Monday, July 24, 2017

Multiculti Saturday 5: Ethnic Dance Festival at SF Opera

The final event in Saturday's multicultural marathon was Weekend Two of the Ethnic Dance Festival at the San Francisco Opera House, which was as interesting as the previous week's program. Highlights for me were the great live musicians for Ballet Afsaneh's World Premiere The Persepolis Project, Ballet Folklorico Mexico Danza's exuberant La Revoluccion, and the Gurus of Dance, an Aditya Patel Company who closed out the first half with a deliriously synchronized Bollywood-meets-EDM extravaganza.

At intermission I realized that after 40+ years of attending performances at the SF Opera House, this was the first time I was an ethnic minority as a white audience member, which was both refreshing and shame inducing.

The differentiator of this festival is that dance and musical traditions from all over the world are presented side by side, with the implicit message that there are no good or bad cultures, only different ones. And while the various dance troupes are true to their own specific traditions, everyone is influencing everyone else.

After a long curtain call, all the performers exited through the orchestra aisles, into the lobby, and continued dancing. Sunday was a day of rest.

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