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Bay Area Dance Week turns 20

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One Dance opens Bay Area Dance Week on April 27 at San Francisco’s City Hall. (Courtesy Dancers’ Group)

It’s the 20th anniversary of Bay Area Dance Week, which kicks off on Friday.

Ten days of free, participatory programs are presented by Dancers’ Group (and collaborators), offering some 400 classes, workshops and performances across the region, for folks of all levels. Some 700 individuals, groups and arts organizations are taking part in the festivities.

Among the large gatherings in the lineup is the opening event, which begins at noon Friday under the San Francisco City Hall rotunda, with a silent disco adventure — bring your cellphones and headphones — followed by a One Dance session led by Dudley Flores. Those who want to join the fun can practice their moves by checking out an online video with Flores, artistic director of Rhythm & Motion, a program with the motto “anyone can dance.”

Friday’s programs also include honors for local leaders: Carla Service, a consultant and founder of the Oakland Dance Festival (known for its cultural diversity) receives the Dancers Choice Award; Dawn Frank Holtan, a dance theater artist from Oakland known for her interdisciplinary collaborative work, receives the Della Davidson Prize.

Hundreds of offerings fall into groups: San Francisco events for first-timers include beginning hip hop and salsa classes at noon Saturday at City College San Francisco PE & Dance Department, and from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, also at City College, the Folk Dance Federation of California’s North Blossom Festival International Dance Party.

There also are activities geared toward families, children, health and well-being, as well as peeks inside dancers’ studios.

In the closing event, Kathy Mata Ballet celebrates its 30th anniversary with a show of classical and contemporary ballet pieces, with live accompaniment, at 3:30 p.m. May 6 at Alonzo King LINES Dance Center in The City.

IF YOU GO
Bay Area Dance Week
When: April 27 through May 6
Where: San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay, South Bay
Contact: www.bayareadance.org

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