Bay Area Dance Week kicks off on Friday, and everyone is invited to participate.
The 19th annual event, presented by Dancers’ Group, offers nearly 400 free dance events across the region, for folks of all levels, during 10 days of festivities.
Organizers call it “one of the nation’s largest, most joyful and inclusive celebrations of movement and dance,” and Wayne Hazzard, executive director of the nonprofit service organization Dancers’ Group, says this year’s programming feels “more important than ever,” offering “an opportunity to celebrate our differences by coming together in dance, regardless of cultural background, race, faith or gender.”
Among the large gatherings in the lineup is the opener, “One Dance,” a flash mob slated for noon April 21 under the rotunda at San Francisco City Hall.
Dancers who want to join can learn the moves online from a terrific step-by-step video featuring Dudley Flores, artistic director of Rhythm & Motion, a workout program with the motto “anyone can dance.”
A few awards are being handed out on Friday, too. Mix’d Ingrdnts Dance Company, a collective of women dancing in all styles founded by Jennifer “Jenay” Anolin and Samara Atkins, will be honored, as well Deborah Vaughn, director of Dimensions Dance Theater, an Oakland-based group drawing from African, jazz and modern dance traditions.
Hundreds of offerings fall into groups. San Francisco events for first-timers include “Pre-Beginner Level Argentine Tango Dance” at 10:30 a.m. April 29 at Studio Valencia; and, for families, “Pre-Teen/Teen Family Creative Dance” at 6 p.m. April 14 at Project Commotion.
On the international front, there’s “Afro-Haitian Dance with Laure Fleurentine” at 4 p.m. April 30 at Alonzo King LINES Dance Center; and, in the “Inside the Studio” lineup, an open rehearsal of Hope Mohr Dance’s “Precarious” is offered at 2 p.m. April 26 at Joe Goode Annex.
The closing event is “Molissa Fenley and Friends,” a performance of works by Fenley, Garth Grimball, Erik Lee, Cuauhtemoc Peranda and Jordan Wanderer at 6 p.m. April 30 at SAFEhouse in San Francisco.
IF YOU GO
Bay Area Dance Week
When: April 21-30
Where: San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay, South Bay
Note: “One Dance” opens the programming at noon April 21 at San Francisco City Hall; free live lessons for the flash mob are at 11:30 a.m. April 16 and 7:45 p.m. April 19 at ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell St., S.F.