The San Francisco International Arts Festival celebrates the arts by gathering a global community of artists and audiences—presenting innovative projects focused on increasing human awareness and understanding. Since 2003 the Festival has presented a body of international work that would have been otherwise unseen in the United States. This year the Festival features 40 ensembles and individuals from the Bay Area and around the world. They include the headline concert featuring Dr. Angela Davis and Dr. Anthony Brown presenting Down by the Riverside in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yohei Miyake (Japan), In Conversation
Yohei Miyake is a musician who ran for office in Japan’s congressional elections in 2013 and 2016. He named his political campaign the Election Festival and sang his progressive platform whilst playing the guitar. He drew tens of thousands of people to his public speeches and was dubbed “the Japanese Bob Marley with a Bernie Sanders ideology.” Yohei is currently engaged in the environmental movement and practices sustainable living. He will share his thoughts on the intersection of politics, music and beyond. Organized by the U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network.
Ambiguous Dance Company (South Korea), Rhythm of Human
Though people may not always know it, there is a personal rhythm inside of everyone. Ambiguous Dance aims to bring out this inner ambition through their evening length work Rhythm of Human. Rhythm of Human expresses the story of a modern Korean man who seeks his own personal rhythm within society. The dancers of this performance transform simple gestures into the rhythms of life to teach its audience that dance is not just for dancers, we all have an inner rhythm that we need to express. Co-Presented with the Korean Cultural Center of San Francisco
Pao-Chang Tsai (Taiwan), Solo Date
Ho-Nien endeavours to reconstruct his deceased lover utilizing artificial intelligence and by accessing Alan’s encrypted online data and social media records. What follows is a surreal journey through a virtual underworld where Ho-Nien encounters digital gatekeepers, confronts social taboos and uncovers secrets from the past that tarnish the reunion. Innovative, elegant and moving, Solo Date uses new media to explore loneliness and longing, desire and death, artificial intelligence and human loss and need. It also asks unsettling questions about online privacy, the ethics of re-inventing the dead and several other as-yet-to-be-articulated aspects of the digital frontier. Co-presented by the National Queer Arts Festival
Cirquantique (Canada), Bang! Bang!
Experience the dark world of prohibition era Quebec in the company of Cirquantique, a women led Canadian ensemble making their US debut at the Festival. Get ready for a spellbinding evening of nouveau cirque, burlesque and live music as talented artists from Montreal’s underground circus scene offer a night of transgression and rebelling against false temperance–in a parallel universe where speakeasies proliferate, bootlegging is rampant and the black market rules.
Baobab (Japan), Laughing Frame
Merging diverse expressions of classic, modern, jazz and street dance (“krumping,” in particular), Baobab dancers burst with exuberant energy “to get out of the frame, laughing, talking, singing and crying” for liberation. Director/lead dancer, Wataru Kitao, won the best dancer’s award at the prestigious Yokohama Dance Collection Competition in February 2018. Bring it up for their international debut! Co-Presented with the U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network