It's time again for the San Francisco Trolley Dances! Now in its 11th year, the program features six free citywide, site-specific performances arrived at by trolley — hence the name of the festival.
“We work with Muni and pick a different route every year. This year it's the J-Church line,” says program organizer Kim Epifano.
Epifano's organization, Epiphany Productions, is committed to building community by bringing free and low-cost live art to residents.
She says, “Ordinarily people would pay $20 to $30 a ticket for any one of these performances. All they pay for is their ticket on the Muni.”
The six two-hour concert tours, starting in the Upper Mission and ending at City College of San Francisco's Ocean campus, start at 11 a.m. and run every 45 minutes.
“All the tours fill up fast so get there early,” Epifano says.
At the starting point, participants receive wristbands for the round trip and all the performances. Only 80 slots — the capacity of the trains — are available for each tour (You could simply walk, drive or bike to the individual performances — a bike map is provided — but what fun is that?).
First in the performance lineup is Kathleen Hermesdorf's company Alternativa, with musical collaborator Albert Mathias.
“Kathleen lives in the area and her company will be performing outside the Mission Recreation Center in the basketball court,” Epifano says.
Ramon Ramos Alayo and his Afro-Cuban Alayo Dance Company appear at the mural at 30th and Sanchez streets. Next, in the 1700 block of Church Street, is Paradizo Dance, whose spectacular hand balancing and acrobatics were recently seen on “America's Got Talent.”
Participants then board the train for the Balboa Park station and on to City College for an outdoor performance by Stacy Printz's contemporary Printz Dance Project.
“It's a beautiful area — one of the treasures of our city,” Epifano says.
Mision Flamenca, an all-female flamenco dance troupe from the Mission, performs in the lobby of the campus Wellness Center. Finally, Epifano's own Sonic Dance Theater appears outside behind the Wellness Center with students from the City College of San Francisco Strong Pulse Dance Crew.
“I wanted to go back to Muni's J-Church line because the City College of San Francisco needs support,” Epifano says. “It remains an incredible and often under-appreciated resource for The City, and I'm excited to be working with the students there.”
IF YOU GO
S.F. Trolley Dances
When: 11 and 11:45 a.m., 12:30, 1:15 and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Where: Start at Church Produce, 1798 Church St. (at 30th Street), S.F.
Tickets: Free for show, $2.25 for Muni fare
Note: The approximately 2-hour tour ends at City College's Ocean campus, 50 Phelan Ave., S.F.