo), Lee Anne Welch (fiddle)

In the 2005 Festival, the Barbary Coast Cloggers, accompanied by the all woman band Sidesaddle, perform a medley of three dances, which directly express clogging's cultural sources. The first piece, Bucket to the South, is an old-time country tune, which is linked to European fiddle melodies and shows off the clogging styles: Buck, Burton, Flatfoot and French-Canadian, while also incorporating contemporary clogging steps. The second dance, Banjo Buck, evokes the heart-quickening momentum of an accelerating train, while emphasizing quadrille patterns typical of traditional forms of clogging. The third piece, The Fisher's Hornpipe/Devil's Dream, danced to a jubilant Spiritual, is a raucous favorite among all types of clog dancers and reflects the exuberant joy and sincerity of the form and the company.

Back to top