The return of the San Francisco ethnic dance festival


San Francisco’s critically acclaimed Ethnic Dance Festival returns in October in a brand new format: film.

The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Film is an original feature length production that was shot in various locations in the Bay Area this summer and features local artists performing dance, music and spoken word from Cuba, Guinea, Hawaii, India, Iran and Turkey. , Mexico and the United States. Four of the artists make their debut at the Festival.

The film will premiere on Thursday, October 7, 2021 in a special interactive online event that will include live presentations from each of the artists featured in the film and an opportunity for audience members to chat with them. The premiere will be followed by in-person screenings in Oakland and San Francisco on October 9 and 16; and the film will be available on demand online for a limited time in October. There will be other online events ahead of the film’s premiere, including a panel discussion and a movement workshop. A full list of events can be found below, along with the list of featured artists. Tickets for the film are priced from $ 12 to $ 25 and are available online now at or by phone at the City Box Office: 415.392.4400. See the Film Festival trailer at

“Although we are closer to returning to performing arts than we have been for a long time, we are not quite there yet. It takes a full year to prepare our stage productions,” notes Māhealani Uchiyama, co. –Artistic director of the Festival. , with Latanya d. Tigner. “Having said that, I am more than excited for this film. I hope more people outside of the Bay Area have the opportunity to experience the extraordinary work of our artist community.”

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival artists are usually selected through a live audition process, but without this option in 2021, the film’s artists were selected by Tigner, Uchiyama and the producers of the World Arts West festival, after a review attentive to the new opportunities presented by the film format versus a staging. “We also wanted to include artists and traditions that may not have been involved in the festival before,” says Uchiyama. “Wanting to celebrate the incredible diversity we have in this field, we have put together a shortlist.”

While the 2020 Festival was canceled due to the pandemic, World Arts West was far from dormant, launching new programs like the online series Living Traditions. “I am especially proud that we were able to expand our artist service programs at such a critical time to support and financially support the creative work of our community to overcome the pandemic,” said Anne Huang, Executive Director of World Arts Where is. “We have also diversified our board of directors and staff to reflect the community of artists we support.”

“Artists are nurtured by artistic creation and community with each other, which they lacked, and it’s gratifying to provide a new platform for our artists to do so through this film,” Huang added. . “I was so moved by how cultural artists have shown themselves to each other during this very difficult time, providing each other with emotional, spiritual and even financial support. I have witnessed this attention through the production of our film, even within our team, many of whom are artists themselves. “

The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival film is made possible in part through partnerships with Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, Dance Mission Theater, Grace Cathedral and Women’s Audio Mission.

2021 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Performers
Darius Simpson *
Spoken word
Denis Bain Savigne + Angel Yoel Mulen-Robert *
Rumba from Cuba
Eddie Madril
Native American hoop dance
Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco
Jarocho son of Mexico
Halau o Keikialiʻi
Hawaii Hula Kahiko
Lahydi Dance Collective *
Djun Djun & Dance from Guinea
Myriam Peretz
Dance inspired by Sufi poetry and devotional whirlwinds from Iran and Turkey
Molodi *
US Stepping & Body Percussion
Mythili Kumar from the Abhinaya Dance Company of San José
Bharatanatyam of South India

* designates artists new to the Festival

The world premieres will be presented by Darius Simpson, Ensambles Ballet Folklórico of San Francisco, Lahydi Dance Collective and Mythili Kumar of the Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose.

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