In Association with YBCA, Dance Brigade, the iconic San Francisco multi-racial troupe of women, will celebrate 40 years of art activism in the Bay Area. Artistic Director Krissy Keefer proves that socially relevant dance can be technically brilliant, as well as exuberant with down-home hilarious fun. This company dances at full throttle. They explore the intersection between art and social issues with fierce inventiveness and a deft comic touch. The content driven choreographies are a high-energy blend of ballet, modern dance, song, text, sign language and explosive Taiko drumming. Joining Dance Brigade to celebrate their historic past on this 40th anniversary will be many artists and musicians who broke the ground on cultural diversity and community engagement in the 70’s and 80’s. They include international peace activist and vocalist Holly Near, musical director Christelle Durandy and vocalist Gina Breedlove among others. Gracias a La Vida — 40th Anniversary Celebration will celebrate the fusion of art, politics, dance, and music that form the rich and unique foundation of our Bay Area arts community, giving thanks to the collective legacy of Dance Brigade and its local and international collaborators!
Seats available from $5–$40
All seats $5
In 1975, Dance Brigade’s Artistic Director Krissy Keefer co-founded the Wallflower Order, the nation’s first feminist dance company, that toured the nation for nearly a decade and staged many of her original pieces before large, enthusiastic and predominantly feminist audiences. She developed a new kind of modern dance/theater that was stylistically rooted in the martial arts, in female athleticism, and in social justice issues. Keefer co-founded Dance Brigade in 1984 to carry forward her activist vision. In 1998, when the dance company leased Dance Mission Theater in the heart of San Francisco’s Latino/a Mission District, Keefer added significant producing, community building, instructional and artist support programs and created a thriving artist-led dance center serving up to 18,000 multi-cultural audience members and youth and adult students each year. Her original evening-length dance/theater pieces, produced in San Francisco and toured nationally and internationally, continue to explore social issues such as war, poverty, global warming and breast cancer from a feminist perspective. She is currently the artistic director of Grrrl Brigade, a dance and drumming empowerment program for 270 girls 8-18. She also runs a rural artist retreat center in Mendocino County and conducts ongoing teaching and choreographic relationships with dancers in Santiago, Cuba. In 1997 at Brady Street Dance Center, she co founded the first dance festival specific to gay and lesbian choreographers, The Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival. Keefer’s grants and awards include San Francisco Magazine’s Arts Achievement Award for Dance, the Bay Guardian’s “Goldie” Award, and six Isadora Duncan Awards, and funding for her work. Her work had been featured in numerous publications from Deborah Jowitt’s The Dance In Mind to the newly published Fore Mothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement, Elders and Visionaries.
Photo: Robbie Sweeney