San Francisco International Arts Festival Returns to the Fort Mason Center Features as part of FMC Presents Series150 Performances from May 21 – June 7, 2015

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The San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF) is thrilled to announce that in 2015 the Festival will be moving back to the Fort Mason Center. The Festival will be co-presented by Fort Mason as part of its FMC Presents Series.

The San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF) is thrilled to announce that in 2015 the Festival will be moving back to the Fort Mason Center. The Festival will be co-presented by Fort Mason as part of its FMC Presents Series. The relationship gives SFIAF access to seven different venues on the Fort Mason campus and the ability to present over 150 ticketed performances by artists from the Bay Area and more than a dozen countries in the space of three action packed weekends. The Festival will also feature a major arts exhibition titled Bearing Witness: Surveillance in the Drone Age compiled by curators Matt McKinley and Hanna Regev as well as multiple educational, residency and outreach activities.

Theatre and dance will predominate in the Cowell and Southside Theaters, the Firehouse and the Fleet Room. The Chapel in upper Fort Mason and Festival Central located in Building A will host the Festival’s music stages, with Festival Central also doubling as the Festival’s late night venue featuring DJ’s and dancing. The music program is curated by Elektra Schmidt of the organization Artist Migration.

SFIAF Executive Director, Andrew Wood said of the upcoming Festival, “Ever since we first came to Fort Mason in 2009 we have felt this was our spiritual home and we are very glad to be back. It is a perfect setting for an international gathering such as ours with multiple venues in close proximity surrounded by some of San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks. Programmed properly, Fort Mason has the potential to be one of the greatest performing arts centers in the country and we are giving it our best shot."

Fort Mason Center Executive Director, Rich Hillis said of the co-presenting relationship, “We are proud to be a host and leading supporter of the San Francisco International Arts Festival. The Festival is a highlight of this year’s Fort Mason Center Presents series and an important piece of the City’s cultural fabric. For over three decades, the Fort Mason Center has cultivated burgeoning artists and created a community for artists in San Francisco. Hosting the San Francisco International Arts Festival on the historic campus is an important part of continuing that legacy.”

Headlining the Festival will be Teatr Zar the resident company of the Grotowski Institute from Wroclaw, Poland with their powerful new production Armine, Sister based on the events of 1915 that become known as the Armenian Genocide. The performances in San Francisco mark the 100th anniversary and will be the U.S. Premiere of the piece. Following the San Francisco run of six shows Teatr Zar will present the work in New York.

Other leading international artists include the US debut of one of the most talked about and provocative theatre artists in Europe: Fabrice Murqia of Belgium will lead his Compagnie Artara to the Bay with a disturbing yet fascinating performance piece titled Les Chagrin des Ogres (The Sorrow of the Ogres).

The Republic of Ireland is represented for the first time at SFIAF by two different projects with the Bay Area debut of Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company and the US debut of a brilliant young theatre artist named Áine Ryan with a powerful performance piece titled Kitty in the Lane.

There will also be US debuts for performance artist Jesper Arin from Sweden with a project titled Evil based on the novel by Jan Guillou, Olga Kosterina from Russia with Dilemma and Paris based Cuban pianist Gabriel Urgell Reyes. Making their Bay Area debut will be HORSE Dance Theatre from Taiwan who lit up the New York dance scene with their US debut in 2013. They will present the US premiere of 2 Men accompanied live on piano by improviser Shih-Yang Lee.

Mr. Lee will also perform in collaboration with the Bay Area’s Melody of China. Other International collaborations will include Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers working with members of the El Salvadoran music collective MezoAmerica, Mary Armentrout Dance Theater in collaboration with composer and sound designer Evelyn Ficarra from England, Christine Cali of Cali & Co in collaboration with Na Hoon Park from South Korea and Kitka Women’s Folk Ensemble working with Armenian guest singers visiting the Festival with Teatr Zar.

A stellar line up of Bay Area artists is led by San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate devorah major in a new play titled Classic Black directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang and co-starring Brian Freeman. World premieres of new work by Kiandanda Dance Theater, project agora, Theatre of Yugen, Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki co-presented with the Asian Pacific Island Cultural Center.

May 28-31 will see African influenced traditional dance and music take over the Cowell Theater with concerts by ABADA Capoeira-SF who will share the stage with members of their parent company from Rio de Janeiro, Loco Bloco and Grupo de Rompe y Raja. The week will begin with a tribute performance produced by Congo Square West to Blanche Brown who has led and mentored many dancers and choreographers over the course of five decades in the Bay Area.

Another highly anticipated event will be a celebration of Terry Riley’s 80th Birthday. The venerable master will be joined on-stage by Evan Ziporyn, Sarah Cahill and son Gyan Riley.

The full lineup of performance artists confirmed to date for the 2015 Festival is as follows: Abada Capoeria, Abhinaya Dance Company, Āine Ryan, Allison Lovejoy, Alyce Finwall Dance Theater, Anne Bluethenthal & Dancers with MezoAmerica, Ariel Luckey, Bob Ernst, Cali & Co., Carte Blanche, Chad Wilkins, Christine Bonansea, Christine Germain and Dancers, Colombian Soul, Congo Square West, Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company, Davalos Dance Company, Deanna Said Quartet, Debbie Goodwin dance Company with Seth Asarnow y su Sexteto Tipico, Deborah Slater Dance Theatre, devorah major with Brian Freeman and the Destiny Mohammed Trio, Diana Gameros, Eth-noh-Tec, Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki with Lenora Lee, Gabriel Urgell Reyes, Graham and Lewis Patzner, Gretchen Garnett and Dancers, Grupo de Rompe y Raja, HORSE Dance Theatre, Inferno Theatre, Jesper Arin, Jesus Diaz, Kiandanda Dance Theater, Justin Ancheta, Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble, Krista DeNio Productions, La Misa Negra, La Peche, Laura Inserra, Loco Bloco, Łowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble, Madan Oak with Aditya Kaylanpur and Purbayan Chatterjee, Maria Jose Montijo, Mary Armentrout Dance Theater, Matt EL, Melody of China & Shih-yang Lee, Musette, Olga Kosterina, Perfect Planet, project agora, PunkkiCo, Right Brain Performance Lab, Sarah Cahill, Teatr Zar, Terry Riley, The Foundry, Theatre of Yugen, Tim Rubel Human Shakes, tinypistol, Trance Mission Trio, Voodoo Cabaret and Wang Fei (North American Guqin Association).

San Francisco International Arts Festival
SFIAF celebrates the arts by bringing together a global community of artists and audiences. The organization presents innovative projects that are focused on increasing human awareness and understanding. SFIAF’s curatorial priorities include developing collaborative projects led by Bay Area artists working with their national and international peers and presenting world-class international artists who often do not have US representation and whose work is rarely (or never previously) seen in the United States.

From 2003-13 SFIAF and over 100 presenting partners have coordinated, presented and/or produced performances by over 150 arts ensembles from the Bay Area and 50 countries, as well as conducting numerous educational and outreach activities.

Fort Mason Center
The Fort Mason Center is a dynamic arts and cultural center encompassing 13 waterfront acres and more than 25 performance and gallery spaces, including the Festival Pavillion and the Cowell Theater. Established in 1977, the Fort Mason Center annually hosts hundreds of arts events that attract over 1.5 million visitors.

Entering its fourth year, the Fort Mason Center Presents series was established to encourage exploration of new work within the dozens of venues on the historic campus. Curated events are selected based upon their artistic innovation, social impact and cultural relevance. Program participants are supported by Fort Mason Center through grant funding and free use of the Center’s iconic venues. Since its inception, thousands of visitors have attended dozens of performances, exhibitions and productions supported through Fort Mason Center Presents. Along with SFIAF, in 2015 the Fort Mason Presents series will include Circuit Network & Pamela Z: SPAN, the Paul Dresher Ensemble: Max Understood and Lenora Lee Dance: Fire of Freedom.

SFIAF 2015 has been funded in part by FMC Presents, National Endowment for the Arts, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, LEF Foundation, Community Futures Collective, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Consulate General of Sweden, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Koret Foundation, Macy’s San Francisco and the Western Arts Federation (WESTAF).

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