ODC/Dance is known throughout the world for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth. The Company's three resident choreographers, Brenda Way, KT Nelson, and Kimi Okada, are considered among America's major contemporary choreographers and have created a dynamic movement vocabulary over the... [more]
ODC/Dance is known throughout the world for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth. The Company's three resident choreographers, Brenda Way, KT Nelson, and Kimi Okada, are considered among America's major contemporary choreographers and have created a dynamic movement vocabulary over the last three decades that has significantly influenced dancers and choreographers alike.
Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way who trained under the legendary George Balanchine, ODC relocated to San Francisco in 1976 on a big yellow school bus, bucking the dance world theory that to be successful, a company must locate itself in New York.
Today, ODC/Dance's company of ten world class dancers performs its imaginative repertory for more than 50,000 people annually. Highlights include two annual home seasons at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, numerous performances at New York's Joyce Theater, sold out performances at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. and four standing room only European engagements. In 34 years, ODC/Dance has performed for more than a million people in 32 states and 11 countries, with support from the NEA, the U.S. State Department, and many state and city arts agencies. The company has been widely recognized for its fusion of ballet and modern techniques and for their numerous groundbreaking collaborations including work with writers Leslie Scalapino and Rinde Eckert; actors Bill Irwin, Geoff Hoyle and Robin Williams; and visual artists Wayne Thiebaud, John Woodall and Eleanor Coppola.
Also known nationally for its entrepreneurial savvy, ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility in 1979, from which it operates the ODC School, the ODC Theater, and the ODC Gallery. In September 2005, ODC opened its new 23,000 square foot performing arts center, the ODC Dance Commons, increasing its studio and performing space to 33,000 square feet. Through their various programs ODC strives to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance performance, training, and mentorship.
ODC's three founders and choreographers have received numerous awards and commissions, including choreography for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the San Francisco Ballet, the Oakland Ballet, the Diablo Ballet, the Los Angeles and Santa Fe Operas, and the Festival des etoiles; four Isadora Duncan Awards, a San Francisco Examiner Golden Slipper Award, a Tony nomination, a Guggenheim Fellowship and twenty-eight years of NEA support. ODC/Dance was selected as Best Dance Company/Modern Dance in the San Francisco Chronicle's 1998 & 1999 Readers' Choice Awards and Best Local Dance Company in the San Francisco Bay Guardian's 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2005 Readers' Choice Awards. ODC was also voted "Exceptional Non-Profit Arts Organization 2004" by the Business Arts Council and "Best Dance Company of the Bay Area 2005" by SF Weekly.
ODC/Dance has been presented in virtually every major American venue and festival program including Jacob's Pillow, the Olympic Arts Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and the New York International Arts Festival. ODC has also appeared internationally in England, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada, Southeast Asia, and all across the former Soviet Union.