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Saturday, July 20, 7 p.m.       Sunday, July 21, 2 p.m.

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PROGRAM

Coming Soon

Staff

Artistic Director: Greg Amato

Executive Producing Director and CEO: Christine Leslie 

Chief Financial Officer: Jan Mendez 
Company Manager: Chloé Watson

Marketing Director: Michael Davis 

Public Relations: Jon Finck

Photographer: Vin Eiamvuthikorn

Webmaster: Maria Nichols 

Facilities Manager: Lance Huntley 

Box Office: Masha Baratoshvilli Amato 

Bookkeeper: Annette Mellado

Front desk: Masha Baratoshvilli Amato, Virginia Fitzgerald

 

Crew

Stage Manager: Chloé Watson
Assistant Stage Manager: Nina Amato
Light & Sound Board Operator: Michael Kessell
Wardrobe: Nina Amato, Chloé Watson, Léna Alvino
Volunteer Coordinator: Jenny Peralta
 

Special thanks to 

FESTIVAL ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

ANTARA ASTHAAYI DANCE

ANTARA ASTHAAYI DANCE was established by Artistic Director Antara Bhardwaj in 2016, carrying forward the kathak (Indian classical storytelling dance) legacy of her guru, Pandit Chitresh Das. Bhardwaj’s panache and magnetism have dazzled audiences throughout the globe, but she is best known for adapting the art form across cultures and disciplines - from dancing mathematics to the opera. In 2019, Bhardwaj was honored as a Mosaic Silicon Valley Fellow for artistic excellence and strengthening community through multicultural arts. 

 

ARAX DANCE

LENA DAKESSIAN HALTEH is an Armenian-American writer, multidisciplinary artist and storyteller. Lena earned her B.A. in English Literature and Art History from UC Berkeley and later returned to earn a Master’s Degree from UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. In 2017 she launched Pom + Peacock, a fine art and illustration brand inspired by her Armenian heritage. Her storytelling is heavily rooted in Armenian culture, Diasporan identity, and nearly two decades of performing and teaching with ARAX Dance, an Armenian dance company specializing in traditional and contemporary movement, character dance and ballet. Lena debuted as a soloist with ARAX Dance when the company made its start back in 2003, under the leadership of respected Armenian choreographer Noemi Araxi, a former Principal Dancer with the National Opera and Ballet of Armenia. Lena performed several lead roles in the company’s repertoire including Djermag Aghavni, Day and Night, Shalakho, Anoush Opera's Harsi Bar, Queen Nouard in Ara Geghetsig, Sayat Nova’s Tamam Ashkhar, and “Mother Armenia'' in Hayastan among many others. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three little ones where, along with pursuing projects across a variety of storytelling genres, she is spearheading the revival of ARAX Dance for an entirely new generation of young dancers. 

BALLET FOLKLÓRICO MEXICANO DE CARLOS MORENO

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR CARLOS MORENO, JR.

BALLET FOLKLORICO MEXICANO DE CARLOS MORENO was founded in 1967 by Carlos Moreno Samaniego. They aim to share and spread Mexican culture and folklore. In 1980, the company was named the official ambassador for ongoing cultural activities with Mexico and has held the title for over twenty years. They hold consistent tours in Mexican cities including Guadalajara, Oaxaca, Aguascalientes, and Durango and draw artistic inspiration from many regions of Mexico. The artistic director, Carlos Moreno Jr. has been dancing and studying Mexican folk dance since he was 3 and later became a corps dancer with Ballet Folclórico de Mexico of Amalia Hernandez. During this time he toured North and Central America, Europe, and the Orient. In 1992 he returned to San Francisco and has been the company’s main choreographer since.

 

BALLET NDOLO BRAZZAVILE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ARMEL MAMPOUYA

 

CALPULLI TONALEHQUEH

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MITLAL TILLI

CALPULLI TONALEHQUEH was established by Miltlal Tilli in 2004. The Calpulli Tonalehqueh is an Aztec dance group whose foundation is based on wisdom, harmony and culture. Tonalehqueh is a metaphorical term meaning, “Those who accompany the sun along its journey.” referring to those who strive to reach their full potential and use the characteristics of the sun as their goal for self-development and existence. Calpulli Tonalehqueh, just like the sun, aspires to be strong, creative,  life giving, steady, virtuous, humble and balanced. The Azteca dancers hold events such as Aztec Mexican new year and The Day of the Dead to come together and honor their ancestors, celebrate their culture and learn from one another. 

 

CHITRESH DAS DANCE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR CHARLOTTE MORAGA

CHITRESH DAS DANCE was founded in 2002 by Pandit Chitresh Das and Charlotte Moraga. Charlotte Moraga has directed the company under Pandit Das for over a decade and continues to train students. Members of the company learn technique, theory, history, philosophy, mathematics, and spirituality to establish the foundation of kathak and Pandit Chitresh Das’s philosophy.  This philosophy consists of 9 principles: 1. attitude and etiquette, 2. the art of storytelling, 3. ​​systematic practice, 4. complete knowledge of kathak, 5. improvisation, 6. to educate, promote and preserve, 7. sacrifice & selfless service, 8. devotional practice, and 9. Guru-Disciple Tradition. 

 

ENSAMBLES BALLET FOLKLÓRICO DE SAN FRANCISCO

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ZENÓN BARRÓN

ENSAMBLES BALLET FOLKLÓRICO DE SAN FRANCISCO is a big ensemble filled with many talented and diverse individuals, whose mission is to “to promote Mexican dance with quality and authenticity is what allows for such diversity to blossom within the company”. The director and founder of Ensembles Zenón Barrón professional researcher of Méxican and Latin American folklore, costume design and scenic design.He started dancing at the age of 4, in which he practiced many forms of dance including Mexican folk dance. Before Ensambles, Barrón toured all through the United States and Europe through the Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernandez. While Barrón was living in Mexico he helped form other dance companies such as Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Ballet Folklórico de Jaime Bernal, and Ballet Folklórico Xochiquetzalli. Barrón also graduated from the Instituto de Artes Escénicas en Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and in 2009 earned his doctorate degree from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Since moving to San Francisco, Barrón has become one of San Francisco's most beloved and celebrated Artistic Directors in Mexican folklórico. 

 

FENG YE DANCE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR FENG YE

FENG YE DANCE COMPANY was established in 2017 by Artistic Director Ms. Feng Ye, former President and Artistic Director of China National Song and Dance Troupe. She received the Chinese Ministry of Culture title of "National First-Class Dancer" and performed in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics and choreographed in 2014 World Youth Olympic Games. The Feng Ye Dance Studio and the Feng Ye Dance Troupe successfully produced and performed a grand annual gala entitled "ENCOUNTER" at the San Jose Art Center Montgomery Theater in 2018 and "DANCE WITH NATURE" at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco in 2019. For two consecutive years, the Feng Ye Dance Troupe was selected as the only representative of Chinese dance to participate in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. With numerous professional awards, Feng Ye Dance Company is committed to produce new dance work based on oriental aesthetics and traditional Chinese culture, working with a variety of ideas, different forms of art, and experimental concepts. Feng Ye Dance Studio has emerged as an important figure in the region, promoting the integration of dance cultures from multiple ethnic groups. 

 

GURUS OF DANCE
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ADITYA PATEL

GURUS OF DANCE is America’s largest Bollywood Musical Company specializing in creating Broadway Style Bollywood Musicals for the past 13 years. Our Dance Team has the privilege to represent India at the Warriors (NBA) prime time show, Sharks (NHL) half time show and at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. We are the winner of the North America Championship, Dance USA Dance hosted by Zee Tv on Broadway in New York. Our dancers have performed with Bollywood stars such as Badshah, Mallika Arora Khan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mika Singh, Dino Moroe and many more. We offer acting and dance classes all over the Bay Area. For more information about our classes and locations please visit www.gurusofdance.com.

 

HĀLAU O KEIKIALI'I / KAULULEHUA HAWAIIAN CULTURAL CENTER

KUMU HULA (MASTER TEACHER) KAWIKA KEIKIALI'IHIWAHIWA ALFICHE 

HĀLAU O KEIKIALI'I / KAULULEHUA HAWAIIAN CULTURAL CENTER was founded by Kumu Hula (Master teacher) Kawika Keiki Hiwahiwa Alfiche in 1994, in order to conserve and perpetuate all thing Hawaiian, through dance. Alfiche has been teaching at the Hawaiian Cultural Center for 25 years and he continues to learn, teach, and share his culture through hula and cultural arts, all over the world. Alfiche’s first Kumu Hula, Tiara Maka-Olanolan Clifford of Hanalei, Kaua`i. When she sadly passed, the new Kumu Kawika was haumana of Kumu Hula Harriet Kahalepoli Keahilihau-Spalding of Keaukaha, Hawai`i, who had doen impeccable training with alfiche and had made him open Halau in 1994. When Harriet died, she had Alfiche learn and fall under Kumu Hula Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca of Hilo, Hawai`i, a Hula master and treasure of Hawai`i. In 2007 Alfiche became one of six to become part of Kumu Rae’s first and only `uniki. Alfiche also found a love in music and became a composer and recording artist of four CDs.

 

INTERNATIONAL PERFORMING ARTS OF AMERICA

EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR YANG YANG LYON

INTERNATIONAL PERFORMING ARTS OF AMERICA (IPAA) is a non-profit dance group based in the Bay Area that is passionate about celebrating East Asian culture through motion and choreography.

 

IPAA believes that dance has the power to promote the diversity and richness of ethnic groups, while also allowing us to tell our personal stories. Our group includes professional dancers from Beijing Dance Academy and San Jose Ballet trained in Chinese dance, ethnic dance, and ballet, as well as dance enthusiasts from all over the Bay Area. Coming from different walks of life, we bond over dance as our common language to communicate with the world.

 

Since our inception in 2018, we have showcased numerous original choreographies representing a variety of styles and cultures. Each year, we also invite and collaborate with performers around the world to celebrate our differences in effort to create a truly inclusive and diverse community of artists.

 

YANG YANG LYON channels the creative forces at IPAA into a unified artistic vision. At the age of twelve, she was granted a scholarship to the Beijing Dance Academy. What followed was over two decades of Gold Medal championship wins and leading roles. Yang Yang worked in China and internationally, including at the Chinese National Opera and Ballet, CPAA, and on film with director Zhang Yi Mou.

 

In 2018, Yang Yang assumed responsibility for IPAA’s artistic and operational direction. She has led the dance troupe successfully through the COVID crisis, enabling artists to connect with the community through online classes, benefit performances, and community virtual work-outs.

MELISSA CRUZ FLAMENCO

MELISSA CRUZ is a full-time flamenco artist and instructor. She began learning from Rosa Montoya and later joined her professional company. She has performed in many festivals and performances and now mentors her students. She is a Bachelor of the Arts graduate of UC Berkeley. She is also the principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company and is a percussionist, drummer, and dancer with multiple active musical projects. 

 

PARANGAL DANCE COMPANY

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ERIC SOLANO

PARANGAL DANCE COMPANY Aspires to Inspire! We are a non-profit, Filipino Folk Dance & Music Company based in the unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory also known as San Francisco in California, USA. 

 

Our mission and vision Parangal’s mission is to give tribute to Philippine heritage by preserving and promoting ethnic attire, music, and dance through research, workshops, and performances. We aim to serve as a bridge, inspiring and connecting Filipinos in diaspora to their roots to give them a sense of pride and identity, while educating diverse communities to foster awareness and appreciation of Philippine culture.

 

PENINSULA BALLET THEATRE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR GREGORY AMATO

PENINSULA BALLET THEATRE inspires passion and creates joy with live productions through a collaboration of dedicated artists, artisans and supporters. Founded in 1967 by Dick Ford and Richard Gibson as the non-profit performing vehicle for students in their ballet school, then Peninsula Ballet School, the first professional dancers trained outside the school were hired in 1971 to form a separate permanent company. PBT is the Bay Area's second oldest professional ballet company in continuous operation. Joining as artistic director in 2017, Greg Amato has cultivated a company of professional dancers that performs a full season of wide-ranging repertory. Continuing its 56-year tradition as the artistic and cultural hub of San Mateo County, Peninsula Hip-Hop Productions was added in 2016, and Peninsula Broadway Productions made its debut in 2022.

 

GREGORY AMATO has a wide breadth of experience in the international world of ballet. Mr. Amato has performed in over 50 countries, including for the Queen of England, two presidents, numerous ambassadors, dignitaries, and prime ministers.

 

He was selected by New York City Ballet principal dancer Edward Villella to become a founding member of the Miami City Ballet, before performing with the Ballet du Nord in France. He was then similarly chosen by Michael Smuin as a founding member of Smuin Ballet. While dancing there, Michael Smuin created several ballets on Mr. Amato, including "Frankie and Johnny,” and "Cyrano." He also appeared in the movie, "The Fantastics," which Smuin choreographed.

 

Mr. Amato's primary teacher and inspiration was New York City Ballet soloist Nolan T'Sani. He studied on full scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.

 

Mr. Amato competed and won the gold medal in the Fred Astaire International Ballroom Dance Competition. Despite his impressive ballet career, his personal highlight was his experience as the featured dancer at Carnegie Hall for the 100th Celebration of George Gershwin’s birthday.

 

Mr. Amato has been the Artistic Director at Peninsula Ballet Theatre and PBT Conservatory since 2017, where he has created over 40 original works, including full-length productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Carmina Burana, Carnival of the Animals, and Carmen.

 

PERU EXPRESSIONS

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MÓNICA MENDOZA

MÓNICA MENDOZA is the founder and director of dance academy Peru Expressions. Mónica started dancing at six years old; her first championship was at age nine. Before she moved to the U.S., she obtained the national championship at age 20. Moving to the U.S, she learned of competitions of Marinera Norteña, which she then participated in and now is an international champion. Her goal is to be a world champion soon!  

 

PERU EXPRESSIONS DANCE ACADEMY was founded in 2012. Promoting and cultivating our Peruvian dances is our number one goal, creating dancers and champions of all ages.

 

TAIKO SOBA

TAIKO SOBA is a young taiko ensemble under the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple Dharma School. The group formed in 2016 as a way of giving friends the opportunity to play taiko together once again. The members come from a variety of backgrounds, including collegiate taiko, former Dharma School students, and other taiko groups throughout the country. Taiko SOBA enjoys sharing taiko with the Bay Area community and is excited to be performing at this year’s Peninsula International Dance Festival!

 

THE MINOAN DANCERS

ARTISTIC DIRECTORS VASILIS & EFFIE FOURAKIS

 

THEATRE FLAMENCO OF SAN FRANCISCO

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER/DANCER CAROLA ZERTUCHE

THEATRE FLAMENCO OF SAN FRANCISCO presents an innovative approach to flamenco to enrich and inspire the art community and general public of our city and region. The troupe produces richly imaginative thematic shows with local and international artists, teaches and mentors a new generation of talent, and maintains strong ties to the traditional flamenco communities of Spain.

 

Founded in 1966 by Adela Clara, Theatre Flamenco is the oldest flamenco dance company in the Bay Area and San Francisco’s second oldest dance company (after the San Francisco Ballet).

 

The company began in an era when Latinos were moving into and making their cultural mark on San Francisco, and for decades Artistic Director, Miguel Santos, led the organization with the goal of promoting the artistic heritage of the Latino arts. The company has produced an original home season production in San Francisco annually since its inception 57 years ago. In 2008, Santos appointed Carola Zertuche as his successor to push the community dance troupe to new artistic heights. Zertuche’s focus was expanding the company’s visibility and programming beyond its annual home season, including touring, student training and performances, and community outreach.

 

During Zertuche’s first year of leadership, critic Renee Renouf of the UK’s Ballet.co observed that “since Carola Zertuche assumed artistic direction, the ensemble has shifted from essentially a community-oriented emphasis to one leaning heavily on professional aspirations.... If the changes progress in this spirit, the Bay Area might add a highly-polished flamenco ensemble to its roster of dance jewels.”

 

In the decade since, Zertuche’s Theatre Flamenco has delivered on that promise, alternating traditional shows with genre-fusing works in its annual home seasons and performances throughout the year. Melding flamenco with artistic elements like modern dance, electronic music, or light installments, the company has built a reputation of providing a uniquely West Coast lens on the Spanish art form.

 

CAROLA ZERTUCHE (Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer), born in Torreon, Mexico, has collaborated with international and local artists in productions paying homage to traditional styles of flamenco since assuming the artistic directorship of the company in 2008. She has toured Mexico, USA, South America, Canada, and the Middle East, dancing with various flamenco companies, and performed at New York’s Joyce Theater and Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts. Zertuche has collaborated on projects with flamenco dancers such as Andres Marin, Carmen Ledesma, Pastora Galvan, Adela Campallo, Jesus Carmona, Nino de los Reyes among others. In 2017, she made her San Francisco Opera debut as the choreographer for La Traviata. Her later production Soul y Alma, a sold out performance at the Herbst Theatre, was named “one of the best performances of 2020” by Bay Area dance critic, Rita Felciano.

 

TRADICIÓN PERUANA CULTURAL CENTER

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JUAN DE DIOS SOTO

TRADICIÓN PERUANA CULTURAL CENTER was established in San Francisco in 1994 with the mission to develop and diffuse the rich diversity of art from Peruvian cultures in the Bay Area and beyond. Tradición Peruana offers an array of programs and services to children, youth and adults to promote cultural learning opportunities for a range of ages and communities.

 

JUAN DE DIOS SOTO is an artist who was born in Lima, Peru in 1965, and from an early age was surrounded by music and dance in his home and community. Juan has directed and promoted his group to participate in a diversity of events, presenting traditional Afro Peruvian music and dance.

 

TRIBE DANCE CREW

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR STUCK SANDERS

TRIBE DANCE CREW was founded by Stuck Sanders and co-founded by Alee Martinez in late 2015, with the goal of simply creating a safe space for their community to dig deeper into the movement and different styles behind Hip-Hop street dance and choreography. They began to explore the World of Dance competitions, battles, and performances to gain not only experience but a sense of teamwork and togetherness.

 

Inspired to grow their reach in the community and share their teaching methods, they soon created a youth dance crew, Poise’N Brigade. Here, they were able to create opportunities for themselves to share their teachings with the youth, and also give the youth the opportunity to discover themselves through dance while also experiencing a sense of teamwork and dedication.

Stuck & Alee have a branch based out of Melodic Remedy Dance Studio in San Carlos, CA, where they also teach all ages consistently. They have since formed a second branch based out of Fremont, CA, with co-founder Vincent Hwang. With hopes of expanding their teachings all over the Bay Area and eventually expanding, they continue to strive for their community and the people who believe in them.


Stuck & Alee have also teamed up with Peninsula Ballet Theatre, to create multiple annual hit theatre products such as Stuck Sanders’ rendition of Hip-Hop Nutcracker, The Hip-Hop Cinderella, and the most recent Hip-Hop Halloween. With Tribe & Poise’N Brigade reigning supreme as principal dancers, through these shows they are able to create jobs for their company, as well as the community.

Tribe
Antara
Folklorico
Ndolo
Calpulli
Chitresh
Ensambles
Feng
Gurus
Kaululehua
IPAA
ARAX
Cruz
Parangal
PBT
Peru
Taiko
Minoan
FlamencoSF
Peruana
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