Black Rock City

The Black Choreographers Festival's innovative dance mentoring program must really be working out. This year, all but one of the presenting dancemakers are from the Bay Area — and the organizers have incredibly tough standards; we know they're not settling. They never have to: They draw from a pool that includes Robert Moses' Kin, rightly famous; the otherworldly grace of Robert Henry Johnson; and the gorgeous Diamano Coura company. But onstage at the festival this year, it's all new names to us, with the vast majority of choreographers coming from Oakland. We're thinking: East Bay kids onstage? That's a yes. The individuals are exciting, but overall, the mix is the thing, and the festival features styles as disparate as tap dance, traditional moves from all over the world (Hawaii, Africa), sinuous contemporary genres, and hip-hop.
Feb. 20-21, 8 p.m., 2009

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