As her logistics-laden community arts festival San Francisco Trolley Dances observes its 15th anniversary this weekend, choreographer Kim Epifano is pleased, but admits the program is a lot of work.
“It’s such an accomplishment to make it through; it’s like an Outward Bound experience,” says Epifano, artistic director of Epiphany Dance Theater, which produces the site-specific show during which dancers perform at various spots along (and on) a Muni route.
“Every year, I say, ‘I can’t believe we did it again,’” she says, adding, “Everyone is really exhausted, but it’s really fulfilling.”
This year’s program on the N Judah line — two-hour tours that begin at Mission Creek Park and end at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — includes appearances by seven dance outfits.
Among the more anticipated pieces is ODC/Dance choreographer Kimi Okada’s world-premiere “Gifts of Solace,” for humans and dogs, opening the tour in the park, followed by the Alameda-based Halau Makana Polynesian Cultural Arts troupe performing near the lagoon.
Robert Moses’ Kin dancers appear in a bamboo garden; and Aisan Hoss and dancers offer contemporary works with Middle Eastern focus.
Veterans of the inaugural 2004 Trolley Dances returning this year are Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater, performing in a senior housing community room; and STEAMROLLER Dance Company, with “Bridesmaids Revisited,” a riff on its gay marriage-themed piece from the first Trolley Dances.
At the final tour stop, Epiphany Dance Theater takes over the lobby of SFMOMA near Richard Serra’s massive steel sculpture “Sequence,” with musician Stephen Kent providing accompaniment on cello and didgeridoo.
Although Epifano this year had plans for a new, related “Night Trolley” show in the park on the roof of downtown’s Salesforce Transit Center that were foiled by its closure due to safety issues, the inclusive Trolley Dances — with its cheap ticket (the cost of Muni fare) and many moving parts — wasn’t affected.
The one constant about it, she says, is “You have to be ready for change, even when it’s running well. It’s the nature of the beast.”
IF YOU GO
San Francisco Trolley Dances
Where: Mission Creek Park, Fourth and Channel streets, S.F.
When: Two-hour tours begin at 11 a.m. and run every 45 minutes through 2:45 p.m. Oct. 21-22.
Tickets: $2.75 (Muni fare)