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National Dance Week

Get moving!

Put on your collective dancing shoes and join the revelers! Containing everything from performances by the San Francisco Ballet to panels on the significance of urban movement styles, the Bay Area's celebration of National Dance Week is rife with pickings for dance enthusiasts and wallflowers alike. The events on the line-up for National Dance Week present a unique opportunity for proponents of dance to participate in and observe ballet, hip-hop, flamenco, butoh, capoeira, belly dance, kathak, modern and experimental movement, and much more. Whether you choose to take a class in the art of storytelling through dance, participate in a panel discussion on the therapeutic benefits of Vinyasa yoga, or soak in a free outdoor hula performance, the options are endless, as there are more than 250 events to choose from.

Founded in 1981 to increase awareness of dance's contribution to our national culture, National Dance Week has been a notable affair in the Bay Area since 1998, featuring the kind of diversity and dexterity the region is known for (San Francisco is the largest per capita dance hub in the nation). This year's festival proffers a host of events- free classes, performances, rehearsals, lectures and open houses. Unique for its fusion of studied dance forms like ballet and more unfamiliar traditions like aerial dance, the Bay Area celebration reflects an eclectic mix of cultures, bringing together seasoned connoisseurs and mere movement buffs.

National Dance Week's Bay Area festivities will commence with the help of two eminent representatives: Alonzo King, the founder and choreographer of LINES Ballet, and Brenda Way, the founder and choreographer of the prestigious ODC Theater in San Francisco. Participating groups, which include professional companies and middle school dance teams, consist of: Chitresh Das Dance Company, Shri Krupa Dance Company, Barbary Coast Cloggers, the Argentine Tango Program at City College of San Francisco, Motivity Center for Aerial Dance, Eighth Street Center Dance Studios, Takami & Toumei Mobu Dance Group, Dance Attack! Performing Arts, Enola D. Maxwell Middle School of the Arts, FatChanceBellyDance, Western Ballet, Mind Body Connection, and the list goes on.

From April 23 to May 2, some of the Bay Area's most esteemed artists will preview their work. On Friday, the merriment begins with Choreographers in Action- 24 Views at the ODC Performance Gallery (3153 17th Street), where an assortment of eminent choreographers will share their creative process with the audience. The week concludes with hours of ritual and dance beginning at sunrise on Mount Tamalpais, and a South Bay extravaganza accentuating the grace and agility of figure skating.

For additional information on National Dance Week and a schedule of events, visit www.bacndw.org or call (415) 561-1433.