"Even in a city known for its counterculture, this festival is eclectic." New York Times
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) February 02, 2012
The Ninth Annual San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF) will kick off on May 2 with more than 40 performances being presented at multiple venues throughout the city. With its annual theme, The Truth in Knowing/Now: Threads in Time, Place, Culture, SFIAF 2012 will include World Premieres, US Debuts & International Collaborations featuring leading artists from the Bay Area performing alongside their peers from around the world. This year's festival includes dance, music and theatre with events taking place at the Marines Memorial Theatre, Herbst Theatre, Yerba Buena Gardens andthe Southside Theatre. SFIAF 2012 will feature artists from the Bay Area, Southern Californiaand the countries of Colombia, Cuba, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, and Switzerland.
Somewhat uncharacteristically for SFIAF, both of the headlining companies in 2012 are practitioners of traditional arts. Eighty-year-old National Living Treasure of Japan, Mansaku Nomura will lead his Mansaku-no-Kai Company to the United States for a two-city tour. The performance, which will consist of traditional theatre works from the 600 year-old kyogen tradition, will be the company's first appearance in San Francisco since Nomura's son Mansai starred in A Kyogen of Errors in 2005. Presented with the US/Japan Cultural Trade Network, Mansaku-no-Kai's only other US performances will be at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
The slightly younger but just as venerable Juan De Dios Ramos Morejon, artistic director of the legendary Afro-Cuban ensemble Raices Profundas, will also be at the head of his company for what will be their much anticipated (if somewhat delayed for nearly 35 years) US debut at SFIAF as a co-presentation with PlazaCUBA.
A fascinating program of contemporary dance will be led by four American companies participating in international collaborations. Choreographer Leyya Tawil of Dance Elixir in collaboration with composer and engineer Lars J. Brouwer of the Netherlandswill present the world premiere of THIEVES that raised a good deal of interest when seen as a work-in-progress at SFIAF 2011. THIEVES will be performed as part of a shared bill with Companie 7273 from Switzerland who will present the US Premiere of LISTEN & WATCH (2006) created and performed by the company's co-artistic director, Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon and performed by Cantillon and award winning American guitarist, Sir Richard Bishop.
Former San Francisco choreographer Cid Pearlman will return to SFIAF to present the Bay Area premiere of This is What We Do in Winter created in 2010 in Estonia with an ensemble of five American and Estonian dancers and original music by Jonathan Segal. Pearlman will share the stage with
Post:Ballet who will present Mine Is Yours, a world premiere collaboration featuring Post:Ballet artistic director, choreographer Robert Dekkers and composer Daniel Berkman, questions our assumptions about monogamy, sexual orientation, family dynamics, infidelity and marriage. Finally the program will include the Susanna Leinenon Company who will present the US Premiere of the Finnish choreographer's signature work Chinese Objects (2005).
AXIS Dance Company will continue their successful collaboration with the Marc Brew Company from England with the San Francisco premiere of Full of Words that Brew set on AXIS in 2011 alongside mixed repertory from both companies (TBD).
Tinged with nostalgia, memories and Bay Area folklore and history, Yaelisa & Caminos Flamencos will present Homenage a los Flamencos de la Bodega, a multi-generational production that is a tribute to the founders and creators of the legendary Cuevas Room, which was located at the Olde Spaghetti Factory in North Beach. This production honors the founders and creators and provides a historical perspective of the importance of this proving ground for flamenco and the lasting impact that it had (and continues to have) on flamenco in North America.
SFIAF 2012 will also see the return of Ko Murobushi and inkBoat with The Crazy Cloud Collection, an evening-length piece inspired by the life of Ikkyu Sojun that was originally co-produced by SFIAF, inkBoat and the US/Japan Cutural Trade Network and premiered at the Festival in 2010. The performances will mark the finale of a US tour supported by the National Dance Project and the Japan Foundation.
SFIAF's longest presenting partners, the Earplay Ensemble will present an international program of experimental contemporary music including the world premiere of Along the River During the Qingming Festival, by Chinese Composer Joan Huang in collaboration with Melody of China and the US Premiere of Strom (2010) by Germany's Sven Daigger.
In addition to Mansaku no Kai, SFIAF 2012 will see the US debut of Max Theatre of Iran (a co-presentation with Golden Thread Productions) and the west coast debut of Liquid Theatre from Moscow, Russia. Max Theatre will present a Persian language version of Macbeth by the company's upcoming artistic director, Reza Servati. The riveting and surrealist production has been acclaimed by theatre audiences throughout the Middle East & Europe and won the Special Jury Prize at the Fajr Fajr Festival and Best Performance at the Tehran International Festival of University Theatre.
Moscow's Liquid Theatre will perform their award winning physical theatre performance Antidot (Antidote, 2009) a humorous physical theatre reflection on the restrictions and confinements of life working in an office. The antidote to the situation is perhaps closer to a California new age experience than the audience might expect--more in common with a practice in the Berkeley Hills than Moscow's industrial hinterland. Liquid Theatre will also be among the featured performers at the 200th Anniversary Celebrations of Fort Ross, founded by emissaries of Alexander I of Russia in 1812.
Stilt walking and other extraordinary uses of the appendages will feature prominently at SFIAF's free theatre program to be presented in collaboration with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Pioneering street theatre company Teatro Taller de Columbia will present the US Premiere of Exodo that focuses on issues of exile and displacement and the Carpetbag Brigade will perform the San Francisco premiere of Callings (2011) that poses the question, "If the ocean was ill, what would she say and how would she say it?"
Finally, SFIAF will present the US premiere of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit by Iranian playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour. Soleimanpour cannot leave Iran because he refuses to do military service (and is therefore not eligible to apply for a passport), but in his absence he has sent us a script that will be performed by a different Bay Area actor at each performance. Each actor will receive the script in a sealed envelope to be read and performed for the first time with the audience present.
Executive director, Andrew Wood said of this year's event, "We are tremendously excited by the 2012 program. It has been over two and a half years in the making and we are very pleased with the results. I would like to thank the artists, our presenting partners and the numerous foundations, sponsors and governments who have worked with us over this protracted period to raise the money to bring the 2012 festival to fruition."
In addition to performing, most artists featured at SFIAF will give master classes or workshops at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance as part of their engagement at the Festival.
SFIAF 2012 Presenting Partners
Carpetbag Brigade, Cid Pearlman, Dance Elixir, Earplay, Society of Living Traditions, Golden Thread Productions, inkBoat, Marines Memorial Theatre, PlazaCUBA, Post:Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Swissnex, US/Japan Cultural Trade Network and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
Tickets & SFIAF Early Bird Special
Tickets go on sale on March 1st and, as is SFIAF's tradition, 5% of single tickets for all shows will be on sale for an incredible $12 each until March 31. Starting April 1st (or before if Early Bird Tickets sell out) single tickets will start at $20 in advance and series discounts will be available for ticket purchases to multiple shows. Tickets are $25-$35 at the door and starting at $16forFT students and Seniors.
SFIAF and its Presenting Partners are funded in part by generous grants from the following foundations: California Arts Council, Columbia Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Performing Arts Japan program of the Japan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Performance Network, Renova Foundation, Swiss Consulate in San Francisco, Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Western Arts Federation (WESTAF).