San Francisco International Arts Festival Brings a World of Artistic Talent to the U.S. Stage Sasha Waltz & Guests to Headline

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Calendar Editors Please Note Who: Multiple Artists What: The Sixth Annual San Francisco International Arts Festival Where: Multiple Venues When: Wednesday May 20 - Sunday May 31, 2009 Tickets: $12-$25. Groups of 10, Full Time Students & Seniors $16 Box Office for Advance Purchase: http://www.sfiaf.org and 1-800-838-3006 For more information: 415-399-9554

With their work visas secured and their airline tickets in hand, performing arts groups from ten countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America are heading to San Francisco for the Sixth Annual San Francisco International Arts Festival, which will run from May 20-May 31. The individual artists and ensembles will join a global celebration with 14 Bay Area based companies for the 11 day Festival that will take place at venues throughout the city.

As a result, San Francisco will be the only U.S. city this year to see performances by high caliber international companies Sasha Waltz & Guests (Germany), the Akhe Group (Russia) and Ranferi Aguilar & Los Hacedores de Lluvia (The Rain Makers, Guatemala). San Francisco will also host the US debuts of the remarkable Cho-In Theatre (South Korea) and rising sitar star Smita Nagdev (India). Heading up the local companies are Gamelan Sekar Jaya who are celebrating their 30th anniversary and ROVA Saxophone Quartet who will convene their international Rovate guests, The Festival will also feature Bond Street Theatre from New York in collaboration with Exile Theatre of Kabul (Afghanistan), Jess Curtis/Gravity, Scott Wells & Dancers, the Earplay Ensemble, Ana Nitmar with marimba ensemble Ixim Tinamit, Liss Fain & Dancers, NexMap Production and the Berkeley High School Jazz Orchestra.

SFIAF is also pleased to be able to announce a new pilot program for younger artists to participate in the Festival. Titled MASH, it will take place at Union Square as part of the Festival's Jewels in the Square lunch time concert series co-presented with MJM Management. The first participants are The Riley Dance Project, Shah and Blah Productions and Gretchen Garnett & Dancers.

SFIAF Director, Andrew Wood said of SFIAF's continued progress, "We are extremely proud of the 2009 line-up and thank all of the local artists and co-presenters whose participation is making this year's festival possible. We also count ourselves fortunate that so many wonderful international artists will be performing exclusively in San Francisco this year. It is a tremendous feeling when May finally rolls around and the results of nearly three years of work come to fruition. What I find funniest is that there comes a point when it is actually harder to not present the Festival than it is to stage it. Once everyone has their plane tickets and a stamp in their passports there's really no stopping them."

SFIAF 2009 will kick off with the organization's traditional Artist Welcome Reception, which in 2009 will take place on Wednesday May 20 at 6:00pm in the Green Room of the Veterans Building. This will be followed by the opening performance at the Herbst Theatre by the Earplay Ensemble--SFIAF's longest running presenting partners having given concerts at all six festivals. The international program will include a new commissioned work by the ground breaking Greek composer, Nicolas Tzortzis who will travel from his home in Paris to attend the world premiere of the piece.

SFIAF 2009 will still feature artists from the Bay Area, New York City and the countries of Afghanistan, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland.

SFIAF 2009 Presenting Partners
Asian Art Museum, Bond Street Theatre, Earplay, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Jess Curtis/Gravity, the Korean Cultural Center of San Francisco, Martin Productions, MJM Management, NexMap Productions, Rova:Arts, the Sangati Center and Scott Wells & Dancers.

Ticket Prices & SFIAF Series Discounts
Single tickets for most shows are $20 in advance and series discounts are available for ticket purchases to multiple shows; students, senior and group prices (10 persons or more) are $16. Tickets are $25 at the door. For more information on ticket prices go to http://www.sfiaf.org/2009/tickets.php

Funders
SFIAF 2009 is funded in part by the following organizations (partial list): Alliance for California Traditional Artists, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Bernard Osher Foundation, Fort Mason Foundation, Goethe Institute, Mission Area Federal Credit Union, Multi-Arts Production Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Potrero Nuevo Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Wells Fargo Foundation, WESTAF and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

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