San Francisco at its best” – Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle
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Forty years
Hundreds of dance styles
Thousands of artists
Countless moments of joy
The ultimate embodiment of community
Nunamta Yup`ik Eskimo Singers and Dancers / Photo by RJ Muna
The 40th Anniversary
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
July 6-22, 2018

The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival returns to the War Memorial Opera House this July for two weekends of awe-inspiring performances in celebration of our 40thAnniversary.

Our celebration begins with a free Rotunda Dance Series performance at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, July 6, at noon, when we’ll fill that grand space with dance, music, and spoken word. Then, we return to the Opera House July 14-15 and July 21-22 for performances by 21 dance and music ensembles highlighting the incredible breadth and depth of the Bay Area’s artistic community.

At this year’s Festival, you’ll experience dances and music from Alaska, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, India, Korea, Liberia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Spain, Tahiti, the continental US, and Zimbabwe.

New Festival Artistic Directors Patrick Makuakāne, Latanya d. Tigner, and Māhealani Uchiyama bring their combined decades of groundbreaking accomplishment to our stage in a new way. You can learn more about our artistic team here.

2018 Festival Artists include:
AERODANCE ‡ – Indian Folkloric (Gujarat)
AguaClara Flamenco – Spanish Flamenco
Ananya Tirumala * – South Indian Kuchipudi
Antara Asthaayi Dance * – North Indian Kathak
Arenas Dance Company – Afro-Cuban
Bolivia Corazón de América – Bolivian Folkloric (Tarabuco and Potosí)
Caminos Flamencos – Spanish Flamenco
Charya Burt Cambodian Dance – Cambodian Classical
Chitresh Das Youth Company – North Indian Kathak
De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association – Afro-Peruvian
Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco – Mexican Folkloric (Tabasqueño)
Kim Shuck ‡ – Poet Laureate of San Francisco
Leung’s White Crane Lion & Dragon Dance Association – Chinese Dragon Dance
Los Danzantes de Aztlán, Fresno State – Mexican Folkloric (Huapangos)
Mussel Rock Cloggers ‡ – Appalachian Clogging
Nimely Pan African Dance Company – Liberian Folkloric
Nunamta Yup’ik Eskimo Singers and Dancers – Alaskan Yup’ik Eskimo
OngDance Company – Korean Traditional and Contemporary
Parangal Dance Company – Philippine Folkloric (Meranao)
Te Pura O Te Rahura’a * – Tahitian ʽŌte’a and ʽAparima
Ye Feng * – Chinese Contemporary

* Artists who are new to the Festival
‡ Artists performing at the Festival Opening Event at City Hall

Preshow musical performances by: 
Chinyakare Ensemble – Zimbabwean Traditional
Hermanos Herrera – Mexican Folkloric
Te Pura O Te Rahuraʽa – Tahitian ʽAparima
Vinic-Kay (La Gente y El Canto) – Mexican Folkloric

The Festival’s Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in ethnic dance and music will be presented to four artists who have had extraordinary impact on the field:

  • Lily Cai, Founder and Artistic Director of Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company
  • Patty-Ann Farrell, the Festival’s Lighting Designer and Auditions Stage Manager, who has been a part of the Festival team since it launched in 1978
  • Chuna McIntyre, Founder and Artistic Director of Nunamta Yup’ik Eskimo Singers and Dancers
  • Jamila Salimpour (In Memoriam), Founder of Bal Anat, and a major influence on belly dance in the United States for more than 50 years.

Festival Opening Event
Friday, July 6, at Noon
San Francisco City Hall

Rotunda Dance Series performance by AERODANCE (Indian Folkloric – Gujarat), Mussel Rock Cloggers (Appalachian Clogging), and Kim Shuck, Poet Laureate of San Francisco and member of the Cherokee Nation, who will offer a special poem for the Festival opening.

Opera House Weekend One
Saturday, July 14, at 8pm / Sunday, July 15, at 2pm
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove)
Available online at, or by calling City Box Office:415.392.4400

Preshow musical performance outside the Opera House by Te Pura O Te Rahuraʽa(Tahitian ʽAparima) and in the lobby by Vinic-Kay (La Gente y El Canto) (Mexican Folkloric)

Performances by: AguaClara Flamenco (Spanish Flamenco), Arenas Dance Company(Afro-Cuban), Bolivia Corazón de América (Bolivian Folkloric– Tarabuco and Potosí),Chitresh Das Youth Company (North Indian Kathak), Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco (Mexican Folkloric – Tabasqueño), Leung’s White Crane Lion & Dragon Dance Association (Chinese Dragon Dance), Nunamta Yup’ik Eskimo Singers and Dancers (Alaskan Yup’ik Eskimo), Parangal Dance Company (Philippine Folkloric – Meranao), Te Pura O Te Rahuraʽa (Tahitian ʽŌteʽa and ʽAparima), and Ye Feng (Chinese Contemporary).

Opera House Weekend Two
Saturday, July 21, at 8pm / Sunday, July 22, at 2pm
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove)

Available online at, or by calling City Box Office:415.392.4400

Preshow musical performance outside the Opera House by Chinyakare Ensemble(Zimbabwean Traditional) and in the lobby by Hermanos Herrera (Mexican Folkloric) 

Performances by: Ananya Tirumala (South Indian Kuchipudi), Antara Asthaayi Dance(North Indian Kathak), Caminos Flamencos (Spanish Flamenco), Charya Burt Cambodian Dance (Cambodian Classical), De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association(Afro-Peruvian), Los Danzantes de Aztlán de Fresno State (Mexican Folkloric – Huapangos), Nimely Pan African Dance Company (Liberian Folkloric), and OngDance Company (Korean Traditional and Contemporary).

Tickets for the Opera House performances go on sale Tuesday, April 24. Available online at,
or by calling City Box Office: 415.392.4400
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