Atamira Dance Company: Te Wheke

Atamira Dance Company is the leading international creator of contemporary dance and performance. Based in Aotearoa, New Zealand, a remote and wild landscape where indigenous Māori stories are a powerful voice in the arts locally and, increasingly, internationally, Atamira is integral to the contemporary Māori performing arts conversation and movement.

The company performs it’s powerful new full-length dance work Te Wheke, which brings together Aotearoa’s leading names in contemporary dance. The piece explores the dimensionsof human experience symbolised by the eight tentacles of the Te Wheke—the Octopus, a powerful guardian on this journey from past into the future.

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

“Lush movement, infectious music and magnetic dancers” (New York Times) in an enticing program A.I.M by Kyle Abraham brings a unique program to UC San Diego that ranges from the bold to the sensual to playful. The program includes Big Rings choreographed by A.I.M company member and Dance magazine’s “25 to Watch”, Keerati Jinakunwiphat. This powerful, yet fun, work is a celebration of the unique style and camaraderie of this dynamic dance tribe, as well as an ode to her hometown Chicago. Also featured is Our Indigo: If We Were a Love Song, a series of poetic vignettes that explore the intimacy, intricacies, and vulnerabilities of Black Love set to the songs of Nina Simone. The film adaptation of this work has been nominated for a 2023 NY Emmy. This flavorful gumbo of cultural expression is one you won’t want to miss.

Ephrat Asherie Dance Company: UnderScored

UnderScored is a multi-faceted project rooted in the intergenerational stories and memories of New York City underground club heads. Created in collaboration with legendary elders from the underground dance community, Archie Burnett, Michele Saunders, Louis (Loose) Kee, and Brahms (Bravo) LaFortune, the cast ranges in age from age 25–77. This project takes shape as a series of performances, community based events and an oral history archive.

Rooted in African American and Latinx street and social dances, Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) explores the expansive narrative qualities of various street and club styles including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue, as a means to tell stories, develop innovative imagery, and find new modes of expression. 

Co-commissioned by ArtPower at UC San Diego

Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group: POWER

Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group is a Brooklyn-based dance company whose mission is to create, research, develop, and present new performance work that investigates the intersections of culture and movement practices. The Company’s body-of-works draw from the spiritual and mundane traditions of Africa and its Diaspora; Fist and Heel believes in the potential of the body as a valid means for knowing. 

The company performs POWER, Reggie Wilson’s newest work.  It reimagines compelling core Shaker values, contributions, practices and histories through a postmodern American lens.

The presentation of POWER was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.

Ronald K. Brown\EVIDENCE
Upside Down, Grace, and The Equality of Night and Day (TEND)

Founded by Ronald K. Brown in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, New York, EVIDENCE is a dance company that focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. Through his work Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms with his blended contemporary style. He has set works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and  many others. “I hope that when people see the work, their spirits are lifted. I am interested in sharing perspectives through modern dance, theater and kinetic storytelling. I want my work to be evidence of these perspectives,” says Brown. The company is thrilled to be returning to San Diego after a long hiatus and will share three works; audience favorites,  Upside Down and Grace, and its newest work The Equality of Night and Day (TEND).

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham
An Untitled Love

Elastic and electric, luxuriantly rippling, poetically arranged with moments of perfect stillness that arrive amid splashes of expression.”—Dance Magazine

An Untitled Love is Kyle Abraham’s newest evening-length work. Drawing from the catalogue of Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo, this creative exaltation pays homage to the complexities of self love and Black love, while serving as a thumping mixtape celebrating our culture, family, and community.

About the Company

Founded in 2006 by choreographer Kyle Abraham, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham is a Black-led contemporary dance company that provides multifaceted performances, educational programming, and community-based workshops. The mission of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham is to create a body of dance-based work that is galvanized by Black culture and history. The work, informed by and made in conjunction with artists across a range of disciplines, entwines a sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on music, text, video, and visual art. While grounded in choreographer Kyle Abraham’s artistic vision, A.I.M draws inspiration from a multitude of sources and movement styles.

Since A.I.M’s founding, Artistic Director Kyle Abraham has made more than 15 original works for and with the company. In 2018, A.I.M began commissioning new works and performing existing works by outside choreographers to expand its repertoire and offer a breadth of dance work to both the dancers and audiences. The repertory now includes works by Trisha Brown, Andrea Miller, Bebe Miller, Doug Varone, and A.I.M dancer and early-career choreographer Keerati Jinakunwiphat.

A.I.M’s audience base is as diverse as A.I.M’s movement vocabulary, which ranges from hip-hop to formal ballet technique. As Abraham says, “I’m interested in a really wide range of folks from the brother who owns the corner store to the woman who has never even heard of a corner store. I want those people to interact, and I want them to be sitting next to each other sensing the other person’s experience. And then, I want them to stick around for the post-performance discussion and hear the other person’s perspective and learn more about each other. That’s what is most exciting for me.”

The presentation of An Untitle Love was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Rosanna Gamson/World Wide
Sugar Houses

“The choreography and music are gripping, the company is impressive, and the uses of mixed-media are meaningful.”—Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

Immersed in the dark world of the Brothers Grimm, Sugar Houses is a new dance theater work that employs the tale of Hansel & Gretel to explore the dynamics of scapegoating, and the complexity and complicity of looking the other way. Created by celebrated choreographer Rosanna Gamson, this adult retelling of the tale exposes hidden histories and finds contemporary resonances in the familiar story, recounted in bold imagery informed by the horror genre. The audience joins a cast of six dancers/singers/actors on stage in an evening filled with gallows humor, choral singing, athletic dancing, arcane rites, and spooky incantations. Traditional American songs arranged by Fahad Siadat and Tomasz Krzyzanowski and witches’ spells by famed horror writer Brian Evenson are performed live with sonic sampling by Simon Greenberg.

The presentation of Sugar Houses by Rosanna Gamson/World Wide was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This project was supported by a National Performance Network (NPN) Artist Engagement Fund, with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit www.npnweb.org.

CoisCéim Dance Theatre
UNCLE RAY by David Bolger

World Premiere Live Stream

Critically acclaimed CoisCéim Dance Theatre return live to the stage with the premiere of companion work UNCLE RAY, the dance highlight of Dublin Theatre Festival & Belfast International Arts Festival this year.

CoisCéim’s Artistic Director David Bolger turns his focus to fathers and uncles, teaming up on stage with street dancer, Donking Rongavilla, in a new work of irresistible charm.  This is a poignant story about the elasticity of truths and how family lore shapes us.

UNCLE RAY takes audiences back to 1970s Dublin where as a young boy, David grew up with stories about his magnificent Uncle Ray—whose career took him from vaudeville, to Broadway and then the glitz of Hollywood, eventually playing one of the most famous characters of all time: the Scarecrow. The wonders of reality, imagination and family lore collide in this touching new dance duet by David Bolger.

Who is Uncle Ray? 

“Memories, like old photographs, come flooding back in black and white… So, when Uncle Ray came to visit once a year, I had no idea he had turned into glorious Technicolor. Standing at the edge of the yellow brick road. Crows would come from miles around just to eat from his field. Maybe not the best scarecrow. But an incredible dancer and my uncle—Uncle Ray Bolger.”

Known for his iconic dance style and huge range inflected with tap, ballet, Irish and African-American dance traditions, Ray Bolger was dazzling – variously dubbed “the jazz Nijinsky” and a“rubber-legged acrobat”.  In UNCLE RAY, Donking Rongavilla slips into his shoes, with a mix of contemporary, street and breakdancing. Originally from the Philippines, Donking also grew up with family ties to the movie business, his father Rommel Valdez was a prolific actor in Filipino films

Omari Wiles/Les Ballet Afrik: Quarantingz

Join us for this special event comprised of both live and recorded performance by members of Les Ballet Afrik from their remote locations, narrated by Omari Wiles. Quarantingz by Les Ballet Afrik, directed by Omari Wiles, edited by Jason Lai, will take you on a movement journey conceptualized during our time in quarantine.

Les Ballet Afrik Bio

Les Ballet Afrik is a multi-cultural dance company that explores the masculine and feminine energies within different dance forms. Our mission is to bridge the gap between the progressive LGBTQ community and the traditions of the Diaspora. We hope to bring awareness to the Black and Latino experience within the ballroom scene, and put a focus on the importance of
community, and connection to ancestry. Rooted in Traditional African, House, Vogue, and Latin movement, and under the direction of legendary Omari “Oricci” Wiles, Les Ballet Afrik has pioneered a new movement style called “Afrikfusion”, a unique blend of dance and movement unlike anything that’s ever been done before.

Omari Wiles Bio

Ousmane Wiles was born in West Africa Senegal. He began his training in West African dance at the age of six years old. Wiles then joined his mother—Marie Basse Wiles—and became the assist director to her company: The Maimouna Ketia School of African Dance. Working with master African dancers, Ousmane devolved the skills needed to teach the art of traditional African. Venturing further into the world of dance, Wiles found himself learning, training and falling in love with other styles such as Hip-Hop, House, Modern, and Vogue. Wiles has been given the chance to work with many artist such as: Beyonce, Jidenna, Rashaad Newsome, Zuma Zuma, Wunmi, Estelle, Gala, Kenya Moore, Cuba Gooding Jr.,and more. Ousmane is now evolving his own style of dance blending African, Vogue and House as one. He is the founder of LES BALLET AFRIK.

SuperPOWERED Pricing

SuperPOWERED pricing is listed for all our virtual events. It’s the the average price you would’ve paid to see the event live. Thank you for being our superhero!

ArtPower at UC San Diego is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Artist Engagement Fund. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information visit www.npnweb.org.

Omari Wiles/Les Ballet Afrik: Music, Mixing, & Genre Blending

Les Ballet Afrik Music Curator, DJ Align, will lead this workshop demonstrating the process of blending different genres of music to find the perfect balance of styles represented in the company (i.e. how he blends vogue beats with traditional African music). Get an inside look at how Les Ballet Afrik’s unique sound is created. Following the workshop there will be a virtual dance session with company members and a live DJ set by DJ Align for the audience to get moving as well!

Les Ballet Afrik Bio

Les Ballet Afrik is a multi-cultural dance company that explores the masculine and feminine energies within different dance forms. Our mission is to bridge the gap between the progressive LGBTQ community and the traditions of the Diaspora. We hope to bring awareness to the Black and Latino experience within the ballroom scene, and put a focus on the importance of community, and connection to ancestry. Rooted in Traditional African, House, Vogue, and Latin movement, and under the direction of legendary Omari “Oricci” Wiles, Les Ballet Afrik has pioneered a new movement style called “Afrikfusion”, a unique blend of dance and movement unlike anything that’s ever been done before.

Omari Wiles Bio

Ousmane Wiles was born in West Africa Senegal. He began his training in West African dance at the age of six years old. Wiles then joined his mother—Marie Basse Wiles—and became the assist director to her company: The Maimouna Ketia School of African Dance. Working with master African dancers, Ousmane devolved the skills needed to teach the art of traditional African. Venturing further into the world of dance, Wiles found himself learning, training and falling in love with other styles such as Hip-Hop, House, Modern, and Vogue. Wiles has been given the chance to work with many artist such as: Beyonce, Jidenna, Rashaad Newsome, Zuma Zuma, Wunmi, Estelle, Gala, Kenya Moore, Cuba Gooding Jr.,and more. Ousmane is now evolving his own style of dance blending African, Vogue and House as one. He is the founder of LES BALLET AFRIK.

SuperPOWERED Pricing

SuperPOWERED pricing is listed for all our virtual events. It’s the the average price you would’ve paid to see the event live. Thank you for being our superhero!

ArtPower at UC San Diego is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Artist Engagement Fund. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information visit www.npnweb.org.