Dance Week

Weekend Picks: SF Bay Area Dance Week Kick Off, Oakland Dance Festival, San Jose MACLA Family Art Day and Berkeley Bay Area Book Festival

April 25, 2018

It’s Bay Area Dance Week, so get ready to move all weekend long at dance festivals in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. Once you’re ready to enjoy some quiet time, visit the largest book festival in Berkeley. There is always so much to do along the Capitol Corridor!

Bay Area Dance Week Kick Off Party: 4/27, San Francisco

Happening: 12pm
Grab your dancing shoes and head over to San Francisco for Bay Area Dance Week’s Kick-off Party at City Hall. Join hundreds of “movers and shakers” at the 20th annual Bay Area Dance Week led by Dudley Flores and Rhythm & Motion. This year’s kick-off will feature a “silent disco adventure.” Using your own headphones, download or stream an audio track on your smartphone and follow along with simple choreography instructions — no previous rehearsal necessary! After the “warm-up” ends, music will begin with One Dance, a short dance sequence in Rhythm & Motion’s trademark style of fun movement. This event is put on by the Rotunda Dance Series, which hosts free monthly dance performances in San Francisco City Hall’s rotunda with lunchtime presentations showcasing dance forms from across the globe.

Getting there: Depending on your station of origin, take the Capitol Corridor’s dedicated connecting bus from Emeryville to the Transbay Temporary Terminal. You can also take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART and ride to downtown San Francisco’s Civic Center Station, which is just a short walk to City Hall.

MACLA Family Art Day: 4/28, San Jose

Happening: 12pm – 4pm
It’s a community celebration of art and culture at MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana – Family Art Day in San Jose. The free event, held at Parque de Los Pobladores, is a festival for youth and families, with hands-on visual arts activities, bilingual gallery tours, multicultural dance, as well as musical performances on an outdoor stage. Take part in a free, half-hour modern and folk dance class, or try yoga for something a bit more meditative. Visual artist, Erika Gomez Henao, will lead interactive art activities, and there will be screen printing with Lisa Castellanos of Taller Girasol Arte. All classes and performances will be outdoors, so dress in comfortable shoes and clothing. Check the schedule for specific class and activity times.

Getting there: Take the train to the San Jose Diridon Station. The park is accessible by the VTA, with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor conductor. Public transit options can be found on Google Maps.

Dance Festival: 4/28  4/29, Oakland

Happening: 12pm – 8pm Saturday; 12pm – 6pm Sunday
Head over to Oakland’s beautiful waterfront for a fun day of dance and celebration at the Oakland Dance Festival in Jack London Square. The event will bring together the best local dancers, choreographers, studios, and teachers for two days of fabulous rhythm and fun. Showcasing a dazzling array of genres, including jazz, ballet, modern, hip-hop, and traditional folkloric — from Brazil, Asia, Africa, and India — dancers of all ages will perform and celebrate the power of dance. In addition to the performances, you can participate in workshops, master classes, lecture demonstrations, and an outdoor DJ dance party starting at 6pm on Saturday night. On Sunday, Dance-A-Vision Oakland Dance Festival will bring local dancers, choreographers, studios, and teachers to Jack London Square for rhythm and fun.

Getting there: take the Capitol Corridor to the Oakland Jack London Square Station, which is just steps from the waterfront.

Bay Area Book Festival: 4/28  4/29, Berkeley

Happening: 10am – 6pm
Love to read? Then you don’t want to miss out on the biggest world-class international celebration of books at the Bay Area Book Festival this weekend in Berkeley. More than 250 diverse authors from all over the world — from prize-winners to emerging voices — will take part in inspiring keynotes, provocative interviews, dynamic panels, and other presentations. All genres will be represented, including fiction (literary masters along with popular genre writers), memoir, non-fiction, poetry, and new forms of digital storytelling. All topics will be covered, from current events, social justice and international affairs, to the environment, gender, business, spirituality, sports, and digital innovation. Priority Admission Tickets are $10 online and general admission wristbands are $15 for the entire weekend, with first-come, first-served admission after Priority Ticket holders. A special collaboration with Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) will present a film series relating to literature and writing. Tickets for the film are $5-$13 and must be purchased directly from BAMPFA or their box office.

Getting there: Take the train to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART, and get off at the Downtown Berkeley stop, which is just a short stroll to the festival.

Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy Odell Hussey