That’s a question we hear often here at World Arts West, after the Festival closes at the end of June. So as we proceed with the planning for the 35th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, we’ll take you behind the scenes on this blog to show you some of the work that goes into this one-of-a-kind event.
As the newest member of the staff, I’ll be your guide. Like you, I’ve sat in the audience and marveled at the incredible dancing on the stage, and I’ve even volunteered for the Festival over the years. But this will be my first time working on the Festival from beginning to end, and I’ll take you along and introduce you to some of the artists who will perform next June, and to some of the talented people behind the scenes who make this Festival happen.
Right now, we’re getting ready for the auditions in January, which will be held at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley on January 12 & 13, and at the Lam Research Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on January 19 & 20 (more information here). Did you know that you can watch the auditions? They’re open to the public. You’ll get a sneak peek at the Festival, for just ten dollars! (Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge.)
We’re also excited about a very special performance at the East Bay Center for the Arts in Richmond this Sunday, November 11th, featuring some young people who have been taking part in our pilot Kids United Through Dance program. Approximately 50 Richmond public school students have been learning West African music and dance from past Festival artists , and they’ll demonstrate what they’ve learned. You will also have the chance to watch a performance by their instructors, who are members of the African Heritage Ensemble – they performed on the Festival stage in 2011. We expect to be entertained and inspired by these future artists , and we invite you to join us at this event. Details here. We’ll post some pictures here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Coming up in our next blog post: details on the auditions process.